My name is Nicole Gaitan and I’m an artist… and despite the nagging voices in my head–and maybe even from my parents–I’ve given up on every other well paying job to fulfill my dreams. This job isn’t easy and it definitely isn’t the luck of the draw. You have to work for it day in and day out… and that’s what I love (and hate) about it. Painting is what gets me up early in the morning and what keeps me up late at night. It’s what fills my conscious and my dreams. I’m always asked to explain what inspires me, but it’s hard to articulate. I will read things that inspire an image in my head or see a pattern in something as simple as a snow drift that resembles an animal. There’s no telling what conjures up the creatures that come alive on my canvas.
I wasn’t always a painter. As a child I LOVED to draw and I avoided colors. I would get lost in my pencil drawings and shade and highlight for hours, getting lost at recess while other kids were playing on the monkey bars. In high school I started working with watercolors and outlined EVERYTHING, very tediously, in black. I rarely ever finished a piece. Then, one day my instructor told me to loosen up. I remember that moment like it was yesterday and suddenly my paintings were bigger, more vibrant and finally… finished. Then, in college, tired of dipping my “outlining” paint brush in black paint, water and then bringing it back to the canvas a thousand times I saw an old vintage style ketchup bottle and thought, hey, maybe I can mix some water and black paint and save myself the hassle of all this dipping! What do you know… it worked! If only I had gone to formal art school and learned about ink and dropper bottles, I could have saved myself years of experimentation! Se la vie… and that’s why, my manifesto (and you’ll see it in all of my bios) is Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote, “All life is an experiment, the more you make the better.”