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Christie Nicklay

About the Artist

Born in Southeast Minnesota, Christie Marie Nicklay is a contemporary realism and sometimes painterly artist who works primarily in acrylics and watercolors, but also works in oils, pastels and colored pencil.

Her artistic journey began as a child when she would draw anything and everything on anything and everything she could find. She drew constantly. There was a time when you could even find her artwork on the walls of her father’s dairy barn. Early on, teachers recognized and encouraged her artistic abilities. Eventually, she became the primary artist for her high school newspaper, clubs and organizations. As she grew, she had dreams of being a doctor, but her father encouraged her to attend school for her art, which she did and acquired her Commercial Art and Fine Art degrees.

After over 30 years in the graphic arts and marketing field, she realized she had merely put her real creative dreams on hold. Working in marketing was her profession, but her childhood love for painting and drawing continued to whisper in her ear. Letting go of the belief that ‘one is only an artist if she paints every day’ made a huge difference in how she felt about making art…and how often. For Christie, her creative process is an ebb and flow cycle, and during ebb times she may not feel like painting at all.

This freed her up from her own inner critic and allowed her to develop her creativity in all ways. When she’s not painting, she’s playing violin, taking pictures, reading, gardening, or working on other “creative” projects. Going with her “ebb and flow” allows her to be creative in some way, every day.

Now, with an art studio at home, she dedicates time to painting and drawing a variety of subjects. Her diverse subject matter is inspired largely by the life around her. Christie’s art captures the essence of her subjects and conveys an appreciation for life’s simple pleasures.

Artist’s Statement

“To be an artist is to believe in life.”    —  Henry Moore

I’ve been creating art in some form all of my life. As a child, I carved birds out of clumps of dirt, created finger paintings of mud on the concrete outside my father’s dairy barn, and used my crayons to make new colors instead of just “coloring inside the lines”. Through the years, my “tools” have evolved and my desire to make art has grown into a much deeper curiosity of the things and colors I see every day. I’m inspired by what’s around me…by life’s simple pleasures.

For me, painting and drawing create a special relationship between my surroundings and my perspective on it. The combination is an inkling of a story waiting to be told. I become lost in the process as I work to transform the vision inside my head into something meaningful and recognizable on my canvas.

My artwork is a visual journal of the moments in life that have made me stop in admiration. My goal is to capture the beauty, to enjoy it again and again, and to share it with those who also appreciate life’s simple pleasures.

My process relies on observation and even more on imagination. Sometimes I trust my eyes to tell me what to put down, how to draw it, how to paint it, what is important, and what to leave out. I also rely on my camera to freeze that moment that caught my attention.

My artwork reflects my appreciation for the beauty of life that surrounds me. If just one person feels the same appreciation from my artwork, then I’ve successfully met my goal.