Category Archives: art

>> sketchbook glimpse part 3

HelloNiccocoSketchBook

A glimpse at a sketchbook spread I’ve been working on a little bit at a time over the past couple weeks and just completed. I love the airiness of the left page and the cluttered organized chaos on the right, a nice balance, I think. The left was drawn on site during a walk at Lancaster County park which I frequent often and is only five minutes from home. The right began with a group of fish and coral clusters and just exploded into an undersea exploration of imaginary creatures and sea life. This sketchbook is not even a quarter of the way filled, but it might be my most favorite one ever ever. More glimpses to come!

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>> happy spring

tulips1

It’s finally beginning to feel like spring with perfectly crisp mornings and warm sunny afternoons that transition to cool evenings. If it could stay like this year round life might be perfect. I’ve been inspired by all the color that has been popping up due to April’s rainy but warmer weather. Here is a glimpse in my sketchbook where I was painting on site at Longwood Gardens where their tulips are currently in peak bloom.

hello spring

 

 

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>> sketchbook glimpse part 2

My newest sketchbook is a mixed media hardbound book with thick pages perfect for laying down watercolor. Here is a glimpse into the first pages, which I always find very intimidating… so empty yet filled with endless ideas. In order to break an old habit, I forced myself not to leave the first page blank… Image

… the second page I simply laid down fields of watercolor and then drew marks and patterns on top with ink as well as white gouache. So far this new sketchbook is a fun experiment of trying new things and working outside of my normal creation process.

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>> sketchbook glimpse

While working on my illustrated state series, I use nothing but reference photos gathered from the endless pool of the internet to create the little icons decorating the maps. I started to feel as though I wasn’t taking notice of the inspiration around me. Over the summer I started a sketchbook and have been filling its pages with observational doodles and paintings. Although none of these are masterpieces or even finished pieces, I feel like I am retraining my eye and my hand to capture small glimpses.  Though the pages I’m sharing are common in subject matter- the other pages show of journeys to museums and parks, lunch at a cafe, the backyard, my studio desk and hand picked collections.

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Just last week I picked up a new sketchbook- and very few objects hold such promise for endless creativity than 64 blank pages with a hardbound cover. The paper is of really nice quality and it meant for mixed media. I’ve started to paint layers of watercolor and gouache with touches of ink and couldn’t be happier with the thought of exploring new ideas no matter how simple they might be. I’ll be back in the next few days to share the first pages!

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>> a new year!

Happiest of New Years dear friends! 2013 was a pretty spectacular year and I’m hoping, wishing, dreaming and striving to make 2014 just as fantastical. A turn of the new year is often a time of reflection, resolutions, and goal setting. This very time last year I made a list of things to accomplish. Simple things to keep in mind each day. I would often refer to it in a mundane moment and feel inspired. On the left I wrote things I wanted to do, on the right- how I would go about achieving those things. 2014 is no different except some of the to-do’s have evolved. One of my favorites is to create more and share often. 

 

Here’s to 2014, 12 months full of potential! 

2014

 

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>> Happiest of Holidays

Stopping by to send a quick hello and a Merry Christmas Eve before we hit the road traveling to see family the next two days. Here is a snapshot of the holiday card collaboration between Matt and myself this season!! Image

Please forgive me for sharing the layout on the computer, it totally slipped my mind to take a picture as we were stamping, addressing, and writing our cards between holidays movies! Proof that my desk exploded with crafty holiday cheer: Image

May you have a joyous holiday filled with laughter and love!

xo,

Nicole

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>>a long overdue Hello Niccoco update!

It has been literally four months since my last visit to this blog. Time has swirled past so quickly, I can hardly believe it is December and the New Year is right around the corner. One of my last posts I mentioned I took on a position within the admission department at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design. With that I’ve been trying to carve out my time for my own personal work. Though I’ve been keeping busy with creating and selling I’ve neglected to share exciting news here!!

First I’d like to share about my interactions with AllPort Editions, a company based on the West Coast in Portland Oregon. I initially reached out to them this past spring with some of my latest work, particularly the illustrated maps. They were on the hunt for pieces inspired by states and cities and I felt my style and subject matter lent perfectly with what they were seeking. After making contact, time passed by as it typically does… I must say it was a great “pinch me” moment when I heard from AllPort in August. They expressed an interest in licensing a handful of my state maps for a greeting card collection. Below is a peek at some samples they sent me along with our contract. I can hardly wait until spring 2014- my cards will be in production and available for vendors to purchase! i will be receiving a handful of goodies from AllPort once available!

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The next bit of news is equally as exciting and I do believe I will update with another post showing a little bit of my process. I was contracted by Southern Living magazine to create three illustrated maps for an article about the South’s most traveled roads during the holiday season! Another “pinch me” moment right there! I’ll save the details for my next post but below are the finished pieces in the magazine which came out in November issue.

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So stay tuned for my next update (which I promise won’t be in another 4 months)!

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>> goal #8

Nearly a month ago I celebrated my 27th birthday & decided to compile a “Things To Do/Accomplish While 27” list.  I love to write down lists as it helps me to visualize my goals and allows me to reference them as a happy reminder whenever I need to. Most of the goals are personal in the sense that I simply want to become more aware and actively pursue them in my day to day life. Goal #8 is to draw from life more often. I tend to, especially with my map series, search for reference photos because it’s quick and  easy to do while I’m researching. Though I will still work this way, I’ve begun a sketchbook that will solely be observational drawings. It forces me to unplug (another one of my goals!) and to carve time out to really observe, as well as improve my drawing skills. I bought a new fine-tipped ink pen and got started! Inspired by a sweet package of seashells all collected from the Gulf of Mexico- I thought they would be the perfect subject matter to study first. Here is a glimpse at the first two pages (with a little addition of watercolor!!!)!

Hello Niccoco Seashell studyHello Niccoco Seashell Study2

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>>halfway

Over the weekend I reached a milestone on my illustrated map series… number 25, the halfway point!! I can hardly believe it! It feels great knowing that as I continue with the next state, I’ll be more than halfway done.

The lucky state is… New Jersey!! This print and the 24 others can be found in the hello niccoco etsy shop!

NJ

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>> finished!

It’s a miracle. For the first time I think in the history of ever, I finished a sketchbook. Not only that, but in the process of completing said sketchbook, none of the pages were ripped out and immediately trashed!! Truly amazing if you ask me. I’ve had this horrible habit of disliking a drawing so bad I would risk ruining my bound sketchbook by tearing the paper out for fear of constantly being reminded of my embarrassing doodle. So silly, huh?

a peek into a "never been seen before" page

a peek into a “never been seen before” page

Even though each page isn’t a masterpiece, or even the beginning of something remotely interesting, I feel quite accomplished. Weeks ago I knew this moment would soon be approaching so I went ahead and purchased 2 more Moleskine’s to fill up. Each blank spread appears as an opportunity to draw whimsical notions that pop into my head, its an amazing feeling.

colorful new moleskine's

colorful new moleskine’s

Here’s to embracing quirky drawings and loving them even if they are never shown to another set of eyes!

first page in the sunny yellow sketchbook

first page in the sunny yellow sketchbook

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