Artist Nicole Bramble creates bright, vibrant work that reflects our stunning coastline. Nicole believes art is a terrific way to communicate with others and is passionate about our local area…
Hi Nicole. What brought you to the Manning-Great Lakes?
I have been blessed to be born a fifth generation local raised in the beautiful Great Lakes area. Having such a long line of family that has worked and lived in the area from early pioneering days, I feel that this area is part of my culture and it’s what defines me.
I was raised as a fisherman’s daughter, which has given me opportunities to see our area from many different angles and conditions. One of the most memorable times was probably going fishing out to sea with my father at a young age, witnessing the coast from beyond the horizon and experiencing whales and sharks beside the boat; being exposed to nature at its best has influenced my respect for the environment and the fragile balance that exist between humans and the environment. I have seen lots of Australia, but have realised we have one of the best locations – beautiful, clean beaches, lakes and ocean, great rainforests and hinterland. Why would anyone leave this?
Where did your passion for paint begin?
From my youth I have always been a creative soul, exploring different ways to tell stories about our landscape and always being inspired by nature to create artworks that have a positive effect on people. My passion started very young; I can remember going to preschool at a farmhouse at Mayers Flat and at the tender age of four, standing at an easel painting a cow in the paddock. That was the beginning of my obsession for art and painting.
My tertiary education was a Bachelor of Art Education, for which I completed a thesis on Art Therapy; I now recognise art and the process of making art as a great tool to help improve our mental, physical and emotional state. I think art has helped me manage my life and the stress of today’s world. Being a shy person, it has also given me an avenue to express my feelings to others.
Your work is bright, colourful and contemporary, reflecting the coast, beach lifestyle – and dogs! What is it about these things you most relate to?
My work is progressively changing, and at the moment my style has developed into a modern contemporary style of illustration. The artworks I’m creating at the moment are like a tapestry of animated images that create a narrative of our local environment. Colour is bold and bright in my artwork, which is reflective from nature and the beach scenes. I like to use iconic details of the landscape to describe and capture the beauty and atmosphere of the area, giving the viewer themselves an invitation to imagine themselves as part of the story.
What else has an influence on your work?
Nature and its diversity inspires me. I love the beaches and the coast and the lifestyle it offers us, so in my work I try to portray themes, events and emotions the coast provokes in us! My work has also been influenced by many Australian artists; including Reg Mombassa. Or Chris ODoherty from The Mambo era; I love his symbolism and his unique way of describing visually our Australian way of life and the surf culture that we experience on our coastal fringe.
I also love the new age of street art in Australia, which creates imagination and defines and beautifies communities …
Social media has also played an influence on my artwork, as I can connect and be touched by a diverse and talented world without leaving home. My day job at the Pacific Palms Bowling Club also influences my work, giving me the opportunity to meet a lot of great Australian characters and listening to their stories!
What materials do you use to create your artworks?
At the moment I am using Matisse acrylic paints on Arches paper to create my images, giving a really smooth clean and crisp finish on my illustrations. Matisse acrylic paints suit me, as they are bright and colourfast and dry quickly. Working on paper is also handy, as storage isn’t a problem, and it’s economical.
During the last few months I have been using my images to make prints; it’s great to see people enjoy my images, without the cost of an original.
If you could travel anywhere in the world to paint, where would you go?
I’d love to experience the old masters of Europe, maybe Greece and Croatia for their beautiful coastal landscapes and diverse cultures. This year I hope to take my beautiful 14 year old daughter, Indiana, to tropical Fiji or the Cook Islands to experience tropical life.
I would also love to see more of the Northern Territory and Western Australia, hooking up a campervan and packing paints and a few other essentials and being a nomad for a couple of years!
What’s your artistic dream?
My artistic dream would be to become a full-time professional illustrator and get enough work to survive financially. Also, to diversify my artwork, so that it would be universally appealing. I would love to illustrate children’s books and inspire young people’s imagination.
In my dreams, I would also like to own a unique art gallery in the local area and represent some of our local talented artists in the community, to give them an opportunity to showcase their work.
I have created artworks for fundraisers for Brain Cancer, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter and other local fundraisers; I would love to do some more work like this.
Where can we see your work?
I have a stall at the fabulous local Pacific Palms Markets once a month and at The Sitting Wombat, a local independently owned bookstore in Forster. I am also on Facebook and Instagram as Nicole Bramble.
Are you available for commission work, and how do we contact you?
I do commission work for people, usually creating artworks that tell stories about people’s lives, which gives me a special opportunity to be touched by personal journeys and to also connect with people with an image I have created.
If anyone wants to get in contact with me, I am at the Palms Bowlo most days, or you can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 049 9041 849.