Your material, Nicole Pletts, Painter



In your material, we discuss the choosen medium of an artist.



Nicole Pletts lives in South Africa. As a middle class white female, she was raised with a ‘man works and woman stays at home’ mentality.


“That is why most of my artwork is primarily male dominated, starting with a ‘men at work’ theme a few years ago. This concept threads a continuous pattern through my work today. My subdued tonal paintings seem to play havoc with people’s perception of me as a person. They see me as bright and bubbly – and find the work I produce out of character.”


Nicole started painting in watercolours and loved the way the paint behaved in unexpected ways – sometimes not the way she anticipated, wanted or expected. However, it were those little surprises that always gave her a feeling of excitement. A feeling of wonder. A feeling of how the hell did that happen?


So when Nicole moved onto oil paint, she tried to incorporate similar techniques into her process. So instead of using a credit card to scrape watercolour paint over paper, she used a window cleaner spread paint out over a canvas. Instead of adding water to watercolours to make unusual and unexpected happy (and not so happy) accidents, she used genuine turps and other mediums to push the boundaries of oil paint. Instead of using a white canvas (which is needed for watercolour paiting), Nicole paints her canvases dark brown, so she is unable to use her watercolour techniques for certain effects. She has to create her own. 


“My biggest success is when I look at one of my paintings and wonder how I got to the finished product. How did that mark happen? Why did I chose to leave that mark (and not another)? Why did I stop and not continue?”


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