Karole Nicholson is an active member of the Pastel Society of Cape Cod, the Connecticut Pastel Society, the Pastel Society of New Hampshire and is a juried associate member of the Pastel Society of America.
Her pastels have been shown in international competitions and national/regional shows throughout New England where she has won best of show and first place awards. Capturing the light and seasonal atmosphere are keys to her painting style.
All of her pastel paintings are custom framed original works. She enjoys working in a variety of sizes, from 6” x 6” to 24” x 24” and many sizes in between. She is represented by Next Door Gallery in Mansfield MA and Preservation Framer in North Attleboro MA.
I am a pastel artist because it brings me to a place of discovery, comfort, and expression. The practice of art combines my experiences with my need to connect to nature and to the influences of daily life; the garden flower, a bowl of fruit, a walk in the woods, a day at the beach.
I am drawn to compositions with strong negative and positive space. The relationship between the two is so clear that it invites me in. Although I enjoy experimenting with materials, I also value the reliability of my chosen tools; hard, medium and soft pastels on Wallis or Uart sand paper. Each painting starts with a loose sketch on the toothy sand paper canvas with the goal of conceptualizing the composition. The second step is to create an under painting, using a thin oil wash to lay down the values. Once this is complete, I am ready to select my pastel palette. With over 1200 pastel sticks to choose from, it is a skillful yet playful process. The layering of color creates mood, develops contrast, and defines the focal point of the painting. My excitement builds until the painting asks for a signature.
There is a constant evolution in my work. With practice, I develop insight. My art experiences are directly related to my life experiences. Significant relationships are at the center of my art; the unwavering support of my husband, my family and my friends.
When my grandmother, a life long quilter died in 1981, I felt compelled to carry on the tradition of creating something from nothing, so I created collages, and wall hangings from found objects. In 1990 when my father passed away, I was struck by the realization that he never struggled with defining who he was. He was a woodworking craftsman; that is when I returned to school to pursue a design career that would define my life. The death of my sister, whom I was very close to, has had a profound impacted on my art work. She is very much with me in the studio. She brings energy and clarity to my paintings. I look to my studio time for peace, support, and answers. What I create is not only a reflection of who I am today; it is the sum of many parts that is tethered by the struggle and the joy.