Interview #13 - Nicole Hyde

What got you started? What keeps you in?

I dabbled in a variety of creative pursuits before settling into oil painting. In my late thirties, I left the corporate life behind, moved from Vancouver, Canada to Denver and married an artist (Wes Hyde). Suddenly I had access to an in-house studio, a constant source of art supplies and encouragement. So I began. My first painting ended up in a gallery in Santa Fe. The flood gates were blown open and I haven't looked back since.

What keeps me in is the absolute joy of making art and living an art-based life. Curiosity is also a big factor. The need to find out if something will work keeps me engaged.

What/who inspires you?

My art is inspired by vast spaces, horizon lines, the weather, and the mood they evoke: real, imagined or remembered. If I ask how the weather is in your area, I'm truly interested! One of my recent works-on-paper projects is called, 100 Days of Rain (click to here to view). It's a series of 100 small painting/drawings on paper inspired by the endless spectrum of grays in my former hometown of rainy Vancouver. I'm getting close to finishing that project and have begun a new one called, Notes from the Next Ice Age (click here to view). 

Who inspires me is a long list, not the least of which is my husband. Others would include JMW Turner, James McNeill Whistler, Agnes Martin, Clyfford Stills, Stuart Shils, James Bishop, Wolf Kahn, Richard Tuttle. Music and poetry often spurs me on.

What is art for you?

Good art is something that moves me, makes me feel something - anything. I've found it in the oddest places too - in rust patterns or peeling paper on a telephone pole, distant lights on a night horizon.

The most powerful/your favourite medium: picture, words, sounds? Anything else?

Painting in oils is my first love but works-on-paper have become just as important. A couple of years ago I began to make monotypes and that lead into (almost) daily mixed media pieces. I'm addicted to them now. Size matters too - I am drawn to small intimate works. I often say that the works-on-paper are simple, humble, imperfect. I like that.


Currently I'm working on paintings and some works-on-paper pieces for my solo show in January 2013 at Abend Gallery in Denver. After the show, I intend to take a few months for pure play and experimentation - make lots of stuff without expectation and a specific destination. I'll also continue working on a series of new mixed media abstract paintings called Soiled Doves. Soiled Doves was the name given to prostitutes in the old west.

Anything else?

Yes. In the words of Joni Mitchell: 

I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's cloud illusions I recall


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