I like imagining the little stories depicted in Dee Nickerson’s paintings. These ladies seem so content sitting outdoors with their warm beverages, newspaper, knitting, and kitties. And look at those wonderful blue booties and floral print skirts!
Don’t you feel calmer and more relaxed just looking at them?
Dee is yet another of my favorite UK artists whose work is steeped in the English countryside. She was born into a Norfolk farming family and grew up in a rural environment, so it’s no surprise her pictures often show humans interacting with nature and animals in various seasonal settings.
She began making and studying art and art history from an early age, and won national school painting competitions. She later attended Great Yarmouth College of Art and Design, and then worked for Liberty retail, where she indulged her love of fashion, textile history, and design.
She’s been a full-time painter since the early 90’s and has exhibited widely in her native Suffolk and across the UK. Her hugely popular line of Green Pebble greeting cards has made her work visible to an even wider audience.
She counts among her artistic influences Eric Ravillious, Stanley Spencer, Mary Feddon, Holbien, Matisse, Carravagio, Bruegel, Sisely, Mary Newcomb, and Alfred Wallis.
But she’s also inspired by ongoing daily practices — walking, biking, reading, sewing, listening to the wireless, watching films and television, observing people, hearing snippets of conversations. Personal recollections and her love of the colours and patterns of textiles also play a role. Dee works mainly in acrylics on paper or board.
It is usually late morning when I start to paint, working late into the night, stopping for supper and, while it’s daylight, to gaze out of the window. During winter I settle by the fire and wireless in the caravan I share with a partner and three feline muses. In summer I move outside, under the lean-to. Combining memory, imagination and observations of the changing seasons, weather, people, cats, dogs and birds, I elaborate on little moments of ordinary life seen at home, from my bicycle, in the local towns and villages, or on trips about East Anglia.
It’s wonderful to see the world through Dee’s eyes, and to appreciate her attention to delicate details (her bare branches are magical). Her humanity is conveyed in the preponderance of animals (especially birds and dogs) in her scenes, suggesting a life lived in harmony with other living things. I also love how she captures the light and textures of the different seasons — and can’t you just smell the fresh air and feel the wind blowing on those seaside strolls?
Since most of her subjects are female, I like studying their interesting clothing, evidence of Dee’s background in fashion design. Whether they’re reading, walking, knitting, or sipping tea, they all seem so content, a warm feeling that’s effectively conveyed to the viewer.
For more, check out the Green Pebble website to see her full range of fine art cards.
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