Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Feature: Nicky Campbell

 Hi Everyone,

Today I have Nicky Campbell as my Friday Feature.  Nicky is a watercolor artist out of Johannesburg, South Africa.  I was struck by her interesting compositions and bold colors.  I look forward to seeing her creative paintings in the future.

To see more of her work visit her facebook page.

How did you get your start?  What’s your artist journey so far?

I have painted and drawn since I can remember. I was fortunate to grow up in a family of artists, crafters and writers but when I got married and had children my paints were forgotten buried deep in a cupboard somewhere. A couple of years ago I started getting ill and eventually lost my vision completely. Thanks to the most amazing neuro-surgeon I came out of hospital with my vision but was unable to work anymore. I was at home with nothing to do and felt frustrated so I pulled out the paints that were buried deep in my cupboard and started painting. First I painted eyes because I had almost lost my vision then the people around me that I thought I would never be able to see again. I was hooked and haven’t stopped painting since. My paintings are a celebration of life and all the people I love in it!

Where were you born?
Johannesburg South Africa

If you could live anywhere where would you live?
Africa is my home, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in the world but I would love to travel and visit as many art museums and galleries as possible!

What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?
I love painting people more than any other subject .I love having someone’s personality come to life as paint them. Every face has a story to tell.

Could you talk about your painting techniques? 

I still have so much to learn so I haven’t got a set technique. With every painting I try a new technique that I’ve learnt from studying other artists .I do spend hours drawing because I believe it doesn’t matter how well you paint if your drawing is wrong your painting won’t work. Then I build up my paintings in layers of glazes. I am not a fan of masking fluid so I preserve whites by painting carefully and wet on to dry as I find I don’t have control when I paint wet onto wet.

Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites?

My favorite paint is Winsor and newton.For portraits I mainly use Ultramarine blue, yellow ochre, burnt sienna and rose madder. My absolute favorite colour is ultramarine blue; I would quite happily do monochrome portraits with this colour.

Do you have a favorite artist?  Who has been your biggest inspiration?

That is a hard question to answer, I don’t think I have a favorite artist .At the moment my biggest inspiration is J.M.W Turner .His watercolours have amazing atmosphere and light .He continuously experimented which I think is the key to growing as an artist.

What have been some of your crowning achievements?

The biggest so far is being brave enough to make being an artist my day job.

What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)
  1. exhibit my paintings
  2. sell my paintings
  3. Have a beautiful studio of my own
  4. Travel to Italy to paint
  5. Most of all to still be able to get up and paint every day.

What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?

Paint what you love. Learn all the rules and then be brave enough to break them. Paint or draw a little bit everyday and most of all have fun!

What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?

To not only practice painting but to study art history and learn from the masters.

Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate without a doubt !

Your dream vacation spot?

Italy , I have wanted to visit Italy and explore the amazing art history since I was little girl .

Book or movie?

Movie so I can paint while I watch

Favorite author?

Agatha Christie.Theres nothing better than curling up one of her crime novels and a cup of coffee.

Favorite movie?
Dirty Dancing

Romance or comedy?

Favorite dessert?
Chocolate Mousse.ALWAYS

Night owl or morning person?

Night owl definitely. My children refer to me as the one who roars in the morning !

Thank you so much Nicky:)


  1. A wonderful interview...Nicky Campbell does beautiful work!! thank you for sharing, Carrie!!

  2. Love her artwork and love her story! Thanks so much for bringing this wonderful artist to my attention!

  3. Her work is beautiful! I love the one with the goldfish :0)

  4. Her work is awesome! Thank you, Carrie!