About the Artist, Nicole DonsonNicole

I have been painting on silk for more than fifteen years, and love creating one-of-a-kind hand-painted silk scarves, garments and wall hangings. I am most inspired by the great Impressionists and Modern artists: Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin, Gustav Klimt, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet and Paul Cezanne. I also draw from Art Nouveau, most especially its intricate patterns of curvilinear forms and its decorative and repetitive organic designs of flowers, leaves and botanical motifs.

Nature inspires me; the shapes and colors of real leaves that fall in autumn and the flowers that bloom in the northeast in the spring and summer. Like Matisse and Gauguin, I am not afraid to use bold colors, rich reds and jade greens, beautiful blues and vivacious purples. Yet I also incorporate softer shades, browns, oranges, pastels and grays into my flowing designs..

My Art Education

As a child and young adult I gained much exposure to art at museums throughout Europe and the States. As a child and teen I was always engaged in art and craft projects; knitting, needlepoint, weaving, quilting and sewing. During my high school years, I took many private art classes where I practiced drawing, sculpture, watercolor painting, printmaking, ceramics, and stained glass.

While I hold a bachelor’s degree in art history and a master's degree in communication from Boston University, I acquired all my skills and the joy of silk painting and sewing silk mainly through intensive workshops, classes, and internships. I have taken several fabric painting and dyeing workshops at the Pro Chemical and Dye Company in Fall River, MA, including several with the respected silk painter and author, Susan Louise Moyer (Silk Painting for Fashion Fine Art and Silk Painting and The Artist’s Guide to Gutta and Wax Resist Techniques). In 2003 I studied Intensive Silk Painting with silk painter Sissi Siska, whose couture fabrics have appeared on the runways of Perry Ellis, Marc Jacobs, and Issac Mizrahi. I have also studied with established and innovative silk painters; Suzanne Punch, Jan Janas, and Natasha Foucault and interned with Lisa Michaels of Very Eclectic Clothing, who creates very fine silk painted garments and quilted jackets.

Since 2002, I have been a member of SPIN (Silk Painters International), and I have participated in many of their educational events and conferences for many years. In June 2002, I attended the weeklong International Silk Painters Conference (SPIN) in Washington, D.C., where I studied and networked with some of the most talented silk artists in the country and the world. In July, 2004 I attended SPIN again, this time in Santa Fe, New Mexico, learning screen printing on silk and working with thickened dyes. I attended again in July 2006 and studied intensively with Jan Janas, learning how to paint on previously assembled silk garments, such as a kimono.

More about Nicole

Today you can purchase my work at The Cambridge Artists Cooperative in Harvard Square and at Artitudes Gallery in Newton, MA and by appointment in my studio at Gorse Mill Studios in Needham, MA. I have participated in numerous juried craft fairs and open studio events throughout the New England area: The Coolidge Corner Arts Festival, South Shore Art Center, Codman House Art Festival, Somerville’s ArtBeat Festival, Boston Festival for the Arts, Harvard Square Holiday Fair, and many more.

My art studio is located at Gorse Mill Studios and participate in Open Studio events there. I was the lead art teacher in an after school program in Arlington, MA and previously taught arts and crafts to elementary school aged children at the Cabot After School Program in Newton, MA. I offer silk painting and other arts and craft lessons and classes in my studio in Needham.