Nicole Schyns is a visual artist based in the Netherlands. She creates abstract paintings and collages, that explore various relationships between humankind and nature. In her mixed media collages, Nicole incorporates natural materials, such as dried leaves. She will often change the original form as a critical reflection on what people are so often inclined to do: to shape nature according to their wishes and needs. Those collages then form a source of inspiration for Nicole’s paintings. As liquid paint and ink flow freely over the canvas, they form an unpredictable, natural foundation. In contrast to that, layers that are applied in a controlled manner, represent human intervention.
HOW I WORK
Abstraction, minimalism and transparency are visual aspects that have fascinated me for years and that you will see reflected in my work. Those subjects were already visible in my photographic work, as I often took photographs through ice, water and glass. This resulted in a contrast of blurred and sharp areas - a contrast I like to achieve in my collages and paintings as well.
A collage often starts with a graphite rubbing.
With a graphite bar in my hand, I take a print of the place I am at. The texture of the stone ground on which I stand or the bark of a tree next to me is revealed.
During my walks, I consciously pay attention to the plants around me and collect material. The branches, leaves and flowers are then dried in my plant press.
Finally the play with the elements begins. Sometimes it takes weeks, sometimes less than half an hour, to come to a satisfying and meaningful result. The colour palette must be right, the composition, the balance of shapes, the feel ...
When everything is in place, I pick up my needle and thread. I try to glue as little as possible.
The needle piercing through the paper and the thread connecting one element to the other, completes the artwork for me. It reflects the fragility of nature and provides a surprising interplay of lines that unifies the entire composition.
You will recognise this play of lines in my paintings as well.
Fluid paints and ink create the base layers of my paintings. I think of them as nature: the uncontrollable wild spirit we are grounded in. I let those layers flow across the canvas and let myself be surprised by the unpredictable outcome and beauty.
In contrast to that I create further layers that I control with tools or my bare hands. They become less transparent and fluid. These controlled layers to me represent humankind.
Playing with the contrast of the free and controlled,
I explore different landscapes in which either nature or humankind prevails.
Throughout the painting process, I draw or scratch lines using oil pastels or the back of my brush. This line play to me is a layer in between humanity and nature. There is a certain controlled and uncontrolled aspect to it. As the line goes above and beneath the paint as well as cutting through the multiple layers, it connects and unites the whole piece; just as the thread does in my collages.
I am in love with our planet and its beautiful, mesmerising nature and at the same time I am part of the species that slowly destroys just that.
Human intervention in nature and the alarming effects it has on our planet is a subject I deal with on a daily basis.
I believe that we are all born with the love for our natural environment. As we grow up, many challenges cross our paths and can disconnect us from that love, that I believe is vital for us as a species. With my art practice I hope to create awareness for mother nature and help to reconnect people to their inner feelings.
The world is a gift. Let’s be grateful and handle it with care.
I love collaborating with other artists and designers
I'm into minimalism and decreasing the amount of things I own
I’d like to call myself a vegetarian but I can’t resist the taste of salmon (yet)
I practice yoga since the age of twelve
I get very enthusiastic about lovely interiors
My husband is a scientist focussing on sustainable water management
I am a mother of two boys
I have a former stray dog from Romania
I speak German, Dutch, English and Polish
I love playing video games
I love Hayao Miyazaki movies
I love to sing
I practiced the art of photography for over seven years and am passing on my knowledge in the form of SKILLSHARE online creative photography classes.
I sell prints of my paintings and photography prints via WERKAANDEMUUR.NL