Though I’m known more for stained glass work, in the past 7 years I’ve had the fortune of being invited to paint public art works. It is a pleasure to be asked to coordinate painters to fulfill Ed Tuchler’s idea of five windows looking out onto a garden. The idea was to have different hands create scenes as interpreted by the individual artists. My intention was not to orchestrate but notice what would naturally “become” as we each worked, and that there would be a common thread that would flow organically. I didn’t bring the painters together for the purpose of discussion in the process in the beginning because I didn’t want to influence anyone’s natural tendency. To determine one element that would be consistent, I asked for red to be used. The unexpected element that flowed through all of the paintings was yellow. The three narratives in the middle with close-ups as bookends was also not planned but a satisfying development.
Knowing I would paint one of the windows myself, I focused on how my painting could tie the others together but include my personal spin. Originally, I was to be the last painter but with changes that happened during the process, I became third in line. At that point I decided to carve out a spot for sustenance gardening. I added the blue mountains to the horizon honoring our local landscape. Working alongside painters I have high respect for has been an unfolding flower of anticipation and wonder as the paintings have progressed. It’s been the most unique of all the collaborative projects I’ve participated in, and I’ve enjoyed it immensely.
Nikki graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1980 with a BFA in Painting and Printmaking.
We had the feeling we were working with someone we could believe and rely on. We also appreciated Shelter’s concern for the environment, and the energy conservation built into our house.
We were impressed with the people on the Shelter team. Without exception, we found them to be friendly, helpful and concerned about the quality of their work. The result is apparent in the excellent fit and finish of the work. We are very happy with our new home, and grateful to you for building it so well for us.
Peg and Dick B., November 1995