Thursday, April 2, 2020

April 1 Post - Travis Nicks

The last month hit my art pretty hard. I felt like I was finding my feet exploring a new artistic style integrating mark-making into stylized landscapes. The places I chose were all personally compelling to me. I altered the stylized lines each time to meet the mood of the piece but kept consistency in spacing, medium (soft graphite), and tone. The goal of each piece was to be exciting. Then my Grandmother died. She was an awesome lady. Fun, tough as nails, and full of life. My family is incapable of informing separate generations of problems that come up, so I had no real idea of how severe her most recent illness was. I just woke up to a text from my dad that she died. I wasn't in the mood to draw pretty landscapes.

Over the next 3 weeks, we descended further into isolation this time from the coronavirus. Each quarantine step is progressively worse. My work has taken a decidedly dark tone. I'm trying to take the same excitement I'd worked into previous pieces, but expressing what I'm feeling now. I'm not melancholy, I just resent the death of my Grandmother. I'm ready again to be exciting in making stylized landscapes, but I'm limited in view to the impressively ugly grey-brown apartment box outside my window. Complete with all the 2000's new construction trappings: rigid lines of cheap siding, unadorned venting pipes jutted through the roof, unkept thorned bushes, white trim, etc. In the absence of pretty places, I'm drawing what I feel. "The virus" is gross, aggressive, and unappealing. Drawn in graphite with gray and black India ink accents. "The afterlife" is missing two colorful components (pink rose, ruby jewel) that are to cover the white portion shortly. Still working on those. The background is several layers of graphite and grey ink for depth, with black ink for sheen. Then ribbons of dark latex paint covered in charcoal; the closest imitation to the light-absorbing vantablack. 

The attached pieces are: "The Virus" and "The afterlife" (unfinished).


  1. Hi Travis,
    Check out Terry Winters' work. I think you'll see a connection to your recent work. Marks and textures.

  2. Hi Travis,
    I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother. The Afterlife piece is really dark and beautiful; I can't wait to see it finished.