All Eyes On: Nicole Botto

About Me

I was born in Los Angeles, California and relocated with my husband and three children to New England in 2011. A daughter of two successful painters, Mark Strickland and Leslie Sayour, I grew up immersed in the artist’s lifestyle. Late nights painting, attending art shows and observing live models were typical to my early childhood. I spent many hours in my dad’s classroom at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, participating as a guest student and absorbing my father’s eccentric art lessons. I recall painting next to my mother as a young girl, listening to Billy Holiday and watching her confident brush strokes, as she painted beautiful floral still life oil paintings that she is now acclaimed for.

I have been an artist from the beginning, but I turned to art as a career in my early 40’s. My work is dynamic and varied in genre. I am inspired by natural beauty, urban settings and contemporary structures. Everyday materials, both natural and man made can be found in my collage art. It’s hard for me to be restricted to just paint, canvas and brush. I always feel a calling for texture and layering in most of the things that I create. I will find a piece of string, fabric, a crayon…salt, dirty paint water- you name it, it’s fair game. My strategy for painting is to be absent of thought and ego -it’s the “anti-strategy”. It’s the ultimate self love and no-judgement zone, to allow oneself to play with art like a kid and be a conduit for the creative. It’s not easy to access this place so when I feel it I have to run with it!

Nicole Botto photgraphed by Greta D. Photography 

My close friends and family know that I absolutely love to be given a creative challenge…like designing a costume or solving a dilemma with a creative and artistic solution. The engineer and inventor side of me is called into action when a client comes to me and asks me to make something for them that I haven’t done before with a space in mind. This is truly an exciting and fun part of my job because I get to invent something new in concert with a client or designer. It’s so much fun to have a client be involved. It is inspiring to have a client involved in the artistic process. While challenging at times, it proves to be the most rewarding when they have their own creativity vested in the process and product.

What I love the most about this career path is being allowed to explore my inventive curiosity while also experiencing the meditative state of creativity. It’s this duality that drives me.

Arrow, 2018
Encaustic on birch board, 20 x 20 inches
Blossoms, 2019
Mixed media collage, 36 x 36 inches
Falling, 2020
Acrylic, 30 x 40 inches
Pieces, 2020
Mixed media collage, 30 x 40 inches
Imperfect Circles, 2018
Mixed media, 32 x 46 inches
Skulls, 2019
Mixed media collage, 26 x 30 inches
For more information about the artist, please visit:
Instagram: @nsbfinearts

All Photographs courtesy of Nicole Botto
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