“Using my surroundings as an inspiration, I first painted abstract landscapes and cityscapes from photographs taken while traveling abroad. After studying the Impressionists at a young age, I became fascinated with their loose brushwork and mastery of light. The influence of these techniques shows in the progression of my early work, which reflects both real and abstract principles. While living in France my work became more refined, with a simultaneous shift towards realism. Eventually, the inspirational imagery I was using ceased to interest me, and I began experimenting with new techniques and expanding further into abstraction.
My work is done intuitively. It is rooted in emotions, ideas, and nature, but never a specific image. My paintings are in close conversation with my surroundings—particularly the proximity of the water to my studio—and my paintings often reference landscapes and a horizon. My recent work explores the concept of light and darkness coexisting, both literally and metaphorically. I am interested in the emotional representation of paradoxes. With these paintings, my intention is to not use white as a color, but rather as a tool to illustrate exquisitely subtle nuances.
Each brushstroke is intentional, and I am drawn to the constant struggle of losing and regaining control of the paint. This work is physically demanding. I build the canvases myself, and they are often larger than me. I am constantly rotating and adjusting the height of the canvas, shifting my position, and moving while painting. Although orchestrating the compositions and working at this scale can be demanding, I enjoy the challenge immensely.”
Nikki Vismara is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she majored in Visual and Critical Studies. She completed a MA specializing in Paleolithic Art at l’Université Lumière in Lyon, France. Vismara lived in France for nearly a decade, where she taught English and Art History at the university level. In 2013, she returned to her native California, where she resides and works in San Francisco. Vismara’s artwork can be found in private collections in the United States and Europe.