Nicola Neutze

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A love of texture and colour

I grew up on a farm in NZ. As a child I had a deep love of, and connection with, the land. I had a horse and spent endless summer days roaming the Canterbury plains. My friends and I would swim the horses in local streams and often not return until after dark. The hard physical work of farming, along with the extraordinary beauty of the place, cemented my soul in the countryside.

I am now a city dweller, living in Adelaide. My family and work are here and I love the place. But, I am driven to escape into the bush at every opportunity! I wander off with my camera and explore. Walking in all seasons, I know the Adelaide Hills trails like the back of my hand. When there is more time, the Flinders Ranges and Grampians are among my favourite places. I feel passionately about the raw beauty and power of our Australian landscape.

The vibrant colours, especially the reds of the earth, the blues of the sky, and the cobalts and aquas of the sea inspire me, and largely inform my work. My work has a strong spiritual aspect. Often the seed of an idea will come to me in meditation, especially with the abstract pieces.

When I was young my mother painted with watercolours. I’m pretty sure that painting was a wonderful escape from four rowdy children! She inspired me greatly and we still have many chats about art.

Early on I was a graphic designer, old school! Then I moved into more caring roles. I am lucky enough to facilitate art groups, where I can share my love of creativity. I enjoy this immensely. Watching others grow and experiment is wonderful. 

I reconnected with the joy of creativity later in life, when, as I design student I discovered Photoshop. The layers, the textures, the brilliant colours! I was in heaven. Being asked to have a solo exhibition led me to pick up a paintbrush and play with paint in the real world! I have awards for both my digital and traditional artwork.

Many artists speak of being afraid of the white of a new canvas. To me this is the most exciting stage of a painting! The sense of freedom and joy letting loose on a new canvas is what keeps me hooked. The love of nature, colour and texture is intrinsic to my painting style.

My current work is largely acrylic/mixed media and I love experimenting with textures, glazes and new materials. This is probably why my work is quite varied. I am driven by curiosity to explore new approaches and techniques. I am excited to keep learning and growing as an artist.