INTERVIEW with SCOTT NICKERSON
Home - Tinton Falls, NJ
Studio - Ocean Township, NJ
Classes - Colorest Art Supply, Red Bank, NJ
Since graduation from SVA in 1996 I have been painting commissioned portraits and still life's. Over the years I have portrayed many notable people and numerous family portraits. A recent notable family portrait was that of the Valastro family. Buddy Valastro is the star of the TLC show Cake Boss as well as the owner of Carlo's Bakery franchise and Buddy V's restaurants.
I find every painting to hold a new and exciting challenge that is nothing like the others in the past. I enjoy meeting new people and creating heirlooms for generations to come.
School of Visual Arts BFA, 1996
Art Students League of NY, 2000-2002
Studio Incamminati, Part time 2002-2004
WHAT IS A LITTLE KNOWN FACT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?
I am genuinely a shy person. Initially I had no intentions of becoming an instructor. After I had graduated college and moved to Red Bank, NJ I was approached by a local teacher to become her replacement at an artists' guild. This forced me to become more outgoing. Now after 17 years, I am confident and very comfortable painting in front of a large group of people. I know that being an instructor has had a tremendous impact on me as a person and an artist.
NELSON SHANKS ONCE SAID TO YOU, "OUR DUTY IS TO SHOW PEOPLE HOW WE SEE COLOR." WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU AND HOW DO YOU ACCOMPLISH THIS IN YOUR PAINTINGS?
It is our duty to push the colors to their extremes. Nothing is brown. It's more of a collection of Orange and reddish type colors with cools like purple and green to cancel out the intensity of that warmth. Previously to my studies with Nelson, I was in the class of Steven Assael at SVA. He was also very color oriented within the realms of temperature. So with all of that behind me it was inevitable to see strong color and have that be the basis of my work. Color can be used to maintain symmetry and balance within the composition as well as creating mood and evoking feelings. At times it's like cooking a pot of soup and tasting it to see what could make it better.
I begin a painting working from dark to light, transparent to opaque. The example I give to my students is Land and Sea. The shadows are like the sea, darker, more transparent and flat. The lights represent the mountainous landscape, opaque, thick paint, full of texture. In terms of value we look at a pyramid, with the darks at ground level and each step up a value lighter. So our highlight would be at its smallest and highest peak. If we're building a pyramid we need to begin with the darks and work toward the lights.
WHAT TOOLS DO YOU USE IN THIS PROCESS?
Fatty mediums are utilized in keeping the shadows described above more translucent and free of brushwork. Working with medium also gives me more time to work before it is completely dry.
As for brushes, I begin with bristle brushes, mostly small fans and large filberts. Later I will use mops and sables of all sizes to manipulate the paint. I have found Escoda brushes to be the best for their quality and versatility. Although I do work with many brands such as Silver, Windsor & Newton, and Robert Simmons, most of my collection tends to be Escoda.
As for palettes, I favor the warm red toned Posh table top palette that was inspired by Steven Assael. It's tone is instrumental in seeing the cool subtlety within the skin-tones, that would otherwise go unnoticed. (Note, the warm red toned POSH is exclusively available through Colorest Art Supplies in Redbank, NJ. Orders can be made over the phone or in store. Palette displayed in image above)
When I need to stand and paint I will use either the New Wave Academian or the Grand View Confidant so that I can hold the palette close as I walk back a forth from the easel.
DO YOU HAVE ANY UPCOMING SHOWS OR CLASSES?
I have ongoing classes at Colorest Art Supply in Red Bank NJ and see as many as 75 students on a weekly basis. Classes range from portrait painting to life drawing , still life painting and just learning techniques. Many of my students have advanced to take on commissions of their own and are selling their work.
I was recently a part of the Allied Artists of America 103rd Annual Exhibition held at the Salmagundi Club in NYC. I received the American Artists Professional League Award for traditional Realism. I do work for myself in between commissions but have no set date for a showing. I am going to build a collection of figurative paintings for a solo show in the near future.