About Nicola Jones Artist Posted on 16 Apr 17:57

When artist Nicola Jones was invited to Bute for a visit by a friend she had no idea it would be the start of a love affair with the island.

Nicola's first visit to the island was just after she left university and she loved Bute so much that she decided to move there as she explains: "As soon as the ferry turned into the bay and I saw the view of the island I just fell in love with it.  I'm originally from the west coast but I just adored this place.

However, when I moved here I obviously had to find work so I decided to set up a shop in Rothesay called The Studio Shop.  I only had £1,000 to set it up so I took on the lease, put some of my work on the wall and that was the start of the adventure."

Nicola was experimenting with her own art at the time but like most people she wanted to do something she loved and still be able to eat and pay the bills.  "I knew something would come out my experimentation due largely to the positive feedback I received. The consensus was 'wow this is really different' so I just had to run with it to see how far it could go."

Described as 'representational' Nicola's style is certainly an interesting one:  one that has created much debate among fellow artists.  Bright, colourful, fun and unique her work is created by a

tablet and pen which enables Nicola to bypass paper and canvas to draw straight onto her computer.  Nicola continues:   "I work from photographs to make sure I get all the details right.

Then I use the computer tools of brushes and lines to create the composition and then work with the colour.  I like to be accurate, so if there are cars in front of a building that I want to photograph I can

be back ten times to capture the detail, just to make sure I've got it all correct, although I do at times bend my own rules and use my artistic licence!  The images dictate their final state. The style sits on the view and the view does the rest.

"I'd like to take the images to the next stage. On one level this is a final product but on another it's also the first step.

However, my ideal is to live in my happy little pictures - I want a house in the country, with a cat and lots of

peace and quiet - welcome to my world!

"The images can take up to four days to create. Traditional bias dictates that the computer does all the work but that simply isn't the case.  If you look closely at the work you'll see that the curves aren't perfect and the placing of things is quite random.  If the computer was doing this it would be

flawless."

Nicola's technique evolved from her experiments with drawing and photography. With her training in these disciplines she combined her vision with the tools available on the multimedia platform.  "My first picture was the view of Rothesay harbour from my flat.  It was two photos that I wanted to merge as one.

As I couldn't, I drew it on the computer instead."

Nicola has now been working in this style for four years and has created a wide ranging collection including landscapes of Bute, Glasgow streetscapes and landscapes and buildings abroad.

"I like concentrating on an area and searching out the right angles to draw," she explains.  "I'd like to work all over the world.

I've recently worked on some Mediterranean views and I'd like to do more."  In addition to this, Nicola also makes wonderful, cartoon-like versions of her style which appeal to children.  "My work is collected by all ages," she says.  "My youngest customer is three and my oldest is over 90.  I think the colours provide the appeal - vibrant and bright.

I feel that we all have hard lives and it's nice to have pictures where everything is happy and fun."

Another common theme in Nicola's work is the absence of cars and people. Nicola explains laughing: "I don't particularly like cars - welcome to my world!

I show what's there today but without today's hectic pace" - for example a quiet Sauchiehall Street!

Today, Nicola splits her time working between Bute and Glasgow but has given up The Studio Shop in Rothesay.  "The shop needed a lot of investment and was taking me away from my art," she recalls.  "Now I get the chance to devote my time to my work."

This article was found in ........ magazine 19.....