Enjoy painter Nikki Carr’s impeccable portfolio that celebrates her great love of animals. See more artwork by visiting her website.
I am a realist artist, drawn to convey a sense of spirit or emotion in all my subjects. They range from the human form and face to animals, both large and small.
I have a particular interest in equine and wildlife subjects and enjoy capturing the play of light and shadow or an expression of emotion or movement. I do not paint to make a statement or as a commentary on our world. Rather, I paint to reflect the beauty and wonder that is all around us.
Originally from New Zealand, I now reside in the United Kingdom. I’ve been fascinated by faces and figures, both human and animal, as far back as I can remember, and relished my art education at school. My artistic journey, however, took a long and winding road. I earned several music degrees and had a rewarding musical career before picking up a paintbrush again. During this time, I continued to develop my awareness of shape, form, light and shadow. When I finally returned to my easel many years later, it felt like coming home.
I am often asked, “Where do you start when you begin a new piece?” and my answer is almost always, “With the eye.” For me, the eye is truly the window to the soul. It is here that I will find the character, emotion and often, the beginnings of a conversation. I will not move on until I have captured everything that I want to say with the eye. This in turn usually informs how I approach the rest of the painting.
I am also endlessly fascinated by the relationship between the structure—both skeletal and muscular— and the surface of the body. This is particularly evident when I am painting a horse. They are, by nature, a contradiction with sublime beauty and softness on the outside, and a muscular structure capable of enormous power and strength beneath.
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Capturing this duality is both a passion and struggle that is likely to last a lifetime!
The majority of my work is either in oils or in charcoal. I enjoy the colour and freedom of oils, but also the more restrictive black and white palette when working with charcoal, using only light and tone to express form.
More recently, I have begun to experiment with 24ct gold leaf as a background to some of my oil paintings. I love the interplay between the gold leaf and the paint. I build up the leaf in many layers to create a beautiful swirling texture that reflects light in many directions. Looking at it from various angles gives the viewer a multitude of different effects.
As well as taking on commissions, I release several collections throughout the year on my website and exhibit regularly at United Kingdom and International Contemporary art fairs.
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