By SHEA STANFIELD
The “stuff” of life is the inspiration for the color, shape and textures of Nicolette Maguire Bonnstetter’s abstract realism style of art. According to Nicolette, “It is all how color and black space play and resonate with one another.”
Although the objects are very personal, they aren’t the most important focus of her complex and intricate pieces. The long-forgotten cuff links, pieces of ribbon, stuffed toy or favorite holiday tree ornament are all items that are recognizable from one’s life.
“You will recognize the subjects in her work from your childhood, your travels, your loves, the fashion old and new. On a very personal level she draws you in with the images and hugs you in color and space,” says Nicolette, while commenting on a review of her work that called it archival.
Nicolette is an art educator working for the last 30 years at the college and university level in the Midwest. As an adjunct art professor, she enjoyed helping others to discover the joy of art in their own lives.
“At the college level, the students are all ages and backgrounds. They come together to explore their own creativity and to expand their understanding of art and how it relates to culture and the world we live in,” she commented.
She taught her students that art is the record of culture; it serves as a snapshot for the events, ideas, fashions and life during a period of history. We experience our history through art and everyday objects that have their origins in design.
Women are often a main theme in Nicolette’s art. She has always had an eye for detail, color, texture and shape. Her art took a more direct focus several years ago while teaching a Women in Art course at the university.
This exploration set Nicolette and her students off on an entirely personal path of discovery. They found themselves “close and personal” with the physical, emotional and cultural issues of women through time.
Women artists have become the dream weavers of the world’s cultures. They define how we connect to our community, as well as across nations. Nicolette’s images reach back and move us forward in haunting and unexpected ways though color placement on negative space.
Recently, Nicolette’s focus has changed. According to her, “Angels seem to be talking to me in my art right now. I think it is the climate of our fractured world.”
The new series is titled “I Use To Be SOOO Much Nicer!” The angels that have fluttered their way into Nicolette’s work are not all sweetness and light, they are angels with attitude!
Nicolette finds them taking on a 3-D shape like wooden angels, which very rudely, have their tongues sticking out, eyes rolling with the message, “I’m not bossy! I just know what you should be doing!”
Nicolette’s wildly colorful and intricate images on a black background are popular with collectors across the country and abroad. Her studio is always open, and she loves to talk about art.
Currently Nicolette’s work is on display in at the Desert Foothills Library in Cave Creek (desertfoothillslibrary.org). Also, in April 2019 she is showing in the “Make Me Laugh” exhibit at the Holland Gallery of Fine Art, located on 60th and Carefree Highway in Scottsdale (azfcf.org).
Contact Arts Columnist Shea Stanfield on firstname.lastname@example.org.