For this month, the Winnipeg River Arts Council features visual artist Nicki Blatz. A long-time resident of the area, she has lived in Great Falls since she was eleven years old, over forty-five years ago.
Recently retired, she made a New Year’s resolution to paint, sketch or draw every day. She says, “Fortunately, that is one resolution I have been good at keeping.”
When asked about her preferred medium, she says that she previously “dabbled with acrylics.” But, since last October, she has been exploring the use of watercolour paints. Last fall, she created a small collection of greeting cards for the Great Falls Christmas craft sale. She says, “I liked the medium and was surprised by how well my work turned out.”
When she was a kid, Blatz learned how to make art by sitting and drawing. She also remembers her grandfather giving advice about line placement and offering tips on how to create a more realistic picture. She says, “Those few hints made my pictures look so much better!”
In high school, she took art classes with Sister Pauline, a legendary art teacher who worked at Powerview School. For several decades, this talented and enthusiastic nun inspired hundreds of students (and adults) interested in all forms of art.
To further hone her skills, Blatz has participated in numerous workshops given by well-known Victoria Beach artist Nancy Lou Ateah. Blatz also takes the time to watch YouTube tutorials. Other than the printed greeting cards, she has not exhibited her work but feels encouraged by the response to her cards.
When asked what inspires her as an artist, she says, “I have always loved painting and drawing or art in general. I love observing Nature, light and shadow, water, flowers, birds, and outdoor scenes.”