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Artist Statement & Biography

Why do I paint? A favorite German expression comes to mind: es muss sein. It must be. I don’t have much say in the matter because I have always been an artist. Ever since I was a young girl, the desire to create has been there. This is what I am and what I do. 


What drives me to paint is another matter, however. There was a period of time when life events took hold and I didn’t create anything. It was difficult to envision a future that I wanted to be a part of. A health scare that followed prompted me to recognize that I could not separate myself from my passion. To come back to life, I had to find a way to bring creating to the forefront.  


I fought back with brushstrokes and with each painting slowly but steadily regained strength. It was like grafting a tree in order for it to produce the desired fruit; I found within myself a splinter from which I could re-insert back into myself who I was and what I was meant to do.


“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger - something better, pushing right back.” 

- Albert Camus


All art is an expression of being alive. There are no options around death, we don’t get to choose whether or not we die. But every moment of every day that we are alive every one of us has the opportunity to express ourselves in a multitude of ways.


The undercurrent of my work is an attempt to demonstrate this concept of possibilities by producing my own individual expressions of being alive. For viewers, it is a subtle reminder that they too have access to different ways of expressing themselves. The intention is to inspire others to release themselves from any sense of confinement that they feel.


This sentiment is reflected in my work through the juxtaposition of elements and techniques that create movement, tension, and contrast that often dissipate towards the edges of the canvas. This provides a sense of expansiveness.


My work is often described by others as bold, playful, and sensual regardless of the subject and I think that’s because, no matter what I’m painting, I am inserting myself into the composition like some kind of fluid detective who must uncover the mystery of the blank canvas. The blank canvas itself is really a metaphor for the present moment, and like John Cage’s silent symphony, the deliberate absence of sound – or color and texture – is an irresistible invitation. One is compelled to react. And in that process, to learn, discover, share, and grow.


Going back to the beginning - I was born in Winnipeg, Canada in 1986, and have lived in California, Hawaii, and Colorado. I was 14 years old when I sold my first painting. 


Later, I studied art at the University of Colorado under contemporary realist painter Chuck Forsman along with psychology.


Initially, I pursued psychology and was fortunate to co-author a couple of books with past APA President, Dr. Philip Zimbardo. His decades of research on how external variables can influence human behavior greatly impacted the lens through which I see the world. Thus, the pursuit of both truth and balance has driven my writing and research as much as it has influenced my artwork.


In 2019, I started an art studio in Boulder, Colorado, where I create large modern paintings and mixed media pieces. My paintings have been featured in several publications and have been shown both in the US and abroad.


Current gallery representation and showings:

Nikita Coulombe Fine Art, Boulder, Colorado

Guest House, Denver, Colorado

Previous gallery representation and showings:

Carla Wright Gallery, Denver, Colorado


Current licensing representation:

Roaring Brook Art, Elmsford, New York


Group exhibitions and projects:

Downtown Boulder Foundation, Boulder Alley Gallery project, Boulder, Colorado, 2019 (Lift Off)

Juried exhibitions:

Monochromatic: A National Juried Exhibition at LHUCA, Lubbock, Texas, 2019 (Portal I)

Private and public collections:

JoSak Shipping, Colorado

Voices for Children CASA, Colorado

25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii

Private collectors:

Ms. D. Whittier, California

Mr. H. Williams, California

Dr. J. Luque, California

Mr. & Mrs. K. & G. Mantyla, California

Ms. K. Rankin, California

Mr. O. Jacob, California

Ms. S. Taylor, California

Mr. & Mrs. J. & E. Albritton-McDonald, Colorado

Mr. & Mrs. S. & A. Harris, Colorado

Ms. H. Weinberg, Colorado

Ms. J. Diles, Colorado

Ms. N. Katebini, Colorado

Mr. J. Onysko, Colorado

Mr. & Mrs. S. and L. Barbarian, Colorado

Mr. R.C. Hall, Florida

Mr. & Mrs. W. & K. Carrick, Florida

Mr. J.P.B. Koch, Georgia

Ms. S. Phelan, Hawaii

Mr. & Mrs. J. & N. Pugh, Nevada

Ms. V. Monet, Nevada

Ms. C. Harris, New York

Mr. S. Dumain, New York

Mr. & Mrs. L. & D. Paulson, North Dakota

Ms. R. Cross, Ontario

Mr. T. Ward, Texas

Mr. B. Fischer, Texas

Mr. M. Zitterkopf, Wyoming


Boulder Art Association

Boulder County Arts Alliance

NoBo Art District

Press and publications:

Meet the Maker: Nikita Coulombe