Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Nicci Martin

Note from Mel:  This marks the seventh in a series of ten posts about various artists who work with ephemera.  I put out the call on June 22 and I got some wonderful responses!  

Happy Tuesday, Ephemeraologists!  Today's artist is someone I know very well - Nicci Martin!

Nicci and I met about 2  1/2 years ago, during meetings about the future of Fond du Lac Arts District.  I believe we had conversed briefly on Facebook before that via mutual friends, but even though we'd both lived in town for over a decade, we'd never met (I wasn't hanging out with artists before I quit my job at The Reporter).

Nicci and I hit it off immediately!  We have the same sense of humor and the same disdain for poor grammar and spelling.  I really liked (and like!) that about her.  :D  What also became apparent very quickly was her talent.

In every sense of the word, Nicci is a multi-media artist.  She can effortlessly flow from painted furniture to polymer clay to collage, sometimes in the same day!  Her style is all her own, and the best part about Nicci's work (especially her collage work) is the humor she injects into nearly every piece.  Some pieces may be light-hearted and some a little naughtier, but each reflects Nicci's ability to see the fun in everything.  See for yourself:
"I don't really recall a "start date" as far as ephemera is concerned. It was just always something I've done... collecting bits and pieces! I think it runs in my family. We're all... "collectors" of some sort... like a bunch of noisy crows. I'm always keeping an eye out for a fun old photo or a discarded button or key. And then I swoop in and grab it with my beak. No, wait. I mean my hands. I do sometimes make a "CAW" sound, though."
I have something to "crow" about myself - I am the lucky owner of three of Nicci's pieces!  And because they're all mine, please allow me to unabashedly brag about them.  :D

"Meat" by Nicci Martin
"Meat" is the first piece I owned (please forgive me for my terrible photography!).  I remember seeing it on Nicci's FUNctional Art Facebook page (which is also where she conducts most of her business) and thinking, "I can't believe that someone else besides me likes to make art about slabs of beef!"  I love the shading and marbling of the meat, plus the subtle collaging. Brilliant!  I had it framed in Lucite with an oval mat to highlight its wonderfulness, and it now resides in my kitchen.  :)

"Domestic Goddess"
by Nicci Martin

When I saw this next piece in the window of Wood's Floral in Fond du Lac (where Fond du Lac Visual Arts has a window gallery which changes monthly), I had to have it.  What struck me first was the humor, of course, but also the attention to detail.  I love how Nicci used a jewelry box as a shadow box!  So clever.

"Butterfly Boy is Buying some New Slacks!" by Nicci Martin

This last piece - holy moly.  Where do I begin?  The gorgeously painted background?  That perfect boy?  The fact that it incorporates the word "slacks", one of my favorite words EVER?  To me, this piece is the epitome of Nicci's style.  It's so technically well done, which is why you can actually look past that to the fun of it (and that takes talent!).  Once again, there is marvelous attention to detail, from the tiny collaged butterflies to the mysterious "unaware of what's inside" caption on the box, to the fact that our protagonist is apparently able to fly.  :D  I absolutely adore this piece and I'm very proud to own it.  :D

How lucky I am to have such a talented and fun friend!  :D


  1. That Nicci sure is a talented, fun and funny person, isn't she?! I love her work, especially the funny ones!

    1. I agree, Kristi! I think Nicci's collages are the perfect combo of skilled artistry and humor. But her paintings also have a serene quality that I love as well. :D