Nicole Strasburg was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1966. In the early 1970’s, the Strasburg family moved to Santa Barbara, California when Nicole’s father accepted a position at the University as a set and lighting design instructor. He had studied as a painter and received a degree in painting from the University of Utah. Nicole was greatly influenced by her father as a painter; the act of his painting, the solitary intimacy, the smell of turpentine, and the proximity to creative people all worked to ignite a creative spark in her mind.
Nicole was initially drawn to mathematics and had tentative sights set on a career in engineering. In her junior year of high school, however, Nicole was taken from a beginning drawing course and put directly into an advanced placement class. She worked primarily in graphite creating portraits of friends and of her self to master the art of drawing, At the urging of her art instructor, she completed an artist’s portfolio during her senior year to help gain entrance into a university. Nicole applied for and won a fellowship to the College of Creative Studies art department at UCSB. Still working primarily in graphite, it wasn’t until her junior year of college that she began her “long struggle with learning how to use oil and color.” Nicole completed a bachelor of arts degree in painting and drawing at UCSB and a few years later she spent a semester abroad in Paris, France.
Nicole’s work is increasingly sought after by collectors and has appeared on the cover and within the Sundance catalog as a popular sales item. Her aptitude with numbers compliments the business of marketing and making a living from art. Combining her left and right brain talents has made Nicole Strasburg a very successful living artist.
3:07 | Narrated by Susan Bush | Released for THE RIVER'S JOURNEY: A Wider View, 2018
3:43 | Narrated by Susan Bush | Released for Nicole Strasburg: 50 / 50, 2016
3:33 | Narrated by Susan Bush | Released for Nicole Strasburg: New Terrain, 2013
3:09 | Narrated by Frank Goss | Released for Nicole Strasburg: Islands, Valley, Home, 2011
For centuries, the compass rose has served as a directional tool. ROSE COMPASS, a group of six women from Santa Barbara County (Connie Connally, Holli Harmon, Libby Smith, Nicole Strasburg, Nina Warner, and Pamela Zwehl-Burke) is charting a path to increase environmental awareness through art.
This delightful show of five artists sharing a common interest is the product of curator Susan Bush’s observation that when it comes to eco-consciousness among contemporary artists, there’s something special about bears. Adonna Khare, Beth Van Hoesen, Susan McDonnell, Pamela Kendall Schiffer, and Nicole Strasburg may all have started out expressing their fascination with these extraordinary animals independently, but encountering the work together, the viewer is left with no choice but to accept that there’s now a distinct bear area in art.
Landscape and animal paintings are tough. Not tough to digest, but tough to review. Like portraits and landscapes, animal paintings are what they are—they depict, though not necessarily through ideas. They are meant to look a certain way. Mostly they are meant to entice a viewer by technique, use of color, or style.
A few years ago, Sullivan Goss curator Susan Bush began to notice the number of artists regularly depicting bears in their works. Artists had begun to choose bears as their subject matter not only to show the profound beauty of the animal but also to raise awareness to their fragile existence and habitat in North America.
The Contemporary Bear Area Artists exhibition aims to showcase the majestic North American bear while informing visitors of the effects that a growing human population, climate change and changes in hunting regulations have on bears.
To the gradually expanding list of cultural traditions defining Christmastime in Santa Barbara, we must fully acknowledge “100 Grand,” if it hasn’t already had its place secured on the official list.
Now in its seventh year and looking healthy and splendid, “100 Grand” is the pithily, cryptically and a accurately named exhibition at Sullivan Goss that offers art-hungry (and neophyte art-buying) Santa Barbarans a crack at 100 artworks priced under $1,000.
California may continue to develop and change, but one thing stays the same: its landscape remains the muse of the masses.
Sullivan Goss—An American Gallery invites you to ruminate on Collecting California, an exhibition covering an array of paintings from the late 1800s through today. The pieces capture the idyllic and diverse beauty of the land, from rugged seascapes and plunging waterfalls to undulating ranch land and serene sunrises—infusing the imagination with a sense of possibility and optimism for the future.
AN ANALYSIS OF THE ARTIST'S WORK
Nicole Strasburg’s paintings depict a reverence for nature. They are studied and focused showing how the artist spent time in meditation of a particular scene or environment. Nicole’s paintings pay homage to land, sea, and sky and share the moment of reverie she experienced in nature. While her work is not a direct translation of what she visually witnessed, it is a record of her inner world and how it was touched by a particular pairing of sea and sky or changing light on a grass covered mountain. An avid swimmer, Nicole’s close relationship to and understanding of water combines with her artistic vision to create intimate portraits of water’s ever-changing look.
The environments that Nicole records can evolve into abstract shapes, colors and brushstrokes. It is the paring down and minimalizing of shapes that give her images a contemporary look and not that of a traditional landscape artist. She describes her own work as “…impressionistic with a contemporary edge.”.Nicole has a unique technique for painting and materials:
"I choose to work on birch panels because they are easily manipulated by wiping, sanding, scraping, and drawing. My process of building the image becomes as much about putting on the paint as it is removing it. This process creates depth and movement between the layers of paint while keeping the surface of the painting relatively smooth."
The process of applying the paint and then removing it echoes the ebb and flow of the ocean tides evident in so many of Nicole’s paintings. Also evident is the precision and exactness of Nicole’s mathematical mind that is beautifully tempered by intuition and an emotional sensitivity to her surrounding environment.
2001 Atelier Richard Tullis, Printmaking
2000 College of Santa Fe, Printmaking
1991 Santa Barbara City College Study Abroad Arts Program from France
1988 UC at Santa Barbara, B.A. in Drawing & Painting, with Honors & Distinction in the Major
1988 Abrams Prize
AWARDS & AFFILIATIONS
2001 Los Angeles Printmakers Association
2001 Santa Barbara Printmakers Association
1991 Fellowship International Study Abroad
1988 Presidents Undergraduate Fellowship, UC at Santa Barbara
Craig Krull, Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce, Santa Barbara, CA
Jackson Browne, Santa Barbara, CA
Bejo Seeds, Oceano, CA
Ontario Surgery Center, Ontario, CA
Dr. & Mrs. Larry Sherman, Camarillo, CA
Dr. & Mrs. Myron Bloom, New York, NY
Lucinda Walker, Paramount Pictures, Los Angeles, CA
Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Murphy, Santa Monica, CA
2016 Nicole Strasburg: 50/50, Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA
2013 Nicole Strasburg: New Terrain, Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA
2011 Nicole Strasburg: Islands, Valleys, Home, Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA
2009 Nicole Strasburg: Air, Earth, Fire, Water, Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA
2007 Nicole Strasburg: Tidal Change, Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA
2006 40+40@40, Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA
2004 Individual Artist Award Show, recipient for printmaking by Santa Barbara Arts Fund, Arts Fund Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2003, 2002 Lisa Coscino Gallery, Monterey, CA
2002 Art in the Vault, online gallery
2001 Atelier Richard Tullis, Santa Barbara, CA
Group Exhibitions (selected list):
2004 Atelier Richard Tullis, 20-Year Retrospective Exhibition, University Art Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
2004 Cover & featured artist, Sundance summer catalog
2004 Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Art Rental & Sales Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2004 11th Annual Santa Barbara Printmakers Competition, Second Prize, Juror Tobey Moss of Tobey Moss Gallery
2002 Women Beyond Borders, University Art Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
2002 Second City Council, Long Beach, CA (Juried)
2002 Los Angeles Printmaking Society, Old Town Gallery, Tustin, CA
2002, 2001, 2000 Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, CA
2001 Bloomingdale Park Museum, Bloomingdale, Illinois
2001 Sausalito Art Festival, Sausalito, CA
2001 Connecticut Graphic Arts Center (print exhibit)
2001 Santa Barbara Printmakers Association (First Prize)
2001 Hansen Howard Gallery, Ashland, OR
2001, 2000 Lisa Coscino Gallery, Monterey, CA
2000 CA Collector’s Gallery, Kentfield, CA
2000 Santa Barbara City College, CA ( Juried)
2000 Le Merridien, Beverly Hills, CA
2000 Terrain, San Francisco, CA
2000 College of Creative Studies, UC at Santa Barbara, CA