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Nicole Carey


Nicole Carey | Charleston, WV

Familiar Skies

17” x 14” | India Ink, Water Based Markers, Paint Pens  


Artist Statement

Familiar Skies

My initial intention for this piece was to create an accurate representation of plane trails. I shifted that goal in order to fit what was happening on paper, so I ended up creating a more surreal interpretation of clouds.


The setting of this piece is right outside of my house. I chose this setting because it felt fitting for my interpretation of “flight.” I’ve never been in a plane or dreamt of flying, and I don’t have any familial ties to the activity. That being said, I do live pretty close to an airport. Close enough, at least, for the windows in my house to shake when a plane is a little too close when landing or taking off.


I wanted to capture the feeling of looking up past my house and seeing the remnants of the planes that pass by. The transition from old, worn teal to a bright blue and the perspective in this piece were both meant to create a sense of ascension. So, I felt comfortable letting go of my plan to illustrate plane trails. I wanted the focal point of the piece to be in the sky, either way, so I decided to embrace what I had going on. I wanted to create a sense of movement within this piece -- in both the clouds and the house. I included layers of line, hatching, and curving shapes to make the clouds twist and the wood more recognizable as wood.


Recently, I’ve been trying to experiment with different ways of rendering texture. This project was another instance of that. I decided to use a less representational approach with the house. The clouds, however, were even more stylized. I wanted them to seem wispy yet dense. The density was mostly to help anchor them as a focal point.

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