Meet The Artist: Nina Tichava

3/16/2021


Meet The Artist: Nina Tichava

“Our ability to remain flexible within these shifting landscapes and to recognize the impermanence of our experience is significant. What we choose to save and treasure will determine our shared future.” 


Inspired by the patterns found in nature, architecture, photography, textiles and craft, artist Nina Tichava’s work draws curiosity from of all it’s viewers. Whether its the sense of familiarity from our experiences in nature or the patterns and layers that beg you to pause and take it all in, her work has a place in every setting. 

Nina's paintings reference natural forms and elements abstracted or repeated to create separation from a narrative or a straight depiction of any specific object or scene. She currently works within her Capsule, Mapping, Botanical, Weaving and Lantern series. Each being inspired at their root by what their name suggests.


“My interest is more in creating a feeling of natural space or suggestions of blossoms, leaves, stars, landscapes, reflections on water, etc.”

Gallery Wild represents artists who not only find inspiration in wildlife and wild places, but who are also very aware of the human affects on them. Our hope is to pass on the inspiration of each piece to the viewer, such that they too are called to think about their impact on wildlife and wild places. 

Nina's series titled “Borrowed Landscapes” raises questions about the reality of human presence, climate change and our history on the landscape. Taking familiar images and altering them just enough to become new and unexpected, the series invites the observer to take a second look and reconsider beliefs and assumptions that are perhaps generations long.

Growing up in both rural New Mexico and the California Bay Area, art has been a part of Nina's entire life. From a young age Nina's mother was encouraging of her creativity through teaching her weaving and beading. Later as a teenager Nina would spend her summers with her mother at a fashion textile design firm. Nina's father also played a important role in influencing her artistic style with his calculated and measured precision as a construction worker and mathematician. While she tries her best to not plan a painting and rather let the inspiration direct the course, her lines, arcs and patterns are anything but loose, echoing the precision of her father. Nina attended college in San Francisco where she received her Bachelors of Fine Art in Painting and Drawing in 2003. She began showing her work professionally in 2009 and has been a self-supported artist since 2012.

The Sun Rising Up and Down, Like Heart Beat, Like Lovers | Acrylic, Mixed Media, & Brass on Panel             36 x 36"

Repeat | Acrylic, Mixed Media, Tape, and Copper on Panel | 24 x 48"

Begin Again With Pure Joy in the Uprooting (Aspen) Acrylic, Ink, Mixed Media, & Brass on Panel | 48 x 48 in

When you look at Nina's work, you may notice that along with her pieces being inspired by nature, often her titles are too. Pulling lyrics from songs or lines of poetry, it's possible you'll find a familiar line of poetry from Mary Oliver, Hafiz, Judith Minty, Jo Harjo, Michael McClure, Pablo Neruda, John Muir or many others.


Nina's artistic Process...

Nina's process is very complex, which one could imagine after seeing her work in person. Photos don't capture the depth of all of her layers and details of various mediums like pieces of maps, canvas, ink, charcoal or even brass studs collaged in. Each piece usually begins with a painterly application of black and white gesso over a collaged pattern in paper or canvas. From this base she adds layer after layer of gestural drawings, washes of color, and patterns applied with hand-cut stencils and templates such as a metal grates or plastic fencing. Producing about 40 paintings a year, mostly large scale, Nina will work on 6 to 10 paintings at a time. Each has from 10-30 layers building on the previous layer to create a balanced composition that develops over anywhere from one to three months.

Sometimes  still images really can't capture the intricacies that make a piece so captivating in person. Watch this video about Nina and her work to  learn more and see some of her process!

Studio Visit: Nina Tichava from Noor-un-nisa Touchon on Vimeo.

Portraits credit to Matthew Brault Photography