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Drawn to the Wild

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Nicole Barrette

Visual Arts

My art is an expression of my experiences. I have a background in environmental science and a passion for wilderness and I have always been drawn to creating art that reflects that. I have a deep connection to wild places and the land that surrounds me. I have been a rock climber for over a decade and over the years, I have explored far and wide across the rugged wilderness of this province and beyond. Every season I seek out new challenges and continue to find inspiration among the peaks.

My favourite medium is acrylic, however I find watercolours are much more easily carried in a backpack. When size and weight aren’t an issue, I am not afraid to work on big canvases and have been known to paint larger than life landscapes up to six feet across. Through my art, I try to convey the feelings surrounding a climb: what it’s like to balance precariously on a thin windy ledge, watch a storm roll in from halfway up a climb, or see the sun rise from halfway up a mountain after starting out under the stars. One of the overwhelming feelings I always get when I spend time up in the alpine is just how small we are compared to mother nature. It is both intimidating and awe-inspiring. I try to reproduce that feeling in my art using the human form, contrast, and perspective. I feel grateful for my ability to climb to places that are seen by only the select few and my goal is for my paintings to serve as windows into this world of high stakes and adventure.

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