The Herring, the Mackerel and the Oyster
By Nicky Sanderson

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Year
1992
Media
Mixed Media and Collage
Subject Matter
Animals - Sea and Boats
Reg. Number
P184
Size
86.5 x 68.5 cm

The sea has always held a particular fascination for artists, providing as it does both an ever changing, untameable muse and a secretive subject teeming with hidden life. In this way, Nicky Sandersons' 1992 artwork 'The Herring, the Mackerel and the Oyster' is a stylistic approach to a familiar subject matter. Nicky's painting is not a realistic depiction; neither is it a dramatic, impressionistic fantasy. Rather, it is a tranquil, storybook image infused with a gentle, ebbing magic.

Explaining the techniques used in creating the artwork, Nicky says, it is mainly watercolour with the fish and shells painted separately and collaged on. There is some coloured crayon for detail (aquarelle) and the border is made using oil pastels layered from light to dark and then scratched with a darning needle to make the drawing. These techniques lend the painting a depth and texture that might otherwise have been missing from a more traditional approach, with also lending the image a deliberately naive, stylistic aesthetic.

Nicky works predominantly with collage - often mixing tissue paper with paints and pigments and layering and scraping different mediums to create her distinctive artworks. She describes her work as semi-abstract [depictions] based on the natural world and highlights the bright, bold colours of Latin American art as a major source of influence on her artistic approach.

Nicky Sanderson specialised in printmaking with printed textiles at Edinburgh College of Art before going on to Slade School of Fine Art in London. Her work is greatly influenced by the art and culture of Latin America and she was awarded a grant to study experimental printmaking for a year at the National Institute of Fine Art in Mexico City.

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