I’m Nicole Durocher, a painter and surface pattern designer working out of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
I became interested in patterns for textiles while studying repeating patterns in Islamic art and architecture at McGill University. Living in Istanbul and working as an ESL teacher after graduation, I slowly began to explore painting and drawing which I had loved to do growing up, and decided to go back to school to study graphic arts. I attended Parsons the New School for Design in New York where I learned to digitize my artwork and to think critically about image creation. Generally my surface patterns are created from my paintings and drawings but they could come from a photo of pattern in the sidewalk or a quick iPad sketch. The themes of water; waves; second sight; goddesses; the female form; architecture; and plants (especially tropical) are consistently interesting for me.
The design thinking which is in practice at the New School also helped me to break down barriers between media in my work, to be able to explore subject matter across a variety of platforms.
I love fluorescent colours, palm trees and painting the tropics because even when I’m at my desk in the winter the images offer a holiday. More so than the themes mentioned above, my overarching approach is one of exploring the colours we remember, the colours deep in our minds, rather than the colours which are really in front of us. I seek to find alternate colour-ways through which to represent the everyday- this manifests in my work through a quality of surreality or dreaminess, transporting the viewer through their own memories to places suspended in space and time.
I have been teaching for the past couple of years, beginning at the Textile Arts Center in Manhattan. I worked at Arts Umbrella in Vancouver before moving to Montreal. I have given private lessons, facilitated at iF gym créatif, and teach children on weekends at a private school here in Montreal as well. The central different I’ve found between teaching children and teaching adults is the ability to go into theory with adults, that would be a bit too meta for younger people. However, I hope to inspire in my adult students, the unconcerned way children go about diving into art. Every artist starts out exploring the basics and being forgiving of oneself and the process, is a necessary part of the journey into creative greatness.