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icole Strasburg, this issue’s cover artist, is all

about essentials. “I feel my paintings strive for a

very universal feel,” she describes. “If you’re look-

ing at a river, somebody from Washington says,

‘That’s Washington,’ somebody from California

says, ‘That’s California.’ I’m looking for that uni-

versal sense of place.”

That sense stems from her identity as a stu-

dio artist, despite predominantly painting nature

scenes. Beyond, as she says, “Not wanting to have

“The ast five or six years, her brushstrokes have become more

apparent in her work, becoming part of the pattern of the clouds or the

sea. That also helps push her more toward abstraction.”

Painting Toward the Essential

Nicole Strasburg

to spend two hours dragging all my gear out to the

right spot,” she also believes, “plein air makes me

feel I have to be true to the subject. In the studio, I

take a series of photographs from my subject and

start piecing them together.”

Susan Bush, the contemporary curator for Sul-

livan Goss–An American Gallery, who represents

Nicole and also owns six of her paintings, puts the

Strasburg touch this way: “Santa Barbara is rampant

with landscape and seascape painters, so the ques-

By George Yatchisin

Art by Nicole Strasburg

Cover Artist…

N

– Susan Bush, contemporary curator for Sullivan Goss–An American Gallery