I am a fine arts painter who specializes in wildlife. I paint in both oils and watercolors. Occasionally, I work with textiles and tile. In any medium, what energizes me and my work is vibrant, saturated color.

I find inspiration in sunshine, shadow, and color: an unexpected swirl of light amid wetly shadowed pacific stones, delicate opalescence and metallic sheen inside an abalone shell, the violet and magenta shadows of a canyon gorge millions of years in the making. I love the contrast between that which is timeless and moments that are ephemeral: a drop of moisture on a rose petal, a mountain that will continue to stand sentinel eons after the abandoned hay wagon at its foot has decayed to dust and rust.

My works also catch moments of live intensity: an eagle searching for prey, the spark in the eye of a wild cougar, the joy of a Latina child performing the dances of her Mexican forebears.

Among the artists who I count as having influenced my work are Santa Fe Indian School artists Allan Houser and Quincy Tahoma and Japanese Ukiyo-e printmakers Utagawa Hiroshige and Katsushika Hokusai. Gallery owners and fans have likened my work to that of Peter Hurd and Frank Mechau, western artists whose subjects, like mine, were intimately bound up with a sense of place.

My art, which concentrates on Colorado and California subjects, celebrates the spark of divinity that burns in every member of the family of man and glories in mankind’s connection to the natural world. The following quote, which is painted on a stone at the middle of my garden, expresses the message within most of my paintings:

Humankind has not woven the web of life.
We are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
All things are bound together.
All things connect.



More Works

Current Work




I’m currently working on some very large oil paintings of Colorado wildlife; the stag shown here is an example.

I’m also developing a series of oil paintings called “Elegy for the Anthropocene.” That term refers to the geologic epoch during which human activities started to have a significant global impact on Earth’s geology and ecosystems. Many of these paintings chronicle animals and landscapes that are in peril.

Having moved away from the big city five years ago, and recently retired from several jobs, my current life goal was summed up by Carl Sandburg in his poem “Two Tramps in Mud Time”:

My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the future’s sakes.

About the Blog

Nicolette Toussaint,  Artist & Columnist

Nicolette’s blog contains various musings on art, personal experiences and how politics impact our values, communities and individual lives.

Some of these posts are reprinted from Nicolette’s “Seeking Higher Ground” column, which is published every third Thursday of the month in the Sopris Sun newspaper. Others are reprinted from Nicolette’s monthly column in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent,