Nicola Reif - wildlife pastel artist
I’m a self-taught artist and my subjects are animals and birds - especially wildlife. My background in science and biology influences my style which is detailed yet artistic. Choosing to work in pastel allows precision, stunning clarity and depth of colour along with the ability to render the lightness of feathers and the softness of fur. It is a medium that complements natural subjects beautifully.
I am committed to wildlife and environmental conservation through the medium of my art, making contributions in whatever way I can. I am often out and about stalking wildlife in its natural habitat with my camera and, for the more exotic subjects and domestic pets, I use photographic reference.
When I paint, I pay particular attention to the subject’s eyes and I strive to capture a little of the animal’s soul which is reflected there. I want viewers to look into the eyes of the animals in my paintings and feel their vulnerability, their power and their emotion. If the viewer comes away with a feeling of connection with, and respect for, the animals I paint then I feel I have achieved my objective.
Pastel Journal 20th Annual Pastel 100 Competition
The Kereru, our New Zealand Bird of the Year 2018, in the banner image was placed second in the Animal - Wildlife section of the Pastel Journal 20th Annual Pastel 100 Competition and will have a write up in the April 2019 issue of Pastel Journal magazine. The same painting also won an Honourable Mention in the 33rd IAPS (International Association of Pastel Societies) online exhibition. Visit the Awards & Exhibitions page for the full list.
You can see a broad range of my work on the Galleries pages.