One colleague describes my work as “evocative” rather than “provocative.”
It’s true that I long to create moving, beautiful imagery, so it’s interesting to hear people tell me how a piece moves them or what it reminds them of. I find that art conversations are fascinating in and of themselves, but hearing about one’s own work is especially intriguing. As a psychology major, it’s possible to take this to a whole new level. I’ve recently begun a research project to record the responses I receive to my works, in an attempt to find some common ground (or lack thereof). My hypothesis is that people can detect a central theme in each work and that viewers will find the messaging meaningful in similar ways.
Viewers and buyers of my work span a diverse range of ages and backgrounds. Many people are captivated by the meaning they infer from a piece, but sometimes admirers are simply drawn to the colors and texture. I do love to create vivid color palettes; that is how all of my pieces begin. I can often be found paper-clipping magazine pieces together based on the colors they contain - this is how I start my palettes and it’s one of my favorite steps of my process due to its meditative quality.
In my portraiture, I use an ink transfer process to finish the photographic portrait portion of each piece, and then I flesh out the story using layers of many types of media including paint, fabric, leaves, organic materials, architectural salvage, magazine clippings, old books, and discarded plastic or metal. I am drawn to portraiture because every person I photograph lends a unique emotional essence that is evident in the eyes. In a world that seems driven by ego, I prefer to explore the beauty of vulnerability that portraiture can evoke. My portraits are often described as “dreamlike” or “surreal,” bringing the viewer into a world populated by unearthly possibilities and inner worlds.
Mixed media is a unique and growing fine art medium. It’s certainly not a new concept; artists have been working with mixed media for generations. Some, like myself, use it to expand the depth of the work; Cubists, including Pablo Picasso, used mixed media to shift perspective, and some, like the Dadaists, use mixed media to make political statements. Mixed media is so versatile that it seems virtually limitless in its application.
I am possessed with a passion for learning that has led me in endless pursuit of artistic techniques, new and old. I studied under Jim Stone of the University of New Mexico at Penland School of Arts and Crafts in North Carolina. The class, “Photographing with the View Camera,” reawakened my love of darkroom work and silver gelatin printing. I have also completed several design and art history courses through California Institute of the Arts, and I am constantly seeking further education to cultivate my skills and knowledge. Currently, I’m learning encaustic painting in order to add this stunning, dreamy method to my mixed media toolkit.
An important part of my work is sustainability, which permeates not just my practice, but more and more it is defining the thematics of my work. My current project, Planet Room, supports the idea of living more sustainably by assessing a collection of imaginary planets’ ability to support life. The realization is: we must preserve the planet we have.
My first solo exhibition was held at The Studio@620 in St. Petersburg, FL, included 20 works of mixed media, and was attended by over 200 art lovers and collectors. I have also completed works for several group exhibitions and themed shows. My work appears in local, national, and international publications, and I am planning a second solo exhibition to be held in 2022.
Wanderlust has taken me all over Europe, the United States, and Central and South America. I have lived in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Ecuador, New York City, and Asheville, and now St. Petersburg, FL, is my forever home. Travel and exploration will inevitably continue to be a catalyst in my life and art, driving me to explore more of our extraordinary world.
I am a member of the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance and the Warehouse Arts District, and I am an active participant in the arts community of St. Petersburg. I also volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters as a Big Sister and Leadership St. Pete as a member of the Planning Committee, and I strive to better my community whenever possible.
Art plays a central role in my life; it is thoroughly a part of who I am.
Nikki Devereux has been commissioned by individuals and businesses to create original, dream-like imagery for unique and original interior design, illustration, and even gifts and memorials. Her technique and vision is versatile and lends itself to commission portraiture and illustration.
St. Petersburg, FL