Moore On Art: Niki Baker

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MMagic, yes pure Magic!!! That is the feeling, the vision, the vibe and the emotion that one feels when looking at one of Niki Baker’s art works. Niki is rather new to living in Boerne but Boerne is not new to her. Niki and her family have been visiting Boerne for years while visiting her husband’s family in nearby Bandera and venturing over to the lure of Boerne often. She and her husband recognized the beauty of the town and dreamt of a time and place to settle there…Wandering the country has always been a way of life and talent. Niki and her husband, along with their 3 beautiful children have lived in many different parts of the United States and her art is a part of them all.

Niki cannot remember a time when art did not influence her life. As a mere child of four, she found her love of art emerging in drawings and sketches of magical Disney characters and every young girl’s dream—horses!!! Niki would spend hours just drawing her favorite Disney character and when it struck her she would draw a nice horse or two….Her work improved and she knew there would always be a place for art in her life, art that she provided.

Niki moved seamlessly from sketching and drawing to using color, textures and tone to develop her own style and magical art. She always had art classes and in middle school and high school was certain of a professional art career. Under the amazing tutelage of her art teacher, Rebecca Slaton, Niki found a satisfying future in art. Her teacher allowed Niki the freedom to express herself in a captivating manner in any medium. She discovered that her love for art was much more than just paint on paper, it told a story to share.

Niki moved her art career fast forward by taking classes at Kansas State University where she obtained her Bachelor of Fine Art Degree. She realized that she could teach art to the younger age groups in school but to teach at a higher level of students she would need to obtain her Masters and for the moment that was not in her immediate future so she claimed her position as a successful art teacher and settled down. Niki’s art is not settled by any means. She found that paint and canvas was not enough and so she found that by adding texture and metallic to her acrylic and oil paints she could create a medium that added such dimension to her work it was astounding. Her landscapes came alive, her stills became animated; her subjects sparkled with personality. Niki was happy with her discovery and soon she had a collection of art enviable by all.

Niki does commission work and is planning to open a public studio in the near future. The current world issues have slowed her but not stopped her. She teaches some classes upon request and is currently exploring options to enlarge the public’s access to her. Niki has a small studio at her home where she loves to go and create. Her ritual is to take her coffee to her studio, light a candle to set a tone open the blinds to get lots of light, set up some music of choice for the day, organize her supplies to the feel of the day and start with a blank canvas. Niki says the hardest part for her is the first stroke. After that first stroke her artistic talent instinct just takes over and masterpieces emerge. How does this author know this… by seeing her work and interviewing her for her techniques. Niki and her husband have plans to build a larger studio where she can teach classes regularly or have painting night outs for those desiring to express themselves through art. Niki is a supporter of painting nights with a subject for all to paint but she is more in awe of classes that give the budding artist a direction and let them choose their own road through color, dimension, design and texture. For time being it would be necessary for a group to contact her and she will come to a location to mentor a class, teach some art or give a relaxed night out of art. Her contact info will be at the end of this article.

After some years of acrylic and oil painting, Niki turned her talent to faux decorative finishing. It was a lucrative use of her talent and she could share her abilities with others in a day to day use with the beauty that was Niki. She enjoyed seeing what others envisioned as artistic and she loved being a part of the process. She would consult with her client on what their vision was for a room or space in their home and then she would create that vision with paint, texture, design and arrangement for their home. Color desires played a great part in the execution of Niki’s abilities and soon she was sought after for her unique results and exceptional ability. Giving new life to walls, cabinets, furniture and household objects was a skill to add to her skill set, and Niki had a giant skill set.  But still Niki found time to create on canvas.

Niki and her family enjoy the outdoors and frequently can be found observing nature, hiking, or just enjoying the beauty that is the outside world. Niki will see something that catches her eye and will snap a picture of it or borrow her husband’s phone for a timeless pause in the moment for later reference. Then back in her studio, Niki will sketch and then paint that exact moment on canvas. The colors, the energy, imagery, design, light and tones will be perfectly recreated for perpetuity. Niki has found that by adding metallic, texture and tones the art becomes a living masterpiece. It changes with direction, lighting and position. It comes alive. Like all great artists, she knows when a painting is completed and never another stroke to be added. Then she signs her name and it has a life of its own. Niki says her favorite work that she has completed is called “Over the Edge” and is a beautiful piece. Over the Edge is a stark piece illuminating a steep cliff of mountains as a backdrop for the forest. The sheer force of the glistening snow, the steep mountain range and the dark ominous trees take your breath away. Niki gave this piece away as a celebration of launching her new website after moving to Boerne.  One had to register to win and she had many who entered to win hoping for a chance to own a Niki Baker original.

Niki has found that certain art projects can be done in roughly 30 minutes but many take up to a week to complete to her satisfaction. She has learned how to integrate venetian plaster and marble into her textures and design and is happy with the way it all works together to provide a work of art like no other.

Niki currently does not participate in any shows as her time is limited with her family and the recent move but shows are on her list. She is currently exploring galleries in the area for an outlet to showcase her art and meet and share with other artists.

Niki likes heavy paints who have body and substance. She enjoys using paints and techniques that show movement and have movement. She is not a shallow painter but a painter who uses depth and understands the use of her artistic ability to make the most of each stroke of her brush, palette knife and trowel to provide a complete painting. Niki loves her ability to get out of the box and the reward is her creation. She told me that her work consists of many layers of design until she reaches the perfect finish to her project. Using her techniques, her textures, her colors, dimensions, designs, and lighting the finished product is stunning and the only question left is who buys it and where it will hang.

Niki, sometimes, is in a mood to paint quick and looser and sometimes it is a small and slow painting. In any case, Niki shows off her ability to impress. She feels that no interruption is her best space and she can lose herself in her work. Niki says “nature is consistent, it may change a bit but it is always consistent in what it has to offer. It is reliable but consistent. It is peaceful and enchanting.” Niki likes earth tones but loves to explore vibrancy and contrast.

One thing about Niki Baker’s art is it is imaginative. It creates a scene and allows the viewer to actually feel that they are in the picture smelling the smells, seeing the view first hand and feeling the nature. Boerne has added another talented artist to its town. Niki Baker and her family are definitely an asset to the talent that is Boerne. If you want to set up a class, have a specific painting for your home, visit Niki Baker Art or just see what is available for your own collection you may reach Niki at 346-232-7789, contact her at nikibakerart@gmail.com or go to the Boerne Businesswomen page on Face book or check out her Facebook page Niki Baker Art. Another awesome artist here in Boerne that you should not miss!!!