headshot of artist embedded onto larger photo of artist with a camera
photo taken by Mark Del Duca

Artist Statement

I believe a work of art speaks to those who are meant for it, for art is largely personal —a touchstone to our private truths, life experiences, perceptions, struggles and glories, passions and fears. Art has the potential to lift us out of the fray and in those moments we have the opportunity to gain valuable insight into our inner workings and may even find ourselves in an environment of empathy. It is this meeting between painting and beholder that fuels my desire to paint and gives me the greatest sense of satisfaction in knowing a connection has been made.

I am an emerging Canadian artist based in Toronto, Ontario.  My tools are oils and acrylics, palette knives and brushes, the indispensable paper towel and a complexity of rich emotions and empty spaces that guide me as I navigate this fascinating and often challenging journey through life and art.

Learning to paint in the realist tradition has provided a good foundation for my explorations in painting, however it has become imperative to me to stay true to and work through feeling rather than academic reasoning or logic. I am after something authentic and raw and it is fundamental for me to allow each painting to emerge in its own way, towards its own final destination.  As a result, there is both a deliberateness and a spontaneity to how I work. Knowing when to lead the brush and when to follow prevents stagnation in creativity and imparts a sense of adventure onto each blank canvas.  Sometimes the emotional energy of a piece presents itself early in the making and I am satisfied with the absence of detail and the simplicity or suggestion of form. Other times, a work calls for more refinement before its reason for being can be felt.  In either case, my objective is to distill, to be laconic and afford the viewer room to inhabit the painting and find their own meaning in a space somewhere between realism and abstraction.


My interest in visual arts began with photography at Ontario College of Art and Design (formerly Ontario College of Art) during which time I also interned with a Canadian graphic design company.  In the years that followed, my career took a major departure as I was presented with an exciting opportunity in the performing arts as a dancer and choreographer — a career that would span just over a decade.

In 2004, I made the transition from performing arts back to visual arts and travelled extensively for a few years resulting in a photographic portfolio of captivating landscapes and the beautiful, diverse faces that I encountered. My photographic work has received attention from TPOTY (Travel Photographer of the Year) and IPA (International Photography Awards) and has been featured in the hardcover edition of Journey Two, the Toronto Star, U.K.'s Digital Photographer magazine and on exhibition at England's London Eye.

While working as a photo editor in 2006, I decided to expand my creative reach and turned to Toronto's Academy of Realist Art and Scottsdale Art School in Arizona to explore the subject of painting and drawing in the realist tradition. After several years of independent study and an inability to resist the pull of a blank canvas, I resolved to paint full time. My work became available to collectors for the first time in 2014 and are held in both private and corporate collections throughout Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and Australia.



2006-2009 Academy of Realist Art - Painting & Drawing

2009 Scottsdale Art School - Figure Drawing

2005 & 2014 Avenue Road Art - Painting & Drawing

2004 George Brown College - Photography

2004 Steve McCurry - Photojournalism Workshop

1993 Ontario College of Art - Photography


2016 Spring into Summer, The Papermill Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2016 Reversion, Super Wonder Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2016 The Artist Project, Toronto, Canada

2015 A Show within a Show, The PaperMill Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2015 The Artist Project, Toronto, Canada

2014 Sensation, Spazio dell'Arte Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2014 Corporate Gala, ShareNet Inc., Mississauga, Canada

2006 Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY), London, United Kingdom

Media & Publications:

2016 Artsy Shark, Featured Artist

2016 Honourable Mention, PaperMill Gallery Spring Show

2016 Best of Houzz Award

2015 Artsy Shark Abstract Artist Showcase

2006 "Not Alone" published in Journey 2 Edition

2006 "Not Alone" Digital Photographer Magazine

2006 "Little Things", Toronto Star

2005 Travel Photographer of the Year, Honourable Mention


Get in touch:

Nicole Daniah Sidonie
Email: nicole@nicole-sidonie.com
Tel.: 416-988-3586

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