Artists In The Garden XIIII: Nicola Barsaleau of Blue Cicada

Today's interview will be with Nicola Barsaleau of Blue Cicada and Nicolasartroom.

What is your art, hobby or craft? How did you come to creating it?

I create linocuts. These are carved blocks, rolled with ink and then printed by hand. I first came in contact with this art form in South Africa, where I grew up. Linocuts are a perfect medium for a strong social message. And the bold imagery of a linocut goes well with activism. When I lived in London, I learnt to make my own and I’ve been making them ever since.

Everyday Is A Journey

Where do you find your inspiration?

My inspiration is a sense we are all connected spiritually. We all have an inner life and we all have inner strength in goodness. Sometimes this strength appears covered, like when we go through a period of depression. Yet I believe we are capable of amazing things when we align with our true nature.

Dragonfly Original LinocutCard

How does your garden or nature influence your art?

Nature inspires me with a sense of mystery, a sense that there is something far greater (and smaller!) than I can possibly perceive. After spending time outdoors, I always come away with the seed of wholeness, which, in turn, inspires me to make art. My experience is that making art is very much a process of wholeness and flow.

Will you share a picture of your garden with us?
Of course! Here is a picture of our vegetable garden. In Florida, everything grows very quickly during growing season!

Will you share a few pictures of your favorite plants?

Yes, bamboo! It is hard to stop my heart soaring when I step back and view these strong, beautiful plants. Of course, their strength is not only in their rods—if you ever plant runner bamboo, be sure to dig a lined trench a few feet deep to create an underground barrier!
Others featured here include the fig and the eucalyptus tree.

Do you have a favorite public garden to recommend?

Yes--the herb garden and the bamboo garden at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville, FL.

Also, I have strong recent memories of Fort Matanzas State Park in St. Augustine, Fl. A few months ago, a couple of great horned owls nested in the tree directly behind the visitors’ center. So we got to watch the baby owl grow up and move from tree to tree before it flew off! The picture here shows the mother owl trying to rest while sitting on her egg.

What is the best lesson you have learnt from the garden or nature?

Nature teaches me listen. When I am fortunate enough to carry this through to my daily life, I listen before I act.

Show us your favorite item in your Blue Cicada Etsy shop.

Acorn And Oak Original Linocut

Share a favorite garden or nature related item from a fellow Etsy shop.

The Tide Always Changes - Journeys And Dreams

Nicola, I thank you for sharing the joy and inspiration found in your art, nature and gardening. I am proud to share with everyone that one of Nicola's beautiful linocuts was recently given to me as a gift by my dearest childhood friend. I have it placed on the wall in my ceramic studio and get to look at it everyday. It is even more special to me now that I know a little bit about Nicola, the artist who created it.


missbreezysbox said...

What a great interview. I like Nicola's insight. I visited her shop and really like this-

Thank you for sharing her craft.

Petra B. Keramik+Trädgården said...

Hi Karrita, it´s been a while since I was here.
Great post an´d interviev as usual.
Have a wonderful sunday, Petra B.

Anonymous said...

An inspiring post - and thanks for following me in Grandma's Garden; I truly appreciate that. Ann from UK

My Mother's Garden said...

Thanks for the visits everyone! I have sadly neglected my blog for the last few months and am glad to know that there are a few people out there who still stop by and visit.
Nicola's work work is beautiful! I'm glad you all enjoyed reading her interview. ~Karrita

Sandie said...

Lovely feature, Karrita!!

Linda said...

What a wonderful artist. I have great affection for linocuts as well, having grown up in Namibia.

niftyknits said...

Great interview - I remember linocutting at school, many million years ago. Don't think mine were *quite* to your standard!!!

Waterrose said...

I love linocuts. We use to do those in elementary school...obviously not so detailed...but I loved making them. thanks for sharing!

Jaci said...

I love the boldness of the linocuts, and the oak/acorn is gorgeous!

Midnightcoiler said...

Very interesting interview! Nicola's work is amazing. Great photo of the owl and gardens.

TheJoyofColor said...

I love so much Lino cut , there is something strogn and graphic about them that appeal to me. Enjoyed reading about you and your attitude to life and art Nicola. I even might try againg doing some myself.

Stone Art said...

Your interviews are a great read, thanks

Vetsy said...

Karrita I must try Bamboo in the future, I have a sitting lotus Buddha garden statue that would look great in a back ground of lush green bamboo...

May you continue to have fun and success with your beautiful garden Art...Keep up the wonderful work!

What a fabulous gift it is to make a living from something you love... I would love to be you one day!

Judybec said...

beautiful linocuts! enjoyed reading about this artist/gardener!
I love bamboo too!

Carol Soules said...

Checking in after a long time away from blog land. I love the interviews and your etsy store is awesome! Stop by TerraNovaDesign when you have a minute.
Carol in Mass.


Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment, I love nature as well, I get so inspired by patterns color and textures outdoors, that is my place where I get ideas.

Beyond The Garden said...

I really enjoyed this interview. What beautiful linocuts.

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