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When Nicole Roberts observes nature, she’s drawn to circles—fluid, curvy, arced. When she paints, the shapes she forms burst with color: dandelions bristling with red and yellow; trees leafed in orbs of greens or blues; olive-shaped berries in a multitude of hues.
She never gets tired of her circles, though the thought has crossed her mind. “I don’t want to bore people,” says Roberts, 32, who paints in her Tahoe Park home, where she also tends to her toddler son. “I have to actually stop and think, ‘Is this exactly what you have always done or are you evolving?’”
Roberts struggles with how to describe her paintings. She allows that her clean designs and use of color tend toward pop art, with tinges of abstraction. Above all, she says, the “tortured artist” image does not apply. “I just like to create something that’s going to brighten up places and make people happy,” she explains.
Sarah Flohr— Roberts’ art professor at Sacramento State and a painter of international acclaim—encouraged Roberts to “own” her circular style. She has stuck mainly to oil and acrylics in the four years since she graduated. She also does poster art (her husband, Jason, is a local guitarist) and contributed artwork to the CD Of Great and Mortal Men: 43 Songs for 43 U.S. Presidencies.
Roberts quit her full-time job as a graphic designer with Sacramento County when her son, Jude, was born in 2008. She can’t wait to create with him. “I got him one of those big crayons,” she says. “But for now, he wants to put it in his mouth.”
Roberts’ work will be up at Bodytribe Fitness in November, with a Second Saturday opening on Nov. 14. Bodytribe is at 920 21st St. For more information, visit nicoleroberts.net.