Nicola Kemp

April 2, 2016 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART | 2 Comments |

We learned of fledgling artist, Nicola Kemp, from an article by Liz Walsh in the 31/3/16 Adelaide “Advertiser.”   The following autobiographical detail is drawn or quoted from material kindly supplied by Nicola’s mother, Naomi Blacker.

Nicola was born in 1999 in Port Lincoln, South Australia, the younger of two girls.  She was diagnosed as dyslexic when she was ten.  Nicola and her family regard her struggle with that difficulty as a substantial contributing factor to her artistic success. “The constant battle with school and the soul-destroying constant of failure is what drove Nicola to find her passion and devote hours to it at a young age. In her case it was the twin topics of art and animals.”
Nautilus+BGThere is still controversy over the status of dyslexia (whether a ‘condition’, ‘disorder’, ‘syndrome’, etc.)  We have neither the knowledge nor inclination to enter that debate.  Yet our individual crosses to bear either defeat or galvanise us, and in the case of Nicola Kemp, she took solace in her art, and with the help of her family, several art teachers and mentors, she found strength, and skills, in adversity.  Naomi Blacker comments:

As she got older, she has discovered how to research her pet topics on YouTube, followed by finding young artists she admires on Instagram. She watches videos of her favourite artists drawing, analyses their finished products and adapts elements of their style and techniques into her art.

Nicola’s preferred art style is detailed and intricate. She finds the process of creating detailed drawings and paintings soothing and meditative. You will often find Nicola at the kitchen table immersed in her intricate drawings with headphones in, listening either to her favourite native American flute music or to audio books.  At this stage of her artistic journey, Nicola prefers pen and ink, followed by watercolour pencil or paints, to other mediums, as these allow her to create the fine detail she requires in her artwork.”


Dürer exemplified the precision of rendering from nature (see above) and would have approved of Nicola’s work







Nicola’s work has the intricate drafting prowess of the traditionalists, coupled with pleasing decorative flourishes reflective of her ease with new technological processes and media.  She is beginning to have success with online buyers showing interest, here and overseas.  Nicola’s website is Brown Fox Art ( wherein she states:

I’m just an ordinary Aussie girl with a passion for drawing. I’m dyslexic, which has been a blessing and a curse; a curse because traditional school just couldn’t cater to my learning style and a blessing because I think in pictures – which really helps when you are drawing or painting…So after trying school for seven years, I was homeschooled, which really was just the opportunity for me to pursue my passions: art and animals. During that time I worked with animals at the RSPCA and Riding for the Disabled (loved the horses) and an awful lot of time was spent drawing, researching art (and animals) and attending art classes with some inspiring creative teachers in my home town, Port Lincoln, South Australia. I’m really grateful for their input, which helped me to develop my style and grow in confidence with my art.”

The Varnished Culture commends Nicola’s efforts, wishes her every success and will follow her work with interest.



  1. Reply


    April 5, 2016

    These drawings remind me of the drawings in Johanna Basford' colouring books, which are so popular right now.

  2. Reply


    April 14, 2016

    Hi Nicola, just the start of your artwok journey I'm sure, Claire finds peace in her art/drawings as well.
    You have developed a distinctive style which I like very much, reach for the sky - your pencil is your freedom.
    Wishing you every success.

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