Artist Nicholas Grant likes to doodle
Park City resident Nicholas Grant is an emerging visual artist, and he’s already participated in some hefty projects.
He and his mother, renowned artist Josee Nadeau, teamed up to paint some skis to help with a fundraiser for RAMP Sports a couple of years ago. The two also created an original work for Park City’s Olympic Celebration to honor Joss Christensen, Sage Kotsenburg, Ted Ligety and Steve Holcomb — who all won gold medals in Sochi this year.
Grant’s latest work, which he did solo, was a mural on the north side of Volker’s Bakery in Kamas.
"This is my first large piece I’ve ever done and I’ve never done a mural before," Grant told The Park Record. "With that came many unseen challenges."
The first and foremost was the size of the project.
"It’s not like I could draw something and see it all at once," Grant said. "I had to look at the mural from a much greater distance to be able to get the proper perspective."
The second challenge was making sure it was accurate.
"The bakery’s owner, Volker Ritzinger, approached my mom to do the work, but she thought it would be more my style, and that’s how I came to do it," Grant explained. "He had an image that he wanted done. It was of an old French poster that’s hanging in his bakery and I recreated it."
Grant has always been interested in art. His first influence was his mother, who was a protégé of Gerald Van der Kemp, curator of the Palace of Louis XIV and the man who saved the Mona Lisa from the Nazis.
"Ever since my childhood, I’ve watched her paint," he said "That kind of got me interested in doodling and drawing in general."
He also spent a lot of time in art museums in New York and Europe.
"When I was a kid, my mom would talk about all these other artists and places where the art was made," Grant said. "When she was living in Monet’s Garden, she brought me there for a summer and that really paved the way for me to explore art."
While Grant enjoys and appreciates the works by the Masters, he has found his own inspiration through more-contemporary artists, such as Banksy.
"He is a crazy, good graffiti artist, and I respect that and I think graffiti is art," Grant said. "When he came to Park City (during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival), I was blown away at what he did. I love street art. I love creating stencils and graffiti." While spray paint is fascinating to Grant, he also prefers working with acrylic on canvas
Grant, who grew up in Canada and moved to Park City in 2001, said his inspirations run the gamut.
"I usually paint other things that I enjoy," he said. "I’m doing a piece right now of Cary Price, who is the goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens."
Before deciding on a subject or project, Grant doodles.
"This is what I really enjoy most about the creative process," he said. "I like drawing something and then building it into something else. It’s a good way to spend my time. And doodling has made me a better artist, that’s for sure."
While some of those doodles become the basis for larger works, others become labels for Grant’s own craft beers, which he has been making for a few years.
"My friend and I were reading ‘Beowulf’ for our English class and there’s a scene when Grendel attacks Beowulf in the mead hall," Grant remembered. "We wanted to know what mead was and we found out that it was honey wine. So we decided to get together to make some."
After looking up the process online, the two make a batch.
"Our first batch opened our eyes to how difficult fermenting truly was," Grant said laughing. "It was awful, but over time I grew a passion for the technicality and science associated with brewing."
So, Grant, whose family is friends with the Molsons, whose company recently merged with Coors, decided to focus on making beer.
"I took the knowledge from mead making and decided to apply that to beer," he said. "I recently bought a new refrigeration set up and want to start making more lagers. Each batch that I create now I view as another outlet for my creativity."
While Grant enjoys crafting beer, he knows that he wants to continue working in the visual arts.
"I would like to get a degree working with Adobe Illustrator and would like to solidify my knowledge," he said. "You can create a beautiful piece of art with a few clicks, but the secret is knowing what clicks to use."
Another long-term goal is to sell more paintings.
"Of course, I realize that I have to make new works to sell," he said with a smile.
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National Ability Center’s Barn Party is sold out, but the public can still participate in an online auction
Although the National Ability Center’s Barn Party fundraiser for its equestrian program is sold out, the public can participate in an online auction from June 18-27.