Brushed Back


  • From a limited edition of 6 archival photographs
  • Signed and numbered by artist A K Nicholas
  • Image: 27×18 inches/69×46 cm
  • Paper: 29×20 inches/74×51 cm


Art-ID: EK1_7724 Category: Collections: , ,


A composition of a single nude figure, seated with her back to us. She acknowledges being seen, her gaze meeting us straight on. The pose is comfortable, unrehearsed: caught mid-motion in a routine gesture. The dominant element is her flowing holden hair, reaching down her bare back to her hips. The shadow between her hair and back creates a dominant vertical that gives visual weight to her torso.

The amber tones of her skin and hair are repeated throughout the image in the chair and backdrop. Curved lines fill the image, from her hair, to the muscles in her back, to the sweeping form of the chair.

A single pearl earring punctuates the focal point of her face, accented by piercing, ice-blue eyes. A strand of pearls lies in the shadow of her neck. With the vast majority of the palette being earthtones, each contrasting color creates an accent. The mood is introspective, created by the soft tonalities,  with no brilliant highlights present. Her face is not highlighted, rather veiled in silky shadow.

A canvas-like texture embellishes the negative space around the figure. Meandering grays and blue-greens, from my own oil painting brush strokes, balance out the palette. This treatment is partly inspired by a special exhibit of Edgar Degas that I viewed at the Louvre Musee D’Orsay shortly before entering art college. I tend to group together memories of artworks with similar poses, such as any of a nude figure, seated, and reflect on what I like or do not about each while creating my work.