Merry Merry


2015 is right around the corner. I can’t believe how quickly this year has flown by. I’ve never been busier and more energized about life; my brain is like fireworks! Creatively, I have a lot to be proud of. I took on many new studio challenges, including broadening my fine art portfolio. I worked larger than I ever have before, creating paintings bigger than me, and combated fears and doubts I had about myself as an artist. On top of all this, I recovered from a broken wrist, and completed my first illustrated book to be published by one of the top children’s publishers in the country! I look back at the journey with humility, and am grateful for all the abilities I have.

Student teaching continues to amaze and inspire me every day. In my days off, I reflect back on what I see happening in classrooms, how students approach the assignments, and ways to challenge and encourage deep understandings. I’m proud to call myself an art educator, an artist, an illustrator, a crafter, a young adult making her way in the world. My thanks and appreciation go to all who I’ve met along my journey this year, and I look forward to the journeys to come in the following year.

I’ll end with a small sketch that I made during one of my commutes to work a few months back, reminding me to do what I always do without fear or judgement. I encourage you all to do the same.




Co-Pilot Adventures continue…


Now that Spit and Sticks is complete (to be out in June 2015!!) I have more time to spend on my original stories and portfolio. Darwin and Emma, as always, are dancing around in my head, and so is their story about airplanes and being co-pilots. So I combined the idea with the Fall theme, and came up with this little ditty:

Watercolor and digital collage CoPilots in the Leaves web

Also, Darwin in his homemade airplane:

Darwin Plane webYou’re welcome!

Work from Fall coming soon!


Beginning my new year long teaching position at Henderson Inclusion School has me super busy. Between schoolwork, teaching, and having a life, I have less time to update my blog. However, this does not mean I’m not creating work!! The 2 hours of back and forth commute each day have me drawing and inking in sketchbooks constantly, and I’m trying to get as many new ideas down on paper as I can.

Back in September, I had this idea to illustrate some sassy ballerinas. Here are the results (white-ish background, and collaged background. Watercolor original)

Ballerinas White Back webBallerinas web

Halloween Costume inspiration…Rosie’s Girls


Spoiler alert..I am going to be Rosie the Riveter for Halloween this year! It’s a perfect costume because I own all the components already, plus, I have the hairstyle for it. I did a little picture research for how some others have done the costume, and came across some great looking youngsters. I was inspired to create an empowering picture of young girls embodying the Rosie pose, hence why I’m calling this one Rosie’s Girls. Watercolor and digital collage:


8 Artists Show comes down tomorrow!

acrylic, fine art, Mass Art

Tomorrow, the show I’ve had up at Mass Art with my colleagues in the Arnheim Gallery, will come down. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed having my work on display, seeing it everyday, and seeing it change. The humidity has caused some of the paintings to warp, but this I really don’t mind. It adds to the physicality of them,

Here are some recent shots taken of the works in the exhibit setting, and some closeups you won’t find on the portfolio page. I’m eager to hear thoughts, and to chat about future opportunities to show these works!


Beach Party and more


You might be wondering why my children’s illustration book work has been so quiet lately. Well, I’ve been working hard to finish up the digital collage/fixings for my new book coming out next year! It’s looking fantastic, and all involved are charmed with how the collage was added to the paintings. So hopefully I’ll have some sneak peeks to share soon!


In the meantime, my sister recently got a new leased car, and has her birthday coming up, so I was inspired to crank out a couple of little paintings commemorating the occasions. Here they are:


New design, and show opening


Every few months I have the itch to change my website’s theme. This one is something quite simple once again. I hope you enjoy it! 

Also, as part of my MAT requisites, I am taking several Studio classes and will be completing my second class this Friday, July 25. With this class comes a week long exhibition in Mass Art’s Arnheim Gallery, where I will be showing 6-7 large scale works I created these 3 weeks. It was intensive but extremely satisfying. I’ve made some incredible strides in a short amount of time! Please come check it out if you are in town this weekend (or next week, 10-5)8ArtistPosterNG


New work added to Fine Art!

collage, fine art, inspiration, painting, printmaking


The past few weeks have found me embracing, and loving, my fine art studio practice once again. I love that my program at Mass Art gave me such a wonderful opportunity to practice as a professional artist. It was a daunting, but prolific three weeks. Click the image below to see my new body of work: collage mono prints!

Nicole.Gsell.001l copy



All work subject to copyright. For purchase information, please contact me directly!

Going to the Gardner Museum

freelance, happiness, inspiration, sketches, watercolor

Going to the Gardner Museum

You are not allowed to take pictures at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. I oh so loved the beautiful courtyard, which was decorated for Spring, and though how lovely it would be to come back sometime with my sketchbook and paints. I don’t know if I’ll be allowed to paint in there, but I wish I could. Anyways, this is how I felt when I was there. It’s one of the most magical places in Boston.

Artist Equation

collage, crafty, fine art, Mass Art

For my Concepts and Processes class at Mass Art, our homework was to create an artwork that involved a famous artist. We could “add, multiply, divide, square root”, i.e create an equation between us and another artist. The artist I chose was Pepon Osorio, a Puerto Rican artist known for large scale installations.

The piece “Tina’s House” was particularly inspiring for me, provocative and mesmerizing.

In an article on Osorio:

“My principal commitment as an artist is to return art to the community.” A recent example is “Tina’s House,” a project created in collaboration with a family recovering from a devastating fire. The house—a tabletop-size art piece—tells the story of the night of the fire and those affected, and is traveling the country in a series of “home visits”: a home visit invites a new family to live with the art work for a period of at least one week, allowing the story of “Tina’s House” to be told in many homes and environments.

Nicole + Pepon / Nicole X Pepon = “Another Little Incident”

For reference, this is Tina’s House (referenced in the quote above):