Age-Old Dolls

"Age-Old Dolls"

You just want to be

a little girl,

Find your voice

before you


hard around the mouth.

Go out in

the world,

just to see

and feel

crimped tops

on the grasses!

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

Fire Your Preachers!

River Body

Mid-Capilano River

Tear down your


Fire your preachers.

Run outdoors


listen to the river


The trees flock

together to

hear it.

They stretch

their arms out

toward it.

A thousand


cannot do as

much for me as

twenty minutes

by your bed.

The rocks are


you play and your

notes transcend

my mortal frame.

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

Become an Artist and Create More than Thursday’s Meatloaf

I have read of women with a family of 5 children and a business to run, a husband and meals to cook, going to University to get their Master’s or Doctorate degree and still doing charity work, socializing, and looking immaculate; that’s where I got the idea I could go to University to get a BFA.

I hesitate to write this.  Yet it saddens me to frequently hear from women I meet, who would love to become artists, how they stop themselves with notions of so-called sensible reasons.

This was:  My Journal entry August 6th, 2001.  It came from a hand-held cheap, Mead, Five-Star in a class by itself, spiral bound,Neat Sheet Perforated Pages, with 200 ruled sheets, and 400 ruled pages.

Runnng a family is at best fun and rewarding but a woman needs to be as free as her husband and children to be an artist, even if it only means designing her life to fulfill her dreams. Dreams that don’t cost her her family, but allow her to feel proud of accomplishing her vision.

When we are in our teens we have a million ideas – do these ideas get pushed back – do they become expanding waistlines, huge backs and hips?

If you had a short sentence period of life left to live because you are dis-eased would you make certain that you cleaned the house, picked up the cleaning, paid the bills, washed the car, and did lots of laundry between doing all the other self-imposed obligations you didn’t want to do when you felt forced to say yes.

Taken from the Series 'Cold Cereal'

Each day is so precious even when you are not compromised in your health.

My personal discovery is that nothing in the house changed while I went to University full-time for two years.   (Notation:  two years for a diploma worked into being five for a degree).  The dust still sat on the top of everything.  The house still looked the same at the end of a day even when I hadn’t spent ten hours wandering about in it.

The same little imperfections were on the walls.  The messy areas, where there was no other place to use the messy items or to store them, still struck me in an uncomfortable way; even though I had not walked past them a million times a day, as in the past, wondering what to do with them.

But while the house lived its life without me, I created hundreds of projects, got a diploma in Studio Art and following that a BFA degree, showed my work in galleries, was published on the cover of two literary journals, wrote, painted, entered juried competitions, and put my work on the Internet.  And I didn’t know I had it in me when I was taking the garbage out regularly for something to clean up.

Art School was one of the dirtiest and messiest places I had ever worked in.  I learned we were focused on the project not on our surroundings  We had great relationships; we learned what we had never known about ourselves and each other.  The mystery of life came upon us and we had feelings; strong feelings!

We became sleep deprived and were told to do things we had never dreamed of.  We were let loose!!  I called the courtyard full of industrial junk our play pen:  our toybox. Sometimes we felt isolated when we worked and sometimes we worked in groups.

There were many times I ate pizza, celery and peanut butter, plain bread, cereal, or junk near the end of a term, but it did far less harm than resenting the doing of something I no longer wanted to.

There was one time when I had to wear the same clothes for three days – that’s about as much inconvenience as I remember. (Notation:  This is when I remember feeling like a REAL artist having read up on Louise Nevelson, one of my favorites, who would roll on and off a small bed in her studio wearing the same clothes for days while she worked on a wall-size sculpture.)

I never knew a house could run itself.  My family was amazed and thrilled with the difference in me.  My secret self shone.  And to my amazement they all knew how to look after themselves.  It wasn’t a slice; I have never worked harder in my life; had only 5 hours sleep a night, worked 7 days a week, and pushed myself to the, and beyond the, limits of my imagination.

Every new term Dad would go into the hospital for a couple of days for cancer treatment. Usually he announced it without any warning and always when a printmaking project was due. Our business dropped when Bailey, our soft-coated wheaten terrier of 14+ years, got old suddenly and collapsed.  For seven months I was sick at heart with the thought of soon losing her. Bills piled up and at one point I measured the pile:  it was over 10 inches high. We had a robbery in our home and lost $25,000 in property that we were very fond of; some was sentimental.

What a blessing to have something so rich to focus on as my art:  my heart’s desire.  It was a ten year dream that still continues.  Our wheaten had a seven month old age and died a natural death, my Dad died in the hospital on the 3rd day after an operation a year before my graduation, and a very close friend died soon after.  I couldn’t prevent the deaths and I couldn’t control other lives either.

What I have learned to do is concentrate my attention on my gifts and talents and make something from these instead of living through other people’s lives:  ie. family, friends, people in newspapers, on TV, celebrities in magazines, etc.

How does your own life look, could you write a story about turning down a different road now and becoming what you dreamed you would when you were still in high school?

Start here!  This space is for you…………..

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

Uncapturable!!!Something That Will Not Stay Still

"Goodbye Without Leaving" from the Series: 'Cold Cereal' by Nicole Rigets

Where do I find the words to


a flutter,

an instant,

something that

will not stay still,

something fleeting,


more valuable

than any gem,







love so strong

it hurts when

it embraces you;

only for today,


of course.

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

Rose Colored and White Insanity

In my second year at Grad School I was taking Media History.  We were watching films to learn about the conceptual and constructed components that go into the making of them.

Unlike many arts, films exude prophecy and memory.  I would sit in the dark theatre and write in my heavy black sketchbook with the refrigerator white pages laid open.  The pen scratched across the toothy paper but I could only hear the steadily increasing sine wave of piercing electronic sound; which accounts for the words below that are typed in capitals as I routinely thought of getting up to leave. The sound increased in pitch and volume slowly over a 45 minute period.  I wrote and fought myself.  Every few minutes someone left and I still don’t know how I sat through it.  The sound was marginally muffled by thoughts of my grade point average and whether Fiona, our teacher, would mark me absent if I left before it ended. I recently read the sine wave contributes largely to the uncanniness of the film.

Here’s what was written by feeling my way along on the pages of my book as I wanted to emit the same sound as the sine wave:

Viewing “Wavelength” by Michael Snow

Extraordinarily loud traffic

(noice) noise.

empty apartment with bookcase.

strawberry fields playing and

the room turned pale red… for

a few minutes or a minute.

Traffic noise begins but the

window has been shut by 2

women that came in before &

have now left. Yellow, red —

orange, yellow-green trucks

make a loud noise  s.

sunset in the window &

it comes into the room.

psychedelic colors paint

the interior white

light strikes the room.

Flash, lightening ? or

car lights shining in like

an angry dragon, no traffic

now and a foghorn playing

a long note & vibration —

color & vibration . white &

neutrals & negative exposure

pink cellophane windows

rose colored & white insanity

green gel interior . chalky

white dark with outdoors

showing through windows.

Daylight flashing & zoomed

in on room’s interior.


The voice of the noise is

becoming hoarse . iciy blue

The noise will dye soon.

I meant die

The room is disappearing.

green shot popcorn. &

grainy film now perfectly

exposed with person on floor

What’s wrong with this picture?

klear whitewashed flashed

noise is annoying

a-noising  dark red like

a burst body vessel.  STOP IT

Tune out Tune off. TUNES

not much room left now.

a white blob passes.

and we just sit here &

take it!!

yellow chair yellow

light_ ‘ . _ Double ghost image

institution   .    office of

A d mission to a clinic for

nervous & mental breakdowns

In one ear & out the other .

Fading but not the sound.

A black phone appears &

I can call for help who’s

going to listen, who will

listen ??  LET ME OUT !?!

Clarity again in the image.

outdoor signs are visible

hardware store.  In the left

ear now.  nowpictures on

the wall. & woman dials phone.

she reports a dead person on

the floor in her room.  She

becomes ghostly.


THE SOUND.  White wall now.

pictures of 2 white forms of people

standing multiplied then became

only 2 again . now multiple &

floaty . Layers of the same

B & W picture (one over the other)

not quite aligned.  mis-matched

out of synch . spaces between

your ears . Down that tunnel

that people who have a near-

death experience go . WORSE THAN

A TOOTHACHE when will this

noise be pulled or filled??  Conden-

sation on the glass window pane

and there is a squiggle drawn


This sound is searing my

eyeballs & scraping my nerve

endings as fine lines

show up now vertically

on the screen (on the scream in my skull) . S/B 2

fine lines.  sirens now on

top of this  B & W photo of

water & rippley waves

becomes the picture & a

new noise is added like

a trolley bus starting away

from a curb . and a siren

at a distance ._ these two

combined  .  The texture of

the waves is full screen

but they do not move at all


diffuse into mist.  The END!

at last.  no maybe not.  Yes.

Some bold color blocks at

the fine.

Before watching a 10-minute version of “Wavelength” at the link below, scroll down on You Tube and get a load of the five or six comments.  I hope you will watch it and go on to read the following link for a worthy explanation of what Canadian Filmmaker Michael Snow’s award-winning film is about. The “Aha!” moment follows Wikipedia’s article and discussions.

Wikipedia on “Wavelength”

Bio of Fiona Bowie, my Media History teacher at Emily Carr University on Granville Island, Vancouver, B.C.

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

Soul Burn


Artist:  Nicole Rossmo Rigets

Price:  $2,200  CAD

Dynamic against gallery white walls, black leather or lacquer, brick or glass block, large or small spaces, lofts, contemporary or commercial environments.

Stretched and ready to hang. Approximately:  42″ x 60″.

Premium Artist Canvas made from the highest quality cotton duck fabric. This heavyweight canvas is the best all around canvas on the market; soft white, pH neutral, acid free, and 100% cotton.  Archival longevity.

Additional Information:  email:


"Frenchie"-Tulle over Fur

I consider my journals a collection of me! – in a visual and voiced format.  A formation of me; a framework generating a material composition of my days.

Working my way through fashion magazines reminds me of my teens when I reverted into them for place and inspiration.  Each glossy page announced the promise of a beautiful future.  I spotted people I needed to adopt as role models.  The pages whispered of excitement and destinations like Paris and New York.

"Lanvin & Peonies" - I Want it All!

If you see something in a magazine that makes you think of a friend, clip it out for them, and send it off with a hand-written card or note.  My friend Sonny always reaches into her handbag as soon as we sit down together for coffee out, and produces a small sheaf of magazine clips for me, to inspire me.  I rework hand-me-down jewelry into new designs by re-assembling elements from multiple pieces.  Sonny’s thoughtfulness has led me to new ways of seeing and inventing.

My friend Elaine provides me with three huge shopping bags of fashion mags and one of Vanity Fair annually.  She passes them along to me because she knows I need them for collage, and subsequently, I pass them along down the line to friends who are also artists.  I keep beautiful floral file folders available for the parts of mags I’m saving. One for articles, one for writing prompts, and one for design tips and ideas.  Oops… there’s more:  one for creative ideas for paintings and the fifth one is for photographs I admire for their lighting, composition, or novelty subjects.  Magazines make excellent reference tools when you slip a piece of silk ribbon or a lovely bookmark into the pages you’re interested in re-visiting.

Begin this art exercise by cutting out things you are attracted to for just twenty minutes. Don’t think about it.  Pretend you’ve won a shopping spree and you’re just grabbing everything you can and throwing it into your basket.  Have a pretty basket beside you and drop your clippings into it.

These will be, what I call your ipages, or your VIP’s:  Very Important Pages.  Spend ten or fifteen minutes arranging these on a few large pieces of paper.  Choose any background to attach them to.  I like pure white or lined, but you decide on the color that best resonates for you and then take a gluestick and secure them neatly to the papers.

Now lay them out and contemplate what you’re seeing.  How do you like this glimpse of your inner workings??  What shapes repeat themselves?  What colors dominate your collages? Are there ways for you to make changes in your wardrobe or environment using these ideas and objects.  A new tabletop display perhaps or outrageous accessories to liven a conservative outfit.  Take time; sit down and record your thoughts and feelings about the work you just accomplished.

"Toney Three-Button Cropped Sleeve and Leather Gloves"

Flower and garden magazines offer beauty in landscape that can be cut out and pasted over a nondescript book or journal to enhance the cover.  Used bookstores have so many bargains jumbled on shelves or tables you might want to pick up a good solid one. When you get home with it you can paste or staple a fresh sheet of paper over a page and make it presentable for attaching particles of fabric, color swatches, ribbon, stamps, photographs; the choices are unlimited.  As an alternative, gesso can be brushed over the page and left to dry, and now you have a plain white sheet to work on.  Yes, it may be a little imperfect, but in art that’s all the better to show life in matter.

Go inside your ‘new’ journal, your source and improv book, your altered book, and live between the pages for awhile.  Photograph some of your results and post the pictures inside.  Send me images to post here and we can all be inspired.  Failing that show them to your friends and help them try something new; bring them to my blog to view these examples.  I remember when I bought my first journal; I could hardly think of what to do, or write down in it, or even what to collect in it.  Now the family is horrified wondering how many truckloads it will take to clean out my studio when I… well, you know when.  How many trucks it’ll take is open for debate.

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

Lamped in Animal Forms

Black coffee seems too serious for this read; let’s make it a latte to accompany a copy of Abigail Ahern’s book, “A Girl’s Guide to Decorating.”  Ahern’s shabby chic meets industrial high tech is lacquered, textured, papered, booked, lamped in animal forms, cushioned, collected, colored, diverse, rich, and mighty.

She advises: “Have Something that seamlessly holds it all together.  ie. a paint color, textural feature, or a personal choice of furnishings.”

Stacks of books arranged beautifully make excellent plinths for displaying favorite objects.

"I adore this photograph and the over-the-top tabletop"

Pairs create balance.

Equalizing with Chairs, Lamps, and Stools

What kind of mood do you want to set; cozy, glamorous, formal?  Something that is often overlooked is levels of lighting in a room. Lighting contributes so much to the inner realm. I have always advised hiring a professional lighting designer to make sure you achieve the look you desire.  To start: mix table, pendant, and floor lamps to mingle the light.

Exactly the Right Portion of Yellow

Ahern offers ideas for all seasons and settings… when zoning in multi-use rooms make space feel more intimate by concealing areas you don’t want on view.  Use a decorative screen, free-standing bookcase, or a group of large plants to provide a simple partition.

If a physical barrier seems too obtrusive, lay different rugs in separate zones to give each area its own personality.

I chose these tips for the kitchen from her book:

Push button catches on kitchen cabinets eliminates the need for door handles… this is the answer if the room is tiny!

Glass test tubes with cork tops can be filled with spices and set into a metal rack.

Elongate kitchen cupboard doors.  This is a simple and inexpensive trick that looks indulgent and luxurious.  I’d like to see these cupboard doors painted in Warhol colors.

Ahern likes the way dark smoky colors bring sophistication.

The use of lime, primrose, and hot pink

Here are a few more of Ahern’s color palettes:

  • Burnt sienna, damson, raspberry and pink.
  • Nutmeg, stone, pink, pecan, and chocolate.
  • Bronze, azure, deep grey and pearly white.
  • Salmon, buff, ochre and sage.

I like to collect paint chips and turn them into assemblages on the blank face, white pages of journals with jazzy covers.  Scissors, glue stick, imagination and possibly even a thin black felt pen:  now I have all the tools I need to keep me busy for hours.  I like to take these things with me when I go downtown so I can experiment with shape and composition over a coffee and a chocolate almond biscotti.

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets