Vermont Arts Council

The People’s Choice Award: Nick Mayer

51: Nick Mayer

Create oil paintings connecting mountaintops to seafloors

Nick Mayer is an award winning nature illustrator whose style embraces the natural beauty of fish and other marine life with a unique scientific perspective. He is a former marine biologist and a lifelong fly fishing addict.  A skin of his teeth survival falling overboard off a commercial fishing vessel into the Bering Sea followed by a near float plane crash in Northern Labrador inspired Nick to pursue his true calling as an artist.

Painting is his passion and he has developed a celebrated touch. He is the illustrator of four books: Catalina Island Dive Buddies written by IGFA fishing historian Mike Rivkin (Silverfish Press, 2013), Wild Oceans Coloring by Nick Mayer (Fox Chapel Publishing, 2016), An Angler’s Journal by Nick Mayer (Fox Chapel Publishing, 2019) and Fish ABCs by Nick Mayer (pending). His work and licensed products can be seen in galleries and stores in over 30 countries around the globe.

Project description

Mountaintops and Seafloors…  For some, global climate change has catalyzed a new awareness of the interconnectedness of life and earth systems. What were once thought of as opposite extremes on the planet: deserts and oceans, tropic and arctic, mountaintops and seafloors; are now thought of as being connected. Dust from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon rainforests. The extraction and burning of fossil fuels releases carbon that was originally pulled from the air and stored in seashells. Everything on this planet is connected.

This grant will fund the creation of four 5′ x 5′ oil paintings on canvas that make connections between mountaintops and seafloors. Through visually communicating strikingly obvious similarities, connections will be made between opposites. This metaphor will move the viewer to re-examine the absolutes in his or her own life. These paintings will be two pairs, placed side by side. The first pair will be the root ball bottom of an overturned maple tree depicted on one canvas and an identical composition of a deep sea crinoid on the other. The second will be a close up of the British Soldier Moss on one canvas and an identical composition of hydrothermal vent tubeworms on the other.

Media Sample 1

Blackwater series V4. “Deep sea Long Tentacled Octopus watercolor study, 3/2023.”

Media Sample 2

Beaver Pond Brook Trout. “Watercolor on paper.”

Media Sample 3

Paper Nautilus. “Watercolor on paper.”

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Acadia Klepeis August 23, 2023