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Childhood nostalgia evident in OKC artist's paintings

None December 2nd, 2010


Oklahoma City illustrator Christopher Nick likes to paint things that "remind me of my childhood."

State Capitol visitors can see the childlike optimism in his exhibit, "Capturing the Heart," which will be featured through June 3 in the East Gallery.

The vast majority of Nick's paintings are commissions for various magazines and businesses. Nick's piece of Capitol architect Solomon Layton serves as a good example of the steps it takes for such a work to materialize. 

"I'll do countless sketches on the drawing board until I get something that I think works, and I'll submit no more than two to the client," he said. "They always choose the worst one. My artist friend keeps telling me to send just the one I like, but I still send two."

In the case of Layton's portrait, circa 1914, Nick had to find period clothing and props to ensure accuracy. He inserted the models, took photographs and began constructing a sketch.

"My wife says I work like Dr. Frankenstein: I take the head from one photograph and the body of another photograph, just piecing it all together," he said. "It's the old artist analogy: It doesn't have to be right; it just has to look right." "”Charles Martin

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