Paciorek on Pinks and Purples: Prolific painter talks color

Motif had the opportunity to speak with PVD-based artist, Nick Paciorek, known for his local and international landscapes, paintings that use big strokes of vivid color to create lively tones and atmosphere. Originally from Chicago, Paciorek has lived in RI for decades and currently creates art at The Pitcher-Goff house in Pawtucket:

Luke Taylor (Motif): There seems to be a lot of contrast and dramatic lighting in your work. What inspires your choice of colors? 

Nick Paciorek: Choice of color is the feeling color. The grass is not always green, sometimes it feels red. It all depends on the color next to it in the painting. The painting is a world in itself.

LT: What is your most preferred medium?

NP: I mostly paint in oil paints. Oils give me the color that I’m always looking for. I can use other mediums, but that is my preference.

LT: Fauvism is a term that some use to describe your style. Does that label accurately describe your work? 

NP: I think the word Fauvism works for my work. The colors are not what is always in nature, but the painting takes on a world of its own. It is a mad beast of color. 

LT: You have painted around the world. How has that influenced your work?

NP: I have painted in different parts of the world. Just as travels open your mind up to new ideas and culture, so does landscape. Landscape has a power of its own – we just have to be able to take it in. What we look at in our lives influences how we see the world.

LT: When did you realize that you wanted to be a painter? Have you always been interested in art? 

NP: When I was five years old, I was in my Uncle Frank’s studio in California. I’d seen him create a painting from a blank canvas, and I told my mother that I was going to be an artist. So from that point on, so many of my choices in life have been focused on that.

LT: How do you typically approach a painting?  Do you have a process, or is it more of a whim? Maybe a balance of both?

NP: All my paintings start the same way, an idea. I start the painting with great energy, and it is going to be great. Then when I’m working on it, I feel that I can not even paint, and I have to tell myself that I’m a professional artist and I’m going to get through it. You can almost call it getting through the “hate” stage of the painting. Then you reach a point that it’s not so bad. Each drawing, painting, 3-D work of art goes through this for me.

LT: What are some of the challenges in selling your artwork?

NP: The challenges are that you are always marketing your work. Every artist would love to just sit in their studio, but the public needs to see the work, and not just in a digital form, but be in front of it. It is a different world when you live with a piece of artwork.

LT: As the weather warms, what are some good places around RI to paint outdoors?

NP: Almost anywhere. The state is so small, and the landscapes change so quickly. I can walk down the street and find great material.

Chase Farm [in Lincoln] is great. The cliff walk in Newport is classic – I’ll take photos or do sketches there, but there are too many people walking by to really paint. I like the bird sanctuaries. At Castle Hill [Newport] the views are great, but you can also duck around the people a little and find an out-of-the-way spot.

Nick Paciorek is available for commissions. You can contact him, view his artwork, and find upcoming show dates and events at