Mien Muse | Artist Nichol Duenes

I met the lovely artist Nichol Duenes through my good friend Theresa of Petals & Pop. Soft spoken, elegant, and exuding a calming kindness in her presence, Nichol has carved out a world of her own through her sepia-colored still life portraits, lively textured renderings of woodland creatures - naturally found in the Oregonian wilderness that is her backyard, and delicately and richly composed paintings of flora that has become a signature of her style. She has found an oasis in art, and I am happy to have two pieces of her work to adorn my own home. She shares a glimpse into her life as an artist, a mother of three, and someone who held on to her passion and seamlessly blended her artful rituals into her everyday life.


Please get to know our friend, Nichol Duenes @avintagecloud.

How old were you when you discovered your love for drawing and painting?

I have been drawing since I can remember. Creating art out of whatever I could find at my fingertips.

    What is your favorite medium to work with and why? 

    Painting with acrylic paint on canvas. Playing with its texture by adding water or letting dry a little on my palette before applying on artwork. The process of acrylic is very soothing to me.

      Where do you find inspiration for your work? 

      Nature’s organic colors and the grand masterpieces of landscapes right in front of my eyes in Oregon, where I grew up and now live. Also, the gorgeous floral artwork of Petals and Pop. The way Terry places each unique flower next to the other to compliment each beauty in all its potential is always inspiring to my heart. Watching her create her ‘painting’ with nature’s flowers and foliage held in her hands as she works them. I love watching her process. Opens my eyes to new possibilities in my own work. 

        Has motherhood affected or changed your identity as an artist? 

        I started painting on canvas for the first time right after my daughter was born, my third child. I was determined to start creating again, to give myself an outlet and my own identity. Making art right at my kitchen counter, in between making meals for toddlers and loving on them and baby, brought me a fresh perspective on motherhood. Giving me the energy and freshness for a new day. 

          What does a typical day look like for your household?  How do you find time and the mindset to draw and paint? 

          Wake up while the house is asleep. Make my slow French press coffee. Sit and plan the day with homeschool, nature walks, and studio time through out the day for mother culture time.

            What type of art are you personally drawn to?

            I love going to Art Museums any chance I can. We do a lot of field trips to museums. I am personally drawn to art that has passion from the artist pouring out of it and you can feel the brush strokes and colors in your soul. Mainly impressionist artwork by the old master artists and new.

              Your home looks serene and full of personal touches such as paintings, and treasured objects. Can you share some tips of how you made your house a home?

              I really enjoy vintage shopping ever since I was a little girl with my mom. Over the years, I have collected pieces that have caught my eye. From mid century furniture pieces to handmade ceramics with fun unknown names signed on the bottom of each piece. I keep my walls bare, like a blank canvas, so I can see a new painting in my mind  clearly. My own work is all up in my studio. With only a few pieces facing forward at a time.

                Your daughter is also taking after you and painting as well. How did you help her discover her artistic ability?

                I’ve been waiting for my children to be interested in art, without having to force them. Although our schooling style is very creative in itself. My daughter started her passion for art when she was a toddler. I gave her the supplies, like how I would set myself up before painting. She would just paint. Over the years I have given her sweet little direction and techniques. When we work on an artwork together, we learn together, I learn about her and myself and it’s just so beautiful.

                  Can you describe your sense of style? What are some of your favorite Mien pieces and why?

                  Casually curated vintage mixed with handmade pieces by women artists. I feel so comfortable in my Painter's Jacket in Champagne paired with everything. I keep my Together Jumpsuit in the studio to put on easily & move around effortlessly as I work on paintings. I wear my Lakeside Wide Leg Jumpsuit around the house and out in nature. My ultimate fave is the Weekender Dress in Light Sand, when I put it on, makes me feel so romantic and inspired!