Articles about George Nick


      Page 5

In 1965, two years out of graduate school and after a trip to Europe, Nick realized that he could "paint anywhere." By 1970, the itinerant painter had begun taking painting trips to Europe with regularity-shipping home his hot-off-the-easel paintings in cardboard tubes. He has maintained these annual, and sometimes semiannual, excursions ever since, producing a body of paintings that comprise a significant part of his life's work. Paintings from Spain, Italy, Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Israel, Russia, France, England.. .the list goes on, and it is a testament not only to Nick's need to refresh himself visually but to the importance he places on his affiliation with the tradition of Western painting. The names of the painters whose work he has copied in museums here and abroad gives an idea of his eclecticism and the breadth and nature of this affiliation: Rubens, Bonnard, Tiepolo, Rembrandt, and the lesser-known eighteenth-century Spanish still-life painter, Melendez.

Nick's teaching career began with a series of one year appointments after completing his studies at Yale. In 1969 he accepted a position at Massachusetts College of Art, where he would remain for the next twenty-five years.

Students loved Nick's energy. His excitement about painting infected his classrooms. At 9 a.m., when classes began, it was not unusual to see Nick bound into the studio-his eyes alert, his affect loud- full of an excitement brought from a morning of looking and painting. He taught by example-the example of his own life as a painter, with his disciplined work habits and youthful enthusiasm. He was a great motivator, inspiring students with stories of his own struggles from his life as a painter "I have never encountered a teacher," wrote one former student, "who is a better role model for his students than George is." He taught, and exemplified, what this same student termed "artistic integrity: the ability to be true to oneself in spite of fashion." Nick's colleagues have made similar observations. The well-known realist, John Moore (whom I cite earlier in this article), has called Nick "arguably the most influential teacher.. in the Boston area."


Previous Page