Artist Interview: Nichelle Augustus-Shah

by Nichelle Augustus-Shah

by Nichelle Augustus-Shah

I’m Nichelle Augustus- Shah and I have been painting and showing art since I was 14 years old. I grew up in India and spent a couple years in France as a child where I saw artists paint on cobblestone streets and I was so touched by this and I began painting.

What medium(s) do you work in & why?
I work primarily in oil and watercolor. I have done some wood cuts, zinc plate etching and printmaking as well that I enjoyed very much. Sometimes as preliminary studies of paintings I first work with watercolors before moving on to oil on canvas. Oils are very pliable and forgiving. Watercolors can take on immense depth and are very fluid and yet the permanence of watercolor versus the ability to rework oils, make watercolor an exciting media to work with.

by Nichelle Augustus-Shah

by Nichelle Augustus-Shah

What is your creative process like?
My inspiration comes from my travels, emotions and experiences with others, Often the paintings seek to make sense of a perceived situation or phase in life- Multiple paintings tell a cohesive story of solitude and peace, love, longing, quiet strength and acceptance. Some of these works were created through imagination and without the use of models.

What is the best art-related advice you’ve received?
Walter Bartman- well known in the DC, MD, VA region was my first art instructor told me to ‘Pick up that Paintbrush daily’ and that is the best advice for any artist to work in their craft daily.

What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist?
Translating figure study into large scale oil works has been challenging.

Choose one piece that you currently have on display at Artomatic and tell the story of that piece:

by Nichelle Augustus-Shah

by Nichelle Augustus-Shah

This piece- unnamed as yet because I cannot find the right name for it- was created in Santiniketan, India while I was a visiting artist at the arts school founded by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. this painting was made in 1999 and while I was studying under Jogen Choudhary, one of India’s top artists. Any location where many artists meet and work is charged with an energy that is tangible and Santiniketan was a haven for visual and performance arts. This painting took a couple months to complete and because I was a visiting artist and had left my family and friends behind for many months with no real connectivity to the outside world, the painting reflects the feelings of solitude and longing I felt. The subjects were people in my life whom I was putting into a context.

What is your favorite part of the Artomatic experience so far?
The ability to meet and talk to many artists and professionals in the art field has truly been a blessing and one of the main reasons why I love Artomatic!

What is your website (or other method of contact):

You can see more of Nichelle’s work on display at Artomatic 2015 on the third floor, space 5-037.

About the Author

Heather Miller

WhiteRose's Art is the studio of artist Heather Miller. Her mediums include mixed media, assemblage, sculpture, and occasionally digital art. She holds a BFA in digital art from George Mason University but also studied mythology and psychology at The Ohio State University. In her earlier years, she was the owner of a small gift shop in Columbus, Ohio and a founder of a now-closed non-profit education center in Cleveland, Ohio. See her art at: Check out her blog:


  1. I’ve seen Nichelle evolve from finger art as a kid to the artist she is today, very sensitive, loving and giving…she has worked hard to do what she has but I know there’s still so much potential that’s waiting to be explored! I’m sure she will pave a path not only for herself but also for the kids she mentors and coaches daily! I wish her the very best!