In his senior year of high school, J. Scott Nicol took a beginning art class and found his passion. For the next four years, he read every book he could find on art, visited every museum and art gallery in the area, talked to as many artists and teachers he could find, and graduated from Rutgers University with a BFA in Fine Art Photography and Painting.

The summer after graduating from college, Scott worked with a team of artists to renovate St. Peters Church in New Brunswick, NJ. Each day was spent climbing high scaffolds and painting clouds, filigree, cherubs, and angels. The many hours painting these and other iconic images gave Scott the confidence to be a prolific painter.

When the church was finished, Scott got an opportunity to work at AT&T’s graphic department in Bedminster, NJ. He began in the photography department but quickly became a graphic designer. For the next 28 years, Scott was a successful graphic artist and entrepreneur in video, multi-image, business graphics, and textile art. At age 50, he found his passion again and returned to fine art painting.

Throughout his career, whether in commercial or fine art, J. Scott Nicol has always told a story with his work. What better way to “tell a story” than with books? Scott’s latest series utilizes book spines on a shelf to portray his vision.

Photo-realistic in style, each oil painting captures the book’s three-dimensionality with normal wear, tears, and the occasional scotch tape. With careful use of color and composition, the art pops off the canvas. Each of his paintings in the series is thematic. Much like a bookstore or library organizes its books into categories; Scott creates his book paintings into themes based on Popular Culture organized by years such as “1969,” Art History as seen in “Pop Art” and “Art Deco,” Biography themes like “Tormented Genius” and Travel themes organized by city shown in “New York, New York.”

In addition to all the work involved in researching and developing each component of the painting, Scott makes up and creates each book separately. With over one hundred books created so far the iconic images run the gamut of subjects including; Frank Sinatra, Joe Namath, Woodstock, The Beatles, Janis Joplin, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Shakespeare, Vermeer, Warhol, The Cubs, Babe Ruth, The Phillies, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, and many more.

J. Scott Nicol creates original oil paintings and limited edition prints on canvas and paper in various sizes. His artwork is on display in galleries throughout North America. Scott also creates commission paintings based on collectors’ input, and there is currently a waiting list for commissions.

Call or visit our local galleries in Laguna and Irvine for more information about procuring some of J. Scott Nicol’s artwork. As Southern California’s premier local art galleries, the Village Gallery in Laguna Beach and Irvine is a proud distributor of Rothe’s most memorable pieces.


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