I have always drawn and painted but it took me years to find out how to make a creative life. Moving West from London a few years ago gave me the space I needed to discover what I wanted to paint and to explore the materials and techniques that would express it.


My work is about capturing something evanescent and ephemeral.

The making of a painting starts with a photograph, or many photographs that I have taken of something that speaks to me. I might sketch in situ but practicality, and the speed at which light and shadows change means that the immediacy of a lens is more helpful.

I can only depict a place I have actually seen and connected with. That connection is vital and the excitement about what I have seen will ultimately imbue the work with emotion and feeling.

Architecture is usually what starts me off, perhaps a building in isolation and how it sits within a landscape, or a slice of a city – usually at night.

The common ingredient will be light and how it plays on the subject. The shadows of dusk or darkness will always be more attractive to me than broad daylight.

I never set out to produce an accurate visual record of a place. Its atmosphere or character is much more interesting.

I can feel that a particular place at a particular time has a story that I need to tell by painting it, although it would be difficult for me to tell you what that story is.

I like to paint people too. I enjoy life drawing. I’m intrigued by musicians and cellists are a favourite subject. The series of paintings that I have done inspired by the Bach Cello Suites appear on several specialist websites.


Nikki Frater An Introduction The Poly Falmouth October 2006

Prelude Morvah Schoolhouse Gallery Summer 2008

Chasing Shadows Over the Moon Gallery St Agnes Summer 2009

Night and Day The Alverton Gallery Penzance July 2010

Paintings by Nikki Frater Plas Newydd, Anglesey July 2011

The Poly Members Exhibition Summer 2011

Lemon Street Gallery mixed Christmas Exhibitions 2006 - 2010