Nicole Hope Matthews paints with light. Her photographs are taken in complete darkness after she has carefully arranged a still life or choreographed in her mind the movement of a long exposure portrait. She then uses a penlight with different colored gels to paint her picture. Nicole's light painting study began with photographing still lifes but after the diagnosis of her grandmother's pancreatic cancer, her emotions needed a more expressive form, herself. She has continued to use light painting to tell many different stories. "I love oil painting but the [painting with light] clean up process is much easier!" she remarks. Nicole's work of vividly colored flowers and expressive self portraits appear to be digitally enhanced, although they are created with the camera and a pocket light only.
Nicole studied Photography and Art History at Drexel University and has exhibited in Philadelphia and its suburbs, including the Vox Populi Gallery and The Ellen Powell Tiberino Memorial Museum of Contemporary Art. Aside from her love of fine art, Nicole is a portrait/lifestyle photographer and co-owner of New Leaf Photography based in West Chester, Pennsylvania. A portion of the proceeds of her self-portraits will be donated to the American Cancer Society.