Work samples

  • Chasing the Years: Cups of Coffee
    "Chasing the Years" is a series which explores the passage of time and memory, through a collection of small works which will become part of a larger installation. All of the pieces in the series comprise of image/photo transfer of cell phone photos, layered pourings, thin tissue paper, graphite, ink and acrylic.
  • Collaboration with My Son (No.6)
  • Detritus (Palette)
    Disposable paper palettes mounted on panel, oil/epoxy glaze
  • Paul
    acrylic and graphite on claybord

About Nicole

Carroll County
Nicole Buckingham Kern attended Notre Dame of Maryland University, in Baltimore, MD, where she earned a BA in Studio Art and Art History, and the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she earned a MFA in Painting. Buckingham Kern's work has been selected for exhibitions in her home state of Maryland as well as in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia and California. Several pieces are held in the collection of the Savannah College of Art and Design, University of Maryland University College and… more

Chasing the Years

This project began with images taken during the COVID-19 pandemic, and has expanded beyond that, delving into my cell phone "archives" (aka, my Google Drive). 2020 has been hectic and slow as molasses at the same time. I have had (some) time to think and reflect, revisit the memories and moments that have made life, at least my life, what it is. Too often we as a society rush ahead, chasing whatever it is that drives us- for some people that is fame, or money, power, or escape. Rarely do we reflect on what was, or just take time to live in the moment.

"Chasing the Years" is an autobiographical series which explores the passage of time and memory. Images taken with my cell phone serve as snapshots from my point of view, of all the moments that make up every day life- from moments of intimate quiet, to the repetitive daily grind, from the significant to the mundune. 

Each image is worked, and reworked, sanded, layered, obscured and preserved, in such a way as to retain the moment, and fill in the gaps of the memory.  But also by this process, the integrity of the memory is comprimised, as the images become disintegrated with each new layer, echoing how memory fades over time- despite all of my attempts to retain the moment.

All of the pieces in the series comprise of image/photo transfer, layered pourings, thin tissue paper, graphite and acrylic. Many images are still in progress. The collection included here reflect the most "complete" pieces of small works that will be compiled into a larger installation. 


  • Chasing the Years: Cups of Coffee
    "Chasing the Years" is a series which explores the passage of time and memory, through a collection of small works which will become part of a larger installation. All of the pieces in the series comprise of image/photo transfer of cell phone photos, layered pourings, thin tissue paper, graphite, ink and acrylic.
  • Chasing the Years: 10 mph
    "Chasing the Years" is a series which explores the passage of time and memory, through a collection of small works which will become part of a larger installation. All of the pieces in the series comprise of image/photo transfer of cell phone photos, layered pourings, thin tissue paper, graphite, ink and acrylic.
  • Chasing the Years: Shadow Play
    "Chasing the Years" is a series which explores the passage of time and memory, through a collection of small works which will become part of a larger installation. All of the pieces in the series comprise of image/photo transfer of cell phone photos, layered pourings, thin tissue paper, graphite, ink and acrylic. The drawing aspect in this particular piece is more prevalent than in the others. I plan to rework the other images, and future images, to include more of the drawing element.
  • Chasing the Years: One Last Time
    "Chasing the Years" is a series which explores the passage of time and memory, through a collection of small works which will become part of a larger installation. All of the pieces in the series comprise of image/photo transfer of cell phone photos, layered pourings, thin tissue paper, graphite and acrylic.

Collaborations with My Son

I am a working mom, trying to find a balance in work, art, and family life. As cliche as it can sound, my son is the best thing that has happened to me (apologies to my husband, but, he would agree, our kiddo takes the cake even for him). I never realized, though, what a challenge it can be to try and balance parenting and work. And explaining to my son (now 3, almost 4) why Mommy has to go to work, and the heartbreak for him (and me) when I leave, the joy when I come home. "Mommy, you're home!" and the hugs, and the instant demand of "Play with me, Mommy." And off we go to play with his trains, cars, or Minecraft (on peaceful mode).  On the flip side, there are days when work and balancing the demands of work and life through COVID, all I want to do is just have a moment of quiet, and the "Play with me, Mommy" is frustrating, and incessant... there's so much to do and playing is the last thing I have energy for. I get irritated. Then guilt descends. Because there are families' whose children are gone, due to illness and violence. I am lucky that I still have my little boy. Guilt also comes from the most innocent of reasons. One day, he'll have grown up and he won't ask me to play anymore.  So, instead of dwelling on the guilt, or letting the irritation take hold, I have started making artwork with my son. We "play" with watercolor, crayons, pencil, markers and his toys. Once everything is dry, I work back into the drawings/sculptures we make together with stamps, ink, markers, and other mixed media materials, exploring my thoughts on his words while I am working. This way, we both get to have fun together. I get to teach him about one of the things I love most in this world (aside from him)- which is art, he gets to be creative with me and when the collaborative part is done, I have my quiet time when he's asleep, to process my thoughts on what life is like as a working Mom, and my feelings about, well, life in general and the world he will grow up in.
  • Collaboration with My Son (No.3)
  • Collaboration with My Son (No.1)
  • Collaboration with My Son (No.2)
  • Collaboration with My Son (No.4)
  • Collaboration with My Son (No.5)
  • Collaboration with My Son (No.6)
  • Collaboration with My Son (No.7)
  • Collaboration with My Son (No.8)
  • Collaboration with My Son (No.9)
  • Collaboration with My Son (No.10)

Detritus

Detritus is an ongoing project which examines the process of the creation of a work of art, and the fascination with process over the finished piece. Which is more valuable as a statement as an artist? The process itself/the act of creation (the leavings of the process are not always beautiful/aesthetically pleasing, and are often repulsive. The process, which though tedious, is mentally and physically taxing but gives a sense of satisfaction) or the completed product (which, though beautiful, is often dismissed after only brief inspection, as our attention span decreases in response to our increasingly visually inundated world)? Which should be venerated, process or product?

Each palette is a history of 2-4 hours of work during time spent in my studio painting a portrait based in the techniques of the Northern Renaissance. This preliminary test of the installation is a result of the under-painting process (sometimes mixed media) approach to the creation of a portrait. The intent is to continue this from the initial full value graphite drawing to monochromatic under-painting through to the completion of color glazing.

Detritus began its own body of work, an installation visually and physically separate from the paintings whose creation led to the accumulation of paint and marks left behind on the palettes. As I've continued to work, I've come to realize that the palettes are, however, inherently linked to paintings of which the palettes are a byproduct.

The intent is to install the painting/Althea which results in the creation of the palettes/Detritus walls opposite of each other in an aesthetic/conceptual confrontation/harmony.
  • Detritus (Installation View 2)
    Disposable paper palettes mounted on panel, acrylic/oil/graphite/latex house paint/epoxy glaze
  • Detritus (Installation View 1)
    Disposable paper palettes mounted on panel, acrylic/oil/graphite/latex house paint/epoxy glaze
  • Detritus (Palette)
    Disposable paper palettes mounted on panel, acrylic/epoxy glaze
  • Detritus (Palette)
    Disposable paper palette mounted on panel, oil, epoxy glaze
  • Detritus (Palette)
    Disposable paper palettes mounted on panel, acrylic/oil/graphite/latex house paint/epoxy glaze
  • Detritus (Palette)
    Disposable paper palettes mounted on panel, acrylic/graphite/epoxy glaze
  • Detritus (Palette)
    Disposable paper palettes mounted on panel, oil/epoxy glaze
  • Detritus (Palette)
    Disposable paper palettes mounted on panel, oil/epoxy glaze
  • Detritus (Palette)
    Disposable paper palettes mounted on panel, acrylic/epoxy glaze
  • Detritus (Palette)
    Disposable paper palettes mounted on panel, acrylic/epoxy glaze

Autumn Leaves (Birch Group), curator Peter Bruun

1 Project.

A multi-generational project of Bruun Studios taking place fall 2014 at Area 405, Autumn Leaves brought people together in reflection and celebration of our lives. Using art (an exhibition of 49 portraits by 7 different artists and drawings by Peter Bruun), performance and communal sharing, Autumn Leaves shone a light on Baltimoreans we otherwise might not know, offering a model of healthy community: accepting, empowering, and loving.

7 Events.

Each of 7 FREE events presented a different group of participants, all with something to offer the occasion: visual artists and writers exhibit works and words; youth art groups perform and provide a sense of ritual; "leaves" share autobiographical slide shows and ruminations on meaning; and hosts frame an overall experience all about the autumnal time of our lives.

Dates were as follows: "Poplar" 9/20, 4pm; "Birch" 9/30, 6pm; "Oak" 10/5, 4pm; "Ash" 10/9, 6pm; "Chestnut" 10/14, 6pm; "Maple" 10/18, 4pm; and "Sycamore" 11/2, 4pm.

49 Leaves.

49 individuals age 50 or older (leaves) are the subject of Autumn Leaves. At each event, 7 leaves shared thoughts on three questions: “What gives your life meaning? How do you think about your own dying, or passing? What do you have to say to young people coming after you, or what advice would you give your 21 year-old self?”

Birch Leaves:

Juanita Brown
Tori Burns
Paul Freedman
Rev. Felton Williams
Robert Ginyard
Seth Knopp
Donna Jackson Nakazawa

Birch Artist
Nicole Buckingham Kern
  • Tori
    acrylic and graphite on claybord
  • Seth
    acrylic and graphite on claybord
  • Donna
    acrylic and graphite on claybord
  • Felton
    acrylic and graphite on claybord
  • Paul
    acrylic and graphite on claybord
  • Robert
    acrylic and graphite on claybord
  • Juanita
    acrylic and graphite on claybord

Ordinary Woman, curator Diana Marta

When Diana asked me to participate in “Ordinary Woman” she requested something along the lines of my “wrapped” paintings. This being something I had not delved into for a few years, I dug up my old artist statement… and found this:

“Though it is a personal dilemma, there is a universal facet to this struggle, in that every person experiences this stage of development at one point in their life. I can only experience it as a woman, and I feel that even in this era it is more difficult for women to overcome the ingrained societal expectation of bending to the will of others.”

For “Untitled/Anonymous” I drew upon this statement, and my love of Classical Greek Sculpture (one of my three dimensional fascinations- the way something so had and solid is made to look like cloth, and reflect the form underneath).
  • Untitled/Anonymous- Installation Photo
    plaster cloth, plaster, wire mesh, paint and dress form.
  • Untitled/Anonymous- Installation Photo
    plaster cloth, plaster, wire mesh, paint and dress form.
  • Ordinary Woman Exhibit
    Classically Faceless (third piece from the left)