Nikkie Markle grew up in the Midwest, but Texas is her home. A self-taught artist, Nikkie began painting in college as a way to clear her mind. She finds inspiration for her art in the places and things she encounters, whether during a visit to the beach or a walk with her dogs in a nearby park or nature preserve. Nikkie seeks to transfer the happiness she finds in these places to her canvases, which is why she frequently focuses her paintings on an individual subject or landscape--animal portraits, solitary figures and quiet spaces. Because of her background in maritime and museum studies, Nikkie has a deep appreciation for conservation and the environment, and this appreciation is reflected in her work. Nikkie uses a wide spectrum of visible and meandering brushstrokes, as well as a lively symphony of color, to exude spiritual freedom in her work. Her creative process typically involves developing an outline of the subject, selecting several reference photos, and then allowing the colors to blend fluidly as the painting forms. Collectors will notice that Nikkie frequently places squares, or "windows," in her paintings to add color, visual interest, and texture.