Me and My Muses


 1992 - 2008

Nicole Piot

The hand that rocks the brushes


named after a street where I lived

"Thirst will parch your tongue and your body will waste through lack of sleep ere you can describe in words that which painting instantly sets before the eye." Leonardo da Vinci

My Oeuvre - Chronology of a Passion

Beginnings - My passion for painting roots in my father, who in 1989, to the occasion of my oeuvre in fine arts for the general qualification exam for university entrance, offered me his old paintbox and introduced me to the secrets of this passion. I started with first, hesitant tries at this grand métier, which set out heralding my initial, concentrated phase of production, lasting from the beginning of my studies to the onset of full-time employment in 1999. These paintings mirror the quest of defining and expanding my own style.

Uncatalogued work - Mostly in 1991, I have done a small series of impressions of works of world renowned painters - these paintings are not catalogued, but part of private collections both in the United States and in Mexico.

Night Painting - After ten years devoted entirely to career and family, a secluded and inspiring séjour in Paris in 2009 brought my glowing passion back to life. For seven years, changed circumstances transformed it into a nocturnal devotion, which at times can be detected by the slightly darker and rougher timbre of the works - until the paintings resurfaced into my daytime work, Elysian Fields - and which is ongoing.

"To love someone is to see him as God intended him."Fyodor Dostoevsky

Trying to transcend perception, I paint what inspires and moves me, or what I have been educated in: the music of Jazz; Blues of the deep, American South; Afro-American Literature and Poetry; the turbulent history of civil rights; and all-suffusing nature. Profoundly coined by my student life in New Orleans, its culture and story is a spring of artistic creation, giving voice to the desire to create a painted chronic, animated by appreciation, honoring, empathy and admiration. Thus I understand art as the link of one sensory perception with the other, bearing witness to our Condition Humaine, the dilemma between the search for infinity and our finite life. Art also as reverent respect before creation, to equally honor the individual and the interconnectedness with all life. In this sense, my work is moved by and through life, distant from commercialized fabrication and yet accessible to those  drawn to it. On my way, I find just as promising perspectives for the realization, development and deepening of my artistic aim in substantiated reflection of my work and life, as in auto-didactic and personal ideals, as well as in direct, close exchange with other artists, of different disciplines, too.

"Je vais où le regard voit briller l’espérance." Alphonse de Lamartine


I grew up in the Zurich area of Switzerland. After my general qualification for university entrance (focusing on economics and law), I studied one year at Medical School of University of Zurich. Then, I entered the Licentiate's Program of English Philology, also at University of Zurich, majoring in English Literature and Linguistics, focusing on African American Literature and the Linguistics of the American Deep South. My first minor was Philosophy, with emphasis on Political Philosophy, and my second minor, Political Science, focusing on International Organizations. I earned my Master's Degree in 1998.

Hired Work Experience

At age fifteen, I began working during my school vacations with a Zurich based insurance company, as analyst and adjuster. Before starting Medical School, I did a program as nurse's aid with a clinic in Zurich. During my studies of English Philology, I worked four years part-time as an attorney's secretary with a law firm in Zurich. At the same time, I started doing translations. Subsequently, I resumed working for the insurance company I had been with before, up until my graduation, whereafter I started full time employment with the same, being promoted to member of senior staff and heading teams in the international life insurance sector.

Experience Abroad

March 1990: New Orleans, U.S.A. - 7 months stay to study English as a second language at the ESL Institute of Tulane University; summer school at Tulane University (taking courses in philosophy and cultural anthropology). 1991 - 1998: New Orleans, U.S.A. - Yearly 3½ months stays during summer semester breaks, and three weeks stays during Christmas holidays, for research in English literature and linguistics, philosophy, and political science, as well as to write and paint.

"Art is a human activity which has as its purpose the transmission to others of the highest and best feelings to which men have risen." Leo Tolstoy

"Art is not a study of positive reality; it is a search for ideal truth." George Sand

"Art teaches nothing, except the significance of life." Henry Miller