Stirling Studios - Nicole Stirling

I am a meticulous artist with a passion for bright colors, tiny details and intriguing patterns. I am also a lifelong Tahoe local so I feel the need to use Tahoe items, shapes and materials from the basin or reminiscent of the area. I’m super passionate about the lake, the water, the forest and all the creatures and beings inhabiting our tiny spot on the planet.


I started painting at a very young age locally with Frida Klein (Tahoe City) and am very passionate about creating with paint. In the past few years I’ve been focused on mandalas and have a collection that I began reproducing and selling to the public in 2017. I’ve been working closely with Phil Mosby (local photographer) who prints them locally on archival canvas, adds a coat of UV protective varnish, and then I hand-stretch the canvas myself on lumber milled in my back yard in Kings Beach. I feel an intense draw to circular artwork, and prior to mandalas my painting series were all involving bubbles or orbs. I love tiny details and geometric shapes, so my already inherently circular artwork was easily translated into making concentric and repetitive paintings – mandalas.


Along with paint I also started working with beads as a child when my grandma gave me a giant bag full of mixed seed beads and I sat for weeks sorting them at the table with a teaspoon and a set of empty spice jars from my mom. I still have some of those jars of beads today. I love bead embroidery and incorporate rocks and pebbles that I find on Tahoe’s beaches into my beadwork. I’m obsessed with rock collection (not on state beaches) and love the feel and look of stones that have been smoothed by Tahoe’s icy water over hundreds of years. Other bead weaving techniques are also present in my work

and I use all different types of bead shapes, styles, and materials. I have created a few 3D beaded objects (a dodecahedron, a star tetrahedron, and most recently a movable beaded

kaleidocycle/hexaflexagon) and was featured on Fusion Beads website and blog.


I also love to work with resin and use multiple techniques in my resin jewelry, primarily painting on layers of hardened resin and creating mini 3D paintings inside of resin pendants. I recently have started adding natural materials that I find around Tahoe into my resin such as pinecones, dandelion puffs, leaves, found wings, seed pods or moss. 


I frequently can be found in the evenings huddled in my cozy home studio in Kings Beach with music on and my kids playing on the floor. By day I’m the director at Incline Village Nursery School where I get to work with my other passion – preschoolers. I thrive with lots of color, joy, and wonder in my life – and I love every second of it.

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