Marketing executive and mother of three Niki Woehler never excelled in art class before she met a moment of destiny, where she dove into what was a new-found passion for painting contemporary art in Scottsdale. Just a few short years later, she is now the darling of media, galleries and devoted clients. Woehler is proud to today have paintings in buildings, homes and galleries around the country, and her work is in high demand. She is incredibly passionate about her contemporary art but didn’t always know she would become an artist in Scottsdale. “I wasn’t good in high school art class, where they wanted me to paint bowls of fruit,” she says. “I’m more of an out-of-the-box kind of artist.”
“She was surprised that I was new to painting and encouraged me to keep painting.”
Woehler is from Toronto and started a career in marketing at a young age. She moved to Phoenix in 1994 and continued her marketing career. Several years later, she felt a calling. “After a friend passed away, a voice in my head told me to stop at Michaels and get some canvases, brushes and paint,” she says. “I had no idea what I was doing.” Woehler began painting. She invited her neighbor, who was an art professor at Arizona State University, to provide input on her work. “She was surprised that I was new to painting and encouraged me to keep painting,” says Woehler.
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With three young children and a full-time job, Niki Woehler didn’t have much time for painting, but shefelt a strong drive to follow her newfound passion. “Painting was my happy place,” she says. “I started painting more and more, but I didn’t tell anyone.” Woehler owned a boutique marketing agency, and when she told one of her clients that she painted, the client asked to see photos of her paintings. Woehler was reluctant to share her work but sent the photos. “After seeing the photos, my client asked me to paint something for her. She loved it and asked me to do more paintings,” she says.
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Feeling encouraged, Woehler decided to take a risk and post one of her paintings on Facebook. It sold in an hour. She posted a few more and they sold quickly as well. She had a revelation. “I was inspired by a question I saw on social media: ‘if you knew you were going to die a year from now, are you doing what you want to be doing?’ Based on my answer to that question, I closed the agency, turned my dining room into a studio and never looked back,” she says.
Scottsdale’s Woehler primarily creates two types of contemporary art—resin on wood resembling stone and acrylic on canvas. She loves to create large pieces blending color, texture and dimension.
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Woehler finds a lot of inspiration in nature. She also finds inspiration working with interior designers. She will have the opportunity to work with several top designers as the presenting artist for Iconic Haus, a luxury designer showhouse featuring beautiful rooms and outdoor spaces created by 19 top marquis design firms. Located at Cameldale Estates in Paradise Valley, Iconic Haus opens to the public on March 20, and all proceeds benefit Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
"I will always strive to get better at what I do, learn new techniques and grow in my craft.”
“I’m enjoying the opportunity to collaborate with a variety of amazing designers on Iconic Haus,” says Woehler. “I’m excited to be a part of it.” Woehler is also excited for her future artistic endeavors. “I have so many ideas. I want to learn to sculpt. I may travel and be an artist in residence somewhere. I will always strive to get better at what I do, learn new techniques and grow in my craft,” she says.
Niki Woehler is very grateful to be living her dream although it isn’t always easy. Based on her own experience, she has advice for those who want to take a leap and try something new. “There are times when you are going to second guess yourself but keep going,” she says. “Surround yourself with people that support you. Keep watching for signs and open doors, and know when to walk through them. Keep your ears, eyes and heart open.”