Niki Kaftan

As a child growing up in a small town in Wisconsin, my mother, a trained artist, taught me to draw and made sure that art was an important part of my everyday life. My father was devoted to conservation and preserving the Wisconsin wilderness. He taught me to love and respect the land.

I went on to study fine art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and then film and animation at the California Institute of the Arts. I worked in the feature film industry for several years doing visual effects and animation. Later on I became interested in computer graphics and studied at UCLA extension and Glendale Community College.

Throughout my life I have painted in oils, watercolor, and colored pencils. It was only when I moved to Ojai, California and I saw Bert Collins’ amazing pastel landscapes that I knew that this was the way I could express what I felt. In recent years I have moved several times, Vancouver, Detroit, Michigan, and now Door County which has never ceased to be an inspiration for me.