The Enchanted Easel, Nicole Esposito Woodall





Nicole Esposito Woodall is a painter and surface designer with a passion for creating whimsical, “enchanted” floral gardens and botanicals. Abstract blooms, organic shapes, exquisite blossoms and gardens of imaginary flowers, are subjects that are captured by this talented artist's work.


Nicole, the concept of the Enchanted Easel is perfect. How did you choose this name? Or did it choose you?


Hi Maria! Thanks so much for asking me to be a part of your wonderful art blog.


To answer your first question, the name for my business, “the enchanted easel” was inspired by the easel my grandfather made me while I was attending college for fine art. He was an amazing crafter, with his own successful sculpting business. Everything he touched (and constructed) turned into pure magic. That easel is one of my most prized and treasured possessions to this day.





You have a strong presence on social media. Your Enchanted Easel account on Instagram is wonderful. What are some of the pros and cons of staying connected to other artists and the art scene in general by social media?


I think staying connected in such a modern age is a double edge sword of sorts. On one hand, it’s wonderful to be able to connect via social media in ways we may not necessarily be able to otherwise. In other ways, it sometimes can leave those connections feeling a bit clinical and cold. In keeping with that train of thought, I believe it’s one of the reasons I love being a traditional artist in such a digital world. Don’t get me wrong, I have a ton of respect for digital artists who create in their own unique way. For me, however, I need to see, feel, touch my work. My tools are sacred to me.


There’s an unexplainable level of exuberance that builds in me when I think about prepping a sheet of paper or a canvas for my next floral garden. I honestly can tell you I have no idea what’s going to evolve on those easels until it does.


I’m able to stay connected to both myself, and others around me through the passion I have for my work. I live and breathe to paint.


I’ve never looked at painting the same way as I did after August 2010. Things like this change you, for the better, or for the worse. I like to think it’s changed me for the better--given me more of an attitude of gratitude, and an eternal appreciation for the love of my art and craft.

How long have you been painting for?


I’ve been an artist all my life-in some form or another. My maternal grandpop was a sculptor, and my paternal aunt is a successful fine artist. Growing up, I would love to go to my aunt’s house on the weekend. It’s where I got my first taste for this life. All the Senneliers, all the collage papers, the endless tubes of paint. I never wanted to leave that attic studio and would live endlessly for when I could return. That’s the feeling I get to experience now every single day in my own studio. It’s surely in my DNA, but I also think it’s a choice whether you choose to nurture that gift.


As much I love being a painter, it doesn’t come without pain. Back in 2010, while I was in the throes of teaching, I found out I had a severely slipped disc in my cervical spine which just happens to control my painting arm, hand, and shoulder. One surgery turned into three, and I’ve been left with a boatload of arthritis pain, a long titanium plate, screws, and rods…all holding this petite brunette together. The pain I experience is in my painting arm, hand, and shoulder.


Each surgery required a very hard plastic neck brace (worn 24/7, yes, even while sleeping), no driving, and you guessed it --no painting. You can’t even imagine the misery I was in. Not because of the physical pain of having incisions on both the front and back of my neck, or the swallowing issues and loss of part of my right vocal cord, but the lack of painting was what made it so much worse. I felt like I had zero purpose.


There were days I honestly didn’t want to get out of bed, but I decided I wasn’t going to let all these physical obstacles stand in my way. It was just a matter of adjusting to my new normal.


People are always amazed that I paint every day with a bad arm and hand, and still have an almost maniacal sense of passion for it. I’ll tell you though, when you have your livelihood and life passion threatened not once, but three times over, you find a way!


I’ve never looked at painting the same way as I did after August 2010. Things like this change you, for the better, or for the worse. I like to think it’s changed me for the better--given me more of an attitude of gratitude, and an eternal appreciation for the love of my art and craft.




What is it that most attracts you to the images that you choose to create?


While I have a great amount of adoration and respect for the photorealistic painters of the world and the old masters, I’ve always been attracted to the more whimsical, imaginative types of art.


When I was young, my aunt gave me my first fine art print by the artist Joan Miró. Oh, my goodness, I was in love. All that blue, all those organic shapes, the expression of the line work and the imagination. Utterly and completely hooked.


I also recall going to an Arshile Gorky exhibit with her one day. It was fantastic! I remember getting to buy a new art book every other weekend (and I still have them all), and the excitement that went along with turning the pages was off the charts.


Full color, glorious images that jumped off the pages would entice me to pick up whatever supplies I had laying around (be it a Crayola crayon or a piece of Play Doh) and just create. While all the other kids in the neighborhood were riding bikes and socializing, I was in my room listening to some sort of classical piano, and drawing/painting/sculpting/collaging.

I’ve always been attracted to images that look like one thing but could really be something else entirely. I love the magic, and the wonder!


A few of my favorite artists (besides Miró) are Marc Chagall, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, and the great Picasso. The print “Girl Before a Mirror” by Picasso hangs in my studio and is a constant inspiration each day, along with all those Mirós.


I choose to create flowers that are abstract, yet still recognizable as floral/botanical because that’s what’s in my heart. Flowers never get old for me. I never tire of painting them. Yet, I’m always searching for new ways in which to do so. It’s so awesome to constantly be evolving in my own work. I always look forward to what the next lesson brings. With each painting, I’m always learning something new.


My personal color aesthetic tends to favor the “moodier” side of the spectrum. I love the look of a dark grey floral accented with sweet, blush pinks. I also love mixing up vintage type palettes that evoke nostalgia for me.

Would you describe your process?


My process is quite methodical. I think that’s the graphic designer in me. I’m incredibly organized and my palettes are well thought out. I’m not one of those artists who can work amongst the chaos. My studio is neat, and orderly. I find that’s when I create the best.

I’m most free when my tools are in their rightful places because when I’m in my zone, the last thing I want to do is scramble around looking for that no. 12 filbert, or that Payne’s Grey tube of paint. It really does help me in keeping with the flow of a painting.





While my florals are completely intuitive, I do carefully plan out my color palettes. I’m a mixer. Very rarely will you ever find me using any color straight from the tube. I enjoy mixing my own colors and combining them in unique and innovative ways. Some of my social media friends jokingly refer to me as the “queen of color mixing.” I think when you paint one subject for a living (by choice), the best way to tell your narrative is through color.





My personal color aesthetic tends to favor the “moodier” side of the spectrum. I love the look of a dark grey floral accented with sweet, blush pinks. I also love mixing up vintage type palettes that evoke nostalgia for me. Sometimes I’ll be mixing a palette when I’m somehow reminded that I’ve seen this color story somewhere before and then off goes the lightbulb, and I realize it was in the drapes in my grandparent’s house growing up.


These things subconsciously play a part in my color choices. While I do prefer the more muted tones, I’ve been known to throw a pop of crimson or cobalt into a mix. Oh, and how I love a blue floral!


I love helping propel other creatives forward, no matter where they are in their painting journey. It’s why I always say just show up! Show up every day. Even if it’s only ten minutes in your sketchbook. Just show up. That for me is the difference between someone who is painting as a hobbyist, and someone who wants to build a life around their art.

What would you say to someone who is just starting to paint?


I’ve been teaching art via Zoom these last few months to some wonderful ladies who are looking to up their game as far as painting/color mixing goes. I’ve been a teacher for most of my life, yet it wasn’t something I was going to consider. But the requests were abundant, and I figured, why not? It’s humbling when someone wants to learn from you and wants to take in all the information that you have to offer. It really forces you to look deep within and gather all the knowledge that you’ve accumulated over the years, all the experiences you’ve shared with others in the classroom, and then really put it all to good use.


Like the great Picasso once said, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working."

I love helping propel other creatives forward, no matter where they are in their painting journey. It’s why I always say just show up! Show up every day. Even if it’s only ten minutes in your sketchbook. Just show up. That for me is the difference between someone who is painting as a hobbyist, and someone who wants to build a life around their art. And I’m not saying things happen overnight. Quite the opposite. It takes work. Real work. A lot of work.

There are days I spend 18 hours in my studio, pushing forward for the next goal because no matter how much time/money you spend in art school perfecting your craft, they sure don’t teach you the business/marketing ends of things. That is a full-time job. Am I tired some days? Yes. But I show up. Every day. That’s the best lesson I could give to anyone who wants to make a living from their love of painting. I’m not quite there yet, as I’m always learning new things myself, and constantly evolving, but at the end of the day, those three words remain the same: just. show. up. Like the great Picasso once said, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” Indeed, it does!


Where can our readers find out more about your work?


I can be found through my website at theenchantedeasel.com, as well as on social media via Instagram instagram.com/theenchantedeasel and Facebook at Facebook.com/theenchantedeaselfineartfloralsanddesign. I also have an Etsy shop at theenchantedeasel.etsy.com, and a soon to be Spoonflower shop which I’m so excited about! I’ve spent the last year working like a mad woman designing some surface/textile patterns with my watercolor florals. It’s been a dream of mine for a very long time, so I can’t wait to really get them out there. You can find out more on website.


Thank you so much for engaging me, Maria. I surely hope your readers are inspired and delighted.