A lot can happen in two years. This is truer than ever for Nicolette Toussaint, who retired as editor of Roaring Fork Lifestyle in 2017 to pursue her lifelong passion for art. 

“Since becoming a full-time artist, I have not only begun painting in oils, but also painting humongous canvasses. I’m currently working on a triptych of buffalo,” she says. “My subjects are from Colorado and the west, and I have been painting a lot of wildlife. Many of our mountain species are endangered by a warming climate, drought, and habitat loss, and I am documenting this heartbreakingly beautiful moment of change and loss.”

Toussaint has been visible in the arts community as both a featured painter in valley shows and a teaching artist with local organizations. Her work is currently on display at the Snowmass Chapel and the Eagle County Building in El Jebel, and in March will appear at the Rockies West National watercolor exhibition in Grand Junction. This month she’s leading classes at Rifle’s Bookcliffs Arts Center and is also scheduled to teach at the Basalt Regional Library in April. Between engagements, Toussaint can be found steadily creating in her Carbondale home studio. “These paintings are the legacy I want to leave behind,” she says.