Nicole’s Inspirations

I love my family, home and garden, and as result these are my primary inspiration and support.? My immediate family includes my wonderful husband and my loving parents, as well as our pets – a Leonberger dog of over 100 pounds, a Chihuahua-Pomeranian-Papillion rescue dog of around 10 pounds, and two Bourke parrots/parakeets.? Throughout the years I have been blessed with dear friends/extended family, and they too are part of my ‘family’ and the context of who I am and how I see things.

I use the laughter and joy of my family, as well as my gardening exploits and the lovely birds that cheer my garden, as the foundation for my art.? The remainder of my inspiration comes from every day life, from seeing something myself or hearing a friend tell of it, from my husband’s amazing insights, from music, magical memories and from special moments, client requests, happy coincidences, and the natural beauty and bounty that surrounds us here in the Central Coast of California.

The hard times can be inspiring too – although that’s inspiration I don’t mind missing!? Some of my best writing has come from life’s inevitable knocks and disappointments.

My life today is quite happy – here are a few glimpses of our cozy family of an adorable, clown-faced Chihuahua-Papillion-Pomeranian muttsicle, a sweatheart of a Leonberger dog who loves to chew on his toys on the couch, and our two side-by-side birds, all content to hang out together:

As I wrote in my blog:? This is my bliss, all the happy animals together sharing quiet time while I work on the computer or on my art, with a view of the gardens?– the only thing that makes it better is having my patient husband around too.? If you look at the Memory Gallery and at my gardening blog, you will see more glimpses, more magical memories.? -And people always say my art looks so happy – THIS is why ?? I am so grateful for these moments!”

Here are some more videos sharing the whimsical life and humor of my family:

Our Bourke Parrot being a music critic:

Our two dogs, when the Leonberger was just a puppy (you will see that I am NOT a disciplinarian):

A More Recent Glimpse of the Leonberger dog:

You can see more on our gardening and family exploits at


M. Nicole van Dam is an internationally licensed artist and published author of both adult and children’s books. At any given time, her work is on exhibition at various venues, public spaces and corporate collections. She has been selected for exhibition by various fine art galleries, and these exhibitions frequently include a reading/diisplay of her poetry and philosophy from her books such as “Tempo- The Rhythm and Rhyme of the Artist.” You can scroll through a sampling of Nicole’s portfolio?at?

The Artist’s Blog

M. Nicole van Dam’s artwork is used on many products, and manufacturers have a sked Nicole to create 3 dimensional designs, such as collectible cache pots. Nicole’s poetry has also been published by manufacturers for their collector newsletters.

Nicole authors and illustrates children’s books for the “Once Upon a Time? children’s book series, including “Inca Dink, The Great Houndini”? and “Rosie and Emma Plant a Seed”? and “This Little Puppy.”? Nicole is the author and illustrator (and co-narrator with Dominic Byrne) for her children’s book, “Inca Dink, The Great Houndini.” “Inca Dink, The Great Houndini” is written in sing-songy rhyme, a bit reminescent of Seuss. The main characters of “Inca Dink, The Great Houndini” are Hilary Mouse and Inca Dink, a Leonberger dog magician in training. “Inca Dink, The Great Houndini” is available in traditional print and digitally (narrated with Dominc Byrne version is digital primarily for Apple Inc. iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch). Merchandise has been created themed towards these two “Inca Dink, The Great Houndini” characters and is available at Great “Rosie and Emma Plant a Seed“? is a joyous and beautifully illustrated children’s book about a young girl Emma and her Leonberger dog Rosie, who find a mysterious seed and plant it. As the mysterious seed grows, so do Emma and Rosie’s adventures and the delightful, curious characters they meet, including Sigmund Owl and a very cheeky sparrow.?? This unique book is a lovely way to share the wonders of gardening and nature. Also important, this book teaches about teamwork and friendship. “This Little Puppy“? is a fun-filled, dog-themed twist on ‘this little piggy’ – a delightful read aloud picture book for all ten fingers and toes. Nicole enjoyed a happy writing collaboration with Jay Topping on “This Little Puppy.” Nicole created a blog for her children’s books at Once Upon a Time Children’s Books Blog Print copies of Nicole’s books are available at many locations, including via Amazon and at

Nicole volunteers for a variety of causes and often donates artwork for auction at charity events, as shown at and Community Service. Nicole is also a gardener and animal lover, and her gardening and family exploits and inspirations can be seen at Nicole shares her creative and inspirational thoughts here on this site at Read the Artist’s Thoughts.

Below is screen show of some more of Nicole’s blog posts on a variety of things that might interest you – you can click on whichever post interests you to read the full post – ENJOY!

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