Goodbye to Our Friend, Nicholas Simmons

Posted April 01 2016

Honoring Nicholas Simmons who passed away September 21, 2015

Nicholas Simmons was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and began painting in Sarasota, Florida. He studied under many well-known watercolorists, most notably Valfred Thëlin and Barbara Nechis. At the same time, Mr. Simmons pursued a music career as a professional guitarist. He did not return to visual art until 2004, when he began painting watercolor again and launched his website.

Mr. Simmons’ paintings have been featured in a variety of publications such as
L’Art de l’Aquarelle, Watercolor Artist, Watercolor , and a number of books. He
has been featured on Maryland Public Television, and in 2008 his acclaimed DVD
Innovative Watermedia was released by Creative Catalyst Productions. His work has graced the covers of classical music recordings, including those of world renowned guitar virtuoso, Manuel Barrueco. He is sponsored by Da Vinci Paintst, and Escoda Artist Brushes. His Signature Series of Escoda brushes were introduced in 2012.

Awards include top prize at the 2007 National Watercolor Society for his painting
Fresh Sushi, consecutive gold medals at the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society, 2008-2009, and the gold medal at the Texas Watercolor Society in 2010. In 2012 he was the first recipient of the National Watercolor Society’s special Masters Award.

A 14-page feature in the Winter 2009 issue of Watercolor magazine included this summary of the artist’s work, written by John Parks:

Nicholas Simmons paints in watermedia on a scale that rivals oil painting. The subject matter is a dazzling mix of figures juxtaposed with printed lettering, graffiti, Japanese block prints, neon lights, reflections, and lavish corners of nature. The effect can be disorienting, as though a camera has taken a picture by accident, revealing an image that is both exciting and mysterious. The paint itself swirls, floods, drips, and spatters, driven on by the general excitement of the imagery and giving the work a sense that it was done in a rush in a matter of minutes.

Mr. Simmons exhibits internationally as a solo artist and with major watermedia
stars in group and invitational exhibitions, as well as one of six members of North American Watercolor Artists (NAWA), representing the United States. He was the sole judge representing the United States at the Shanghai Zhujiajiao International Watercolour Biennial, the world’s largest watercolor exhibition, in 2010 and 2012. He has judged numerous other major exhibitions.

His work is held in public and private collection in the United States, Europe, and China.
Nicholas Simmons’ work has earned him a worldwide reputation as one of the most exciting artists in contemporary watercolor.