Nicholas Simmons

Nicholas Simmons: Innovative Water Media

Video Length: 2 Hours
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Unconventional and innovative, Nicholas Simmons brings a breath of fresh air to water-media techniques.

Join the 2007 National Watercolor Society top prize winner as he works large-scale and reveals how challenges unique to water-media can be turned to the artists advantage, with stunning results. He incorporates blooming, crawl-backs, bleeding and puddling, and demonstrates methods for integrating masked areas with wet-in-wet painting.

Nick mixes watercolor with fluid acrylic, encourages the paper to buckle, and boldly wields a spray bottle to achieve textural effects. Anticipating his own tendencies, he works safeguards into his process, and offers compelling commentary along the way. This approach is perfect for artists striving to achieve a looser look, while still maintaining control of the final painting.

Whether you work in watercolor or acrylics, you'll find a new take on your favorite medium in Innovative Water Media with Nicholas Simmons.


BONUS CLIP: Controlled Runs in Watercolor

In this clip from his video workshop, Innovative Water Media, Nicholas Simmons intentionally creates runs and drips on a large sheet of watercolor paper to add spontaneous lines and shapes to his painting. He tilts and bends his paper to direct paint to the right areas, keeping in mind that he can remove unpleasant shapes as long as his paper stays wet. Nicholas also discusses how the completed runs affect his design.


Conversation with Nick Simmons: "On Painting Large"

Magazine Article: Infusing Drama and Structure PDF


In Memory

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.

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.


Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
marie anne patenaude-alexandre

This DVD and later the workshop, was the turning point in my career as a watercolor artist. His vision and his conventional techniques inspired me to step out of the box. Lucky to have seen this early on.

Mary Lou
Fabulous video, Incredible Artist - we miss you Nick

I am one of the original group who encouraged CCP to film Nick way back when. He is/was one of a kind - a friend, a mentor, a fabulous creative, and his light was snuffed out far too soon. I consider myself lucky to have known him, and to have studied with him. He was they kind of guy who would just reach out to you and say hi, how are you doing? I still don't know how he managed to accomplish all he did in 24 hours a day. We are honored to have an original painting hanging in our home - it's a portrait of his wife Olga entitled Malaguena that I purchased at a workshop with him in California. Nick, I miss you my friend.