Gary Nichols

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Gary Nichols
Denver, Colorado - United States




Iíve always been interested in art and the creative process. High school and college training led me to eliminate media that I wasnít comfortable with which led to acrylic (as an illustrator) and eventually to watercolor. I have people tell me regularly that watercolor is a most difficult medium which is just the opposite of how I feel about it. I love the versatility, transparency and brilliance of watercolor.

I would describe my style of painting as expressionistic. I try to follow my instinct as to what color to use and where to use it with the sense that color and form does not have to be totally realistic. I use color, light, shadow and contrast to try to have my paintings inspire a personal reaction to my interpretation of the world I see around me.

Having grown up in central Illinois farm country, I have always enjoyed painting rural, mid-western landscapes. Since moving to Denver, I find myself hiking in the mountains, camera in hand, finding new and interesting mountain landscapes to paint. I am inspired by the light, color and form I find around me in the mountain west.

I also paint golf courses which, since I love to play golf, seems like a totally natural extension of my landscape painting. As both an artist and a golfer, I have a unique perspective on golf as art. I use color, light and shadow to try to have my paintings express a feeling rather than making a photo-realistic painting of the hole. At the same time I realize that the details such as the shape and placement of sand traps, cart paths, berms and other physical features, must be accurate.

I have a fine arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis. I majored in graphic design with an emphasis on illustration. I started working in watercolors in the mid-seventies and exhibited in a gallery in Decatur, Illinois until I moved to St. Louis in 1985. After an interruption to concentrate on my graphic design career, I resumed my painting in 2004. I now reside in Denver, Colorado. Iím a signature member of the Colorado Watercolor Society. I exhibit my work in select galleries, golf course pro shops and juried art fairs.

I've recently been inspired to explore abstract subject matter in my paintings. I've started experimenting with distorting the shapes and forms I see in everyday life, using different color combinations to create interesting compositions. I'm finding that it's very liberating and a total departure from the realistic subject matter that I've painted most of my life. I'm also finding many unplanned "happy accidents" - things that show up in the paintings that weren't planned. Hence the names of some of the paintings.


Cornflower Boutique & Gallery
411 Main Street, Frisco, CO


2016  Colorado Watercolor Society State Exhibition, Arvada Center,
         Pikes Peak Watercolor Society Award
2010  Retrospective Show, Perkinson Art Gallery, Kirkland Fine Arts Center,
         Millikin University, Decatur, IL (March)
         Visiting Artist, Arts & Entrepreneurship Program, Millikin University, Decatur,
         IL (March)
         CO Artists Guild Artists, 15th Annual State Exhibit, Alpine Fine Art Center,
         Denver, CO (October)
         CO Watercolor Society 2010 Member Exhibit, James Mitchener Library,
         University of  Northern CO, Greeley
         Bibelot Show, "Bibelot: a small object of curiosity, beauty or rarity", Kanon
         Collective Gallery,  Denver, CO
         Art in Central Park, juried art fair, Decatur, IL, September 2010
2009 "St. Louis Country Club, A Legacy of Sports", 6 pieces commissioned for book
         on history of sports, 
 including golf, at one of St. Louis' most exclusive
         country clubs (Summer/Fall)    
         Art & Air, Webster Groves, MO, juried art fair (June)
         Art in Central Park, Decatur, IL, juried art fair (September)
         Shaw Art Fair, St. Louis, MO, juried art fair (October)
2008  Art & Air, Webster Groves, MO, juried art fair (June)
         Art in Central Park, Decatur, IL, juried art fair (September)
         International Art Exhibit, St. Louis, MO & Lyon, France, Sponsored by St.
         Louis-Lyon Sister Cities, Inc. (Aug)
2007  Art & Air, Webster Groves, MO, juried art fair (June)   
         The Arts at Concordia, Soli Deo Gloria, "Honorable Mention"
2006  The Arts at Concordia, Soli Deo Gloria, "Honorable Mention"
2004  The Arts at Concordia, Soli Deo Gloria, Best in Category, Watercolor


Commissions are gladly accepted.
Limited Edition and Open Edition prints are available for most of my paintings.