Nicola Bolton is a Maitland based artist. She studied and qualified in Graphic Design and Fine Arts. Her paintings and drawings have been selected in numerous prestigious art prizes in Austarlia.

Growing up on a rural property near Goulburn established her passion for the land and human stories associated with it. This has significantly influenced her art.

Her love of the Australian landscape and country continues to stimulate her art practise. She works in a variety of mediums encomposing drawing, painting, hand built ceramics and collage.


Nicola’s drawings and landscape paintings are traditional, tonal and romantic.

She has a passion for painting ’’en plein air’. Her portraiture and figurative paintings and drawings are driven by the social issues of importance to her. Nicola’s paintings are prodominantly oil and her drawings are in charcoal or graphite.

Her use of tonal variance in her charcoal and graphite drawings is central to Nicola’s intent to evoke emotional responses to her visual impressions.


By integrating her creative skills Nicola has written, illustrated and self published children’s books. Her book illustrations are a combination of hand painted paper collage and use of digital media that brings to life her whimsical educational children’s stories for young readers.

Her first book, ‘You Can’t Catch Me’, was selected as a Notable in the Early Childhood section of the 2018 Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Awards and is on the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge List.

Nicola continues to develop her art practice and exhibits her work at galleries in Newcastle and the Hunter region as well as participating in shows in both Sydney and Melbourne. Her work is held in private collections in the UK, Japan, USA and Australia.

Nicola Bolton painting en plein air


2021   Adelaide Perry Drawing Prize – People’s Choice
2018   Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year – ‘Notable’ ( Early Childhood)
2016   Eclectica, Winefred West Schools Fellowship Art Prize
2012    Newcastle Emerging Artists New Castle Arts Space – Highly Commended
2011    Wollombi Valley Arts Council Emerging Artist Award
2008   Outstanding Student Award in Fine Arts, Newcastle Art School, TAFE



2024 Counteractions, The Creator Incubator, Newcastle
2023 Muswellbrook Art Prize – Ceramics
2021 Adelaide Perry Drawing Prize  – People’s Choice
2018 Adelaide Perry Drawing Prize
2017  NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize
2017  Collectors Care – Newcastle Art School (TAFE)
2016  Kilgour Prize – For Figurative and Portrait Painting
2016  Newcastle Club Foundation Art Prize
2016  NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize – Salon des Refuses
2016  Laman Street Art Prize – Celebrating Nature
2013  Laman Street Art Prize – Nature Remembered
2012  Collectors Choice – University of Newcastle
2012  Collectors Care – Front Room Gallery TAFE, Newcastle
2012  Gosford Art Prize- Gosford Regional Art Gallery
2012  Newcastle Emerging Artists- Newcastle Arts Space, Newcastle
– Highly Commended
2011  NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize –  2 paintings
2011  Eclectica, Winifred West Schools Foundation Art Show
Fellowship Art Prize
2008 Newcastle Emerging Artists, Newcastle Arts Space


2018 The Garden Palette – Maitland Regional Art Gallery
2016  The gentle light of day – ASW Art Systems Wickham
2012  Directors Unit, Tighes Hill TAFE Newcastle
2011  Landmarks – Newcastle Arts Space (NAS) Newcastle NSW


2022 Dog Days – Maitland Regional Art Gallery MRAG
2017  Three – Gallery 139, Beaumont Street, Hamilton NSW
2016  Dogs In Art – Gallery 139, Beaumont Street, Hamilton NSW
2016  Landscape Meditations – Nansche Gallery, Hamilton, Newcastle
2016  SmallWorks – Brunswick Street Gallery, Fitzroy, Vic
2016  Inspired – Hunter Valley Grammar School
2015  Windows, Doors & Dogs of Vence – Back To Back Galleries,Newcastle
2015  Inspired – Hunter Valley Grammar School
2014  Family Trees – Back To Back Galleries, Bull St, Newcastle
2014  3 Village Art Festival – Highly Commended and Commended
2014  Favourites – Suko Gallery, Newcastle
2013  The secret Life of Animals – Nansche Gallery, Hamilton, Newcastle
2013  Trees – Back To Back Galleries, Bull St, Newcastle
2012  Art of Ideas – The Lockup Gallery, Newcastle
2012  Centred – The Inner City Winemakers, Wickham, Newcastle
2011  Wollombi Valley Arts Council Emerging Artist Award – Winner
1993  Mattara Festival Art Exhibition (The Society of Artists) Newcastle – Highly Commended
1988  Royal Agricultural Show Society Sydney – Highly Commended
1986  Goulburn Agricultural Show – 1st prize in Watercolour Section


2010 -11      Advanced Diploma of Fine Art, Newcastle Arts School, (TAFE)
2009           Diploma of Fine Art Newcastle Arts School (TAFE)
2007 – 08  Certificate IV in Fine Arts Newcastle Arts School, (TAFE)
2000 – 01   Desktop Publishing Certificate, (TAFE)
1994 – 96   Commercial Needlecraft Advanced, Certificate Belmont TAFE
1981 – 82    Graphic Design Certificate, Randwick Technical College Sydney

Nicola Bolton and chooks


Newcastle Herald – Saturday July 23, 2016

‘Nicola Bolton has a very strong drawing exhibition, ‘The Gentle Light of Day’ at Art Systems Wickham. Her tonal landscapes in graphite and charcoal are the result of a sensitive communion between the artist and her immediate rural surrounds in the softened, quiet light of dawn and dusk.

While they continue the Romantic tradition, with strong links to early black and white photography, these drawings are keenly observed and finely drafted images of the present. They are contemplative works, free from sentimentality where farm buildings and power poles are given equal prominence with native trees and introduced vegetation set against a background ever-changing weather with glaring sunlight rending the morning fog while gathering storm clouds portend an uncertain future.”

John Barnes

Newcastle Herald – Saturday November 22, 2014

“Another rewarding exhibition ( Family Trees) unites a trio of artists at Back to Back Galleries (Newcastle). Majestic trees are now second nature for Jane Eleanor Robinson in her evocative freehand machine embroideries, now with hints of colour. A wall of conifers contrasts with bare winter tracery of deciduous trees. Perhaps the eucalypt is the next challenge, as well as larger portraits of family and friends.

A perfect partner is Nicola Bolton, whose detailed graphic drawings and
small atmospheric paintings also commemorate real trees and actual landscapes.

Omni-talented Ros Elkin’s range of functional ceramics completes a strong show.”

Jill Stowell