Nadine Charlsen in her studio, NYC,  2014

Nadine Charlsen in her studio, NYC,  2014

Large scale watercolor painting in progress,  Art Students League, NYC

Scenic painting the stage floor for a production of  Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street


Nadine Charlsen is an urban landscape watercolor artist and instructor based in Asheville, North Carolina. Charlsen's background as a theatrical lighting designer in New York City for 31 years has allowed her to incorporate her knowledge of light, shadow, scale, colors and textures to culminate an artistic drama. Her work is inspired by architecture, cityscapes and serene countryside settings captured through the lens of her camera. As an Instructor, Charlsen is currently teaching Watercolor at 310 Art Gallery, River Arts District, Asheville, North Carolina. 

Charlsen was recently included in the top ten percent of world watercolor artist's in Concours mondial de l’aquarelle – Le Catalogue, 2014. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including American Art Collector, NYC Arts and Culture Magazine, The Laurel of Asheville, April, June, and October 2015, Splash 16: Exploring Textures and Splash 17: Inspiring Images. She was featured in Watercolor Artist Magazine, January/February 2017. Making a Scene, p 48-57.

Charlsen received her BS in Education from Kansas State Teachers College, Emporia, Kansas, her MA from Wichita State University Wichita, Kansas and her MFA from Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY.


Art has always been a part of my life. My watercolors are improvised on the urban landscape - gritty, stark, rough - engaging a deeper emotion - using shadow, texture, color, and glazes moving art to a more complex tonality. My art evokes an emotion that helps you take the journey with me into that world.

My studio is the ever-changing world around me. I am an avid bicyclist, and walker. I do long distance bike trips and paint and photograph as I go. I love visiting noisy cities and bustling streets.  Every day is a different wonder, a new world to live in the moment. My work is created from the occasion that makes it unique and with its own particular style. The style is a product of the time and place. The versatility is my signature.

My career in theatrical design allowed me to work in many art mediums and explore scenic painting of large backdrops, sculpture and 3-D mixed media. My motivation for continuing to paint is for both you and I to escape for a moment to another place and find joy in reliving the moment together. I cherish my continuing fascination of the world and treasure my history.