Born in New York City to parents who were both artists, Daphne began drawing at an early age. She took up painting in high school in the seaside town of Dennis when her father gave her an easel for her birthday, and subsequently, they painted “en plein air” on the beach to study the unique effects of Cape Cod light. Upon winning her first award when she was fourteen from the “Boston Globe”, her teachers encouraged her to enter the School of Fine Art at Yale University where she earned her BA. At Yale, she received a scholarship to study the old masters in Florence, Italy. Afterwards, Daphne won merit scholarships to continue her studies at the Art Students League of New York. Later, while living in Holland for three years, she studied the early Dutch masters and gained inspiration from the work of Vermeer and Frans Halls. There she developed her profound dedication, and marked preference, for the Modern School of Realism. She developed a high degree of proficiency in figurative art and still life studies.
The artist returned to the US in 1993 to work at Mural Arts, San Francisco, with an artist team to paint murals for hotels in Las Vegas and residences in Hawaii & Mexico. At this point in the artist’s career, Nixon reverted back to painting in the “plein air” style learned while growing up. Then, armed with a French easel, Nixon showed that the paint brush is mightier than the wrecking ball by saving an historical town from demolition by doing paintings of the town. This was accomplished by winning a grant, “Old Cordelia in a New Light” from Fairfield, CA, to exhibit 45 paintings of Cordelia’s historical structures to raise awareness for the preservation of California gold rush towns. Then, in 2005, Nixon won another grant, ”Disappearing Agricultural Monuments in Solano”, to paint old tank houses. As a result, California’s Senator Machado selected Nixon’s work to represent his district in the “CA Contemporary Art Collection Exhibition” at the Sacramento Capital Building, and published the paintings in the “CA Contemporary Artists Collection, 2007”. To commemorate Nixon’s paintings of Cordelia, in 2010, the Solano County Department of Resources etched three of Nixon’s paintings in granite on the historical markers along the Old Town Cordelia Historical Walking Path.
The artist won numerous 1st Place awards; appeared in various periodicals; exhibited in the US & Europe; and is a member of Oil Painters of America and the International Guild of Realism. Today, you can see Daphne’s work at the Carmel Valley Art Association Gallery in Carmel Valley Village, CA.