Nancy Tipton grew up in Washington where her love for art became evident in high school. She took classes in art history, painting, and drawing throughout college and continued her studies at the Burnley School of Professional Art in Seattle, Washington.
Tipton began painting with oil and studied under various artists to develop her own style. In 1992, on a dare, she picked up a watercolor brush and discovered an instant bonding. The watercolor's fluid movements and ability to mix quickly accentuated her love for drawing.
Tipton won the People's Choice Award every year from 1991-1994 during the Northwest Watercolor Society's Annual Show in Vancouver, Washington. In 1993, she was honored by being featured in Splash 3-Ideas and Inspirations, 105 of America's Best Contemporary Watercolorist, published by North Light Books. In late 1994, she was selected from thousands of entrants to participate in the American Watercolor Society's 28th Annual Exhibition in New York. In March of 1995, she was further honored when she was one of 150 to have her work become part of the American Watercolor Society's Traveling Exhibition for 1995-1996. This group included award winners such as Tipton, who won the Hal P. Moore Award for her watercolors, "Jaime."
Tipton has won many awards since 1980, including Best of Show, Purchase Awards, People's Choice Awards, and the American Watercolor Society Award.