Marion Florence S. Mackay Nicoll was born in Calgary, Alberta in 1909. Nicoll took painting classes at St. Joseph’s Convent, Red Deer, Alberta in 1925-26. She studied at the Ontario College of Art, Toronto, but did not finish due to health reasons. later, Nicoll studied under A.C. Leighton at the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art, in Calgary from 1929-1932. During that time she also attended the summer school. From 1937 to 1938 Nicoll studied figure painting at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, in London, England, under Duncan Grant. In 1957, she studied under Will Barnet at the Emma Lake Seminar. From 1958 to 1959 Nicoll attended the Art Students League in New York.
Nicoll taught at Calgary’s Provincial Institute of Technology and Art for thirty years. Nicoll also gave classes at the summer school of the University of Alberta in 1937, extension classes from 1946-1948. She taught at The Banff School of Fine Arts in 1946, and the Cultural Development Board, Government of Alberta in 1948-49.
Nicoll received various awards, including a Canada Council grant in 1958, a senior fellowship in 1966 and six honour certificates from the Royal Drawing Society, London, England, for teaching.
Nicoll held several solo exhibitions internationally.
She is represented in the collections of The Winnipeg Art Gallery, Memorial University, Newfoundland, University of Alberta, Edmonton Museum, Poole Collection, among others.
She died in 1971.