Nelson has been a professional fine artist since the age of 22, and, you might say, was born into an art studio. Both Nelson’s father and mother are professional artists. Having a natural talent for drawing, since day one, he was attracted to learning even more. In middle school he started gaining attention for his three dimensional work and won awards from the local school district’s art competition. In high school Nelson’s acrylic painting won first prize for 11th grade category and The Best of Show in 2012. Nelson also submitted and was accepted into the National Scholastics Art and Writing Competition, 2013. From these judged pieces, the curators from the Denver Art Museum chose a few select pieces to display in an exclusive show in the Denver Art Museum where Nelson’s pen and ink, “Colorado River Toad” was prominently displayed as the first piece of artwork as you entered the gallery. His original artwork was a bit unusual because it took up the entire wall. After high school he attended Columbus College of Art and Design for two years, studying illustration. Nelson attended the 2017 Illustration Academy, in Kansas City, MO. A five week intensive hands-on course taught by many of the countries premier illustrators. Here Nelson tackled projects and techniques that expanded his skills and approach to creating art. He was challenged and ended the course with renewed enthusiasm for refining and expanding his own techniques.
Nelson is a participating artist at the South Eastern Wildlife Exposition, an exclusive juried wildlife art show, since 2018 in Charleston, South Carolina. He has been successful in both sales and getting recognition for his technics throughout the six years he has been attending.
Nelson has also been invited into the Society of Animal Artis since 2019. He has also been doing the Bosque Art Center show since 2018.
My affinity for animals began as a child. Our family lived in a rural neighborhood and had an outdoor cat. My older sister and I thought he was another sibling. My subsequent animal family grew to include birds, lizards, frogs, and a herds of outdoor squirrels and raccoons. Because of family allergies, the furred animals weren’t allowed inside. My Mom taught me how to capture and release. We have had many , “Born Free”, experiences. Salamanders, rabbits, horned toads, crawdads, fish, wounded wild birds, frogs, toads, plenty of insects, spiders, and recently a baby mouse,... all went on to enjoy their lives in the wild. This gave me an opportunity to take video and photos, then draw them at my convenience. Watching their behaviors gave me more insight as to how to later pose them in compositions. Also, I have had abundant access to photograph and observe both wild and domestic animals.
It seems that those who work exclusively from photos sometimes tend to depict the subjects as stiff. I attempt to make them a flowing part of the environment. A crucial piece of the larger puzzle.
Nelson is still experimenting with mediums, At the moment his passion is black and white techniques. These include pen and ink, scratchboard, and pencil on paper. He also has a fascination for painting with acrylics, oils and digital arts. Nelson has a lot of experience with Illustrator, Photoshop and Indesign. Nelson says, “I prefer traditional mediums but I also enjoy digital art. I don't like to limit myself to one medium because I like to experiment. Creating is, by definition, learning through experimentation”
Summer classes at the Bemis School of Art at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Figure drawing studio classes at Cottonwood Center for Arts, in Colorado Springs, CO.. Two years of instruction at Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH.. Completed the 2017 Illustration Academy in Kansas City, MO. Weekly painting classes with renowned Fine Artist, Thomas Blackshear. Private critiques and instruction with internationally famed wildlife artist, Ezra Tucker.
Western Stars Gallery and Studio, Lyons, Colorado
The Broadmoor Galleries, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Good Art Company, in Fredricsburg, TX
Nelson is also represented in internationally juried art shows at both the South Eastern Wildlife Exposition, and the Bosque Arts Center online Fine Art Auction.