Harold Nelson Biography

Artist Profile by Dr. Lew Deitch

There are many adjectives that can be used to describe a painting by Harold Nelson, but somehow luminous appears to be the most descriptive. His paintings radiate an inner light, as if transcending the fact that they are the result of paint on canvas. There is an aura of reality that makes his paintings appear to live. Harold is primarily a landscape and still life artist, painting a wide range of subject matter from across the country as well as abroad. But whether it is a beach scene from a Caribbean island or a view of Navajo land, all of his paintings are stamped with that indelible quality of reality. But this is not to say that his work is photographic, a connotation that many critics are quick to label anything that looks life like. Harold's brush strokes are deliberate, yet there is a sense of freedom in what he achieves living detail without becoming obsessed about getting every leaf or branch painted to absolute perfection. His paintings all have a distinctive style, which just happens to be animate. Painting either in acrylic or oil, his colors are pure and dance as if glowing in natural sunlight.

This author has known Harold Nelson for nearly 20 years, and owns four of his paintings, which proudly grace his office and living room. Thus in preparing this story, there is a level of knowledge about the artist that is quite personal. When asked what motivates Harold to paint, his answer was most revealing. "My intention or motivation is not so much to do paintings just for the commercial aspect, but to visually record the more gentle side of life - glimpses of peaceful events and day-to-day experiences; scenes of faraway, lesser-known places and some close to home - things I have seen and want to give to the world. If I do them well enough, they will be worthy of an enduring audience."

Harold was born and raised in rural Nebraska where he learned to appreciate the rich beauty of his surroundings, especially the contrast between the open plains and local woodlands, all underneath majestic skies. Coming to Arizona only heightened his sense of the grandeur of nature, and it influences his art every day. As he stated. "The artist's visual life is made up of patterns and textures. Through learning the use of these elements, the real world will be revealed or betrayed. It is the inner self that defines this - the ability to express a deep emotional level determines and defines one's capability to reach out. They are in direct proportion."

Harold is an Honorary Life Member of the Scottsdale Artists League. Today Harold works primarily by commission, including the production of major bronzes and panoramic murals. His paintings have garnered numerous awards at shows in the Southwest, California, Colorado and Minnesota.

Harold takes great pleasure in sharing his experience and expertise with others as his artistic expertise with the community. He is an outstanding instructor and has the capability of nurturing even the most amateur artist, as he believes that there is a degree of talent in every human soul. His greatest pleasure is found in conducting workshops out of doors, as he believes that this is still the best way to create a landscape painting. He notes, The quality of an artist's work is at its best when created on-location. Only by involving all of the senses can the artist perceive the true emotional content of the scene." Perhaps this is his hidden secret to the life like quality of all of his paintings.




Copyright © 2012 Harold Nelson  

    Copyright © 2022 Harold Nelson