"Born and raised in Tempe, Arizona, Nelson studied to be an architect earning a
degree from Arizona State University. After practicing for 15 years, during
which time he owned a successful firm and won numerous awards, Nelson made the
pivotal decision to leave the field in 1980 to pursue his dream of becoming a
Nelson credits his life-long love of both art and math with his dual-career
path of architecture and fine art. His mother, a painter herself, was his
earliest influence. As a teenager in the "psychedelic 60s", the only art
posters his mother allowed Nelson to hang in his bedroom where those he painted
Later, as an architecture student he had time for very few electives. The first
one he chose was a watercolor course with a much-admired professor of
architecture who Nelson says painted like "magic." Discouraged by not painting
as well as his teacher, he effectively gave up and stayed focused on
Years later, however, the burning desire to paint returned and he resumed
watercolor classes, this time with a higher degree of dedication and more
realistic goals. It was during this phase of training when Nelson developed his
signature style which he credits most to the principle of "gestalt."
At the same time Nelson became increasingly disillusioned with architecture and
the increasing business demands of owning his firm. Finally, in 1980, he and
his wife made the decision to make a major lifestyle change and move their
family, including the seven children, to Northern Idaho.
One of Nelson s goals was to paint full time, however, he knew he would have to
sell some works to justify his time. He got his art represented by several
Scottsdale galleries by showing his work door-to-door. Within two weeks, two of
his paintings sold. Since then, some of the leading galleries in the U.S. have
sought to represent his work, recognizing his unique combination of incredible
detail and big, bold and graphic images.
Nelson s work is in collections across the United States including the Whitney
Museum of Western Art, Cody, Wyoming, the Coca Cola Company and the Dallas
Cowboys NFL football team."