To Top

Check out Karin Nelson’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karin Nelson.

Karin, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
My entrance into the self-taught art path in 2009 was totally unanticipated. It was 100% a God thing when He awakened my eyes to the appreciation of art. Before that, I had never taken a single art class, and would have never thought of visiting an art museum. All the workings of the art world I never knew existed – juried exhibitions, awards, galleries, coverage in national art magazines – are now my “normal” life, and yet I still frequently pinch myself and ask: did this really happen?

The studio downstairs is always calling me (I work full-time as an artist). Sometimes I’m intimidated to try to paint something as good as that last great piece, or afraid I’ll bomb if the last piece was a disaster. But eventually, curiosity and adventure win out and I choose to experience the thrill…and the frustration… as paint meets canvas.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
HOW I PAINT: I paint with acrylic on very large canvases. Because difficulty and challenge make me alive and keep my painting from becoming static, I jump into each painting with no helps (no marks on the canvas, or previous sketches or studies), and paint very quickly. My tools are really large palette knives, bristle brushes, blocks of 2 x 4’s, wide rulers, brayers, and any other object lying around that will produce masculine lines and strong marks.

WHAT I PAINT. A strong thread in my subject matter has been “timeless structures”: stately city buildings, or aged and weathered barns. For a couple years now, large open skies and country fields have become a focus and are pulling me in deeper and deeper as I explore the abstraction of nature. I have quick access to city, country, and even Lake Michigan, so there is a never-ending source of inspiration, almost wherever I turn. Getting out for a drive to see expansive skies and fields almost always awakens something within me and drives me to the easels!

WHY I PAINT. My paintings strike a warm, welcoming chord with viewers, transporting them to memories from their past. I accomplish this by representing the lighting conditions in my scenes with a realistic color palette, even though the subjects are slightly abstracted. The strongest triggers to visual memory seem to be related to light, and the endless combinations that make up its nuances. When I am successful in expressing the delicate, mysterious quality of light in the scene, there is a good chance that others have witnessed that same sight and are brought to a place of memory. And that’s when the connection occurs between myself and the viewer.

Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
There are so many aspects of the art world that could challenge an artist, depending on their particular skill sets. At the foundation of it all, though, I think it’s important that an artist believes in what they’re doing.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
My work can be seen at: The About page includes some fun painting videos. There is an Acrylic Tips page with information I shared in Acrylic Artist Magazine and on the Artists Network.

Paintings can be seen in person at: LaFontsee Galleries in Grand Rapids, MI and Douglas, MI; Somebody’s Gallery in Petoskey, MI; and Chestnut Hall in Memphis, TN. Current exhibitions: (1) Midland Center for the Arts presents ArtPrize, the Michigan Connection; (2) Lowell Center for the Arts: Location, Location, Location.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
I took my own photos.

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in