KARIN NELSON


STATEMENT

There is that longing to escape the hemmed-in confines of city living, and immerse oneself in the expansive, peaceful solitude of massive skies and country fields where one can see for miles on end. To then express that experience with the application of paint on canvas, executed with a wild and free approach matching the subject itself, is a pleasure bestowed to me by none other than the One Who created it all.

I receive the same gratification, painting the planes of light reflected from timeless man-made structures that surround me. Whether an urban scene of stately buildings claiming their place in the cityscape, or the rural counterpoints of humble, weathered barns — some in use, and some now neglected, these buildings appeal to my visual senses, piquing my interest regarding the lives so closely intertwined with their existence, both past and present. By the time I have explored their elements, I experience a thread which somehow connects me to their history.

My approach to each painting is only minimally planned, and could often be described as an attack - with intuitive, fast, high-energy strokes. My main tools are jumbo knives, bristle brushes, and flat planes such as blocks of wood. Paint application ranges from thick, opaque, knifed-on areas to thin transparent layers, used both for the foundation and to subtly change and add color without disturbing the visual texture of previous layers.


PROFILE

Palette knives, bristle brushes, brayers, forks –  these are just some of the tools Karin Nelson uses as she explores how far she can go in abstracting her subjects.  Embracing the impression of the scene, she walks the tightrope between giving hints needed to portray dimension and recognition of the scene, and pulling back in order to leave room for the viewer’s imagination.  She exposes previous layers, playing with the way the texture of canvas grabs acrylic paint. Transparent foundational washes and layers of opaque paint interact with thick and thin brushwork, drips and marks. The fast-drying quality of acrylic allows her to adjust areas as she paints, letting the strokes and marks create their own beauty and reality.  

Nelson begins with a strong sense of inspiration, but avoids sketches or studies.  She paints directly on the canvas, delighting in the contrast of color and tone and abstracting her compositions with strong lines.  She describes her experience as a three-way conversation between the scene, the canvas and herself, as she works to capture lighting, mood and a sense of place within her own style and textural application of paint.

Karin Nelson began painting in 2009. Her passion and skill grew quickly and in 2010, she left her position in administration to pursue painting full-time.


BIOGRAPHY

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2018
“Collective”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI
ArtPrize: the Michigan Connection - Midland Center for the Arts (Midland, MI)
"Solo show",Somebody's Gallery, Petoskey, MI
"Location, Location, Location", Lowell Arts Center, Lowell, MI

2017
“Perception & Intention”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI
Muskegon Museum of Art, Regional Exhibition, Muskegon, MI
"Toast!", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
"Michigan Arts Visual Competition", Holland, MI
"Everyone in the Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
"Freshly Considered", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

2016
"Timeless Structures,” Holland Area Arts Council, Holland, MI
"sELECTED Works", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI
"ArtPrize Eight", Women's City Club, Grand Rapids, MI
"Toast", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
"Everyone in the Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
"Collective Alchemy", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI
“New Faces,” Gallery Uptown, Grand Haven, MI

2015
Muskegon Museum of Art, Regional Exhibition, Muskegon, MI
GR Festival of the Arts, Regional Exhibition, Grand Rapids, MI

2014   
GR Festival of the Arts, Regional Exhibition, Grand Rapids, MI
MI Arts Visual Competition, Holland, MI

2012   
GR Festival of the Arts, Regional Exhibition, Grand Rapids, MI

2011    
Celebration of the Arts, Grand Rapids, MI
GR Festival of the Arts, Regional Exhibition, Grand Rapids, MI
MI Arts Visual Competition, Holland, MI

2010   
GR Festival of the Arts, Regional Exhibition, Grand Rapids, MI

HONORS & AWARDS

2017         
Honorable Mention, Muskegon Museum of Art, Regional Exhibition
Stuart Padnos Award, MI Arts-HAAC

2016         
Finalist in 32nd Annual Art Competition, The Artists' Magazine (2016-17)
"Art Outdoors" billboard (Experience GR)

2015         
Warner, Nocross & Judd Purchase Award
Sam Afendoulis Memorial Award
Eunice Gavan Purchase Award

2014         
Poster Winner for nationally-renowned Tulip Time Festival
Warner, Nocross & Judd Purchase Award
City of Grand Rapids Purchase Award

2011  
ILF Award
Warner, Nocross & Judd Purchase Award

COLLECTIONS

Haworth (Office of Chairman), Zeeland, MI
Holland Hospital, Holland, MI
City of Grand Rapids, GR, MI
Holland Musem (permanent collection), Holland, MI
Pennock Hospital, Hastings, MI
Crisis Care Network
Warner, Norcross & Judd
Dr. David G. Hudson, DDS
Dr. Michael Kelly

MEDIA

2017   
Imagine the Artist in You, WZZM TV Interview
Discovering the Artist Within, Women's Lifestyle Magazine (September)
Painting Full Time, ArtistsNetwork.com
The Artists' Magazine: Finalize in 32nd Annual Art Competition

2016  
Acrylic Artist Magazine, Fall 2016 issue cover page and full feature article, "Shadow Lover"
Acrylic Artist Magazine, Spring 2016 issue, "Looking Ahead" feature
The Artists' Magazine, “Overcoming Acrylic Painting Challenges”, online article
The Artists' Magazine, “Painting Shadows and Evoking Emotions”, online article

2014   
"Tulip Time" Fox 17 TV, Evening News Holland Sentinel News WHTC Radio Interview City of Holland Television, Interview West Michigan Woman Magazine

2011   
Fox 17 TV Morning Show

2010   
Grand Rapids Press