Sunday, April 6, 2014

Friday Feature: Carol Nelson

"One nineteen 12-072" by Carol Nelson
Hi Everyone,

This week Carol Nelson is the Friday Feature.  I came across Carol on facebook.  Her abstracts have me mesmerized.  They are beautiful, organic, vibrant and just plain cool. She can do it all aside from abstracts she has some beautiful landscapes and still life paintings on her site.

To see more of Carol's work check out her blog and website,

How did you get your start?  What’s your artist journey so far? 

I was an art major when I started college, but finished with a scientific degree.  Art was on the back burner for many years, until one day I came across Maxine Masterfield’s book, Painting the Spirit of Nature.  It inspired me to buy all the stuff I need to try her technique.  

"Gemstone 9 12071" by Carol Nelson
That was followed by several years of trying different media, and finally settling on acrylics and mixed media.  I also paint portraits in oil, but the majority of my work is mixed media with an emphasis on experimentation.  I love to try new things.  

If you had told me 6 years ago that I would be teaching workshops in mixed media around the country, I’d have thought you were nuts.  I found out I love sharing my knowledge of contemporary abstract acrylics with other artists.

Where were you born? Duluth, Minnesota

If you could live anywhere where would you live? I love living in Colorado, where the sky is blue and the seasons are dramatic.  I like to vacation near the ocean, but love coming home to my mountains.

"Gemstone 4 1000 12047" original by Carol Nelson

What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?  The most consistent theme in my work is my Geologic Abstract Series, which includes my new Gemstone Series.  Many of my paintings are suggestive of the rocks, cliffs, and canyons of the West.  

Could you talk about your painting techniques?  I strive to have deep, vibrant color, and unusual textures in my work.  I often incorporate metals, metal foils, metal leaf, modeling compound, art papers, printed papers, and a variety of textural elements into a painting.

Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites?  I work exclusively with Golden Fluid Acrylics for the abstract work.  My favorite color is Quinacridone Nickel Azo gold – it ends up in almost every painting.  For my portraits, I use Grumbacher Pretested Oils.

"Gemstone 8 12069" by Carol Nelson

Do you have a favorite artist?  Who has been your biggest inspiration?  I love abstract expressionist
artists such as Diebenkorn, Rauschenberg, and Rothko.  Since Masterfield’s book started all this, I’d have to say she was the most inspirational to me.

What have been some of your crowning achievements?  Just found out last week that one of my paintings would be on the cover of the new Blick catalog, and also that I am a finalist in The Artists Magazine annual competition.  
My biggest achievement, however, is the continuing popularity of my workshops, where I can show other artists how to be more creative with acrylics and mixed media.

"Orange Dream 12053" by Carol Nelson

What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)
I’d like to see my work on the cover of some of the major art publications – the Blick Catalog is a start!  It would be nice to be so in demand, that top galleries would seek me out (does that EVER happen?)

What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?   There is no substitute for miles on the brush – paint every day.  Join online and local artist groups.  Take workshops and classes.  Start a blog.   Visit galleries often.  Enter competitions.

"Parkview 3 12020" by Carol Nelson
What is the best advice that you have received as an artist? Start a blog.  Then a website.  My whole internet presence started with putting myself “out there” in cyberspace.

Chocolate or vanilla? vanilla

Your dream vacation spot?  Seychelles

Book or movie? Movie (don’t have time to read books).

Favorite author? Margaret Mitchell

Favorite movie? Blues Brothers

Romance or comedy?  comedy

Favorite dessert? Apple pie

Night owl or morning person? Night owl

Thank you Carol for your insightful interview!



  1. Thanks Carol for all your words of wisdom,
    I am a big fan of your work.
    I also enjoy being an experimental mixed media artist!!!
    Nice interview ( =

  2. Another wonderful interview, Carrie! Carol's work is unbelievable!!!

  3. I missed this last Friday. Carol once did a demo for the Pikes Peak Watercolor Society. We were all amazed and entertained by her creativity and her humor. She shared her knowledge very readily. I see Carol as a high-energy and unique artist who is ever evolving.