Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Flint Portraits: Chad Nelson

In the market for some oil paintings featuring dear old Flint? Artist Chad Nelson is the person to see:
"I have been painting works of art for about five years now. And I’ve learned that the more I paint, the less I really know about painting. There is so much to be explored in paintings and so many ways to create them. What I love to paint most are landscapes. I naturally gravitate towards the subject of landscapes because of my life-long appreciation of the natural world, its connection to human life, and the beauty of creation.

"The landscapes that I most often paint are from scenes near my geographic region of Mid-Michigan, or places that I have visited. I usually create in my studio working from photographs that I have taken, but sometimes paint en plein aire, meaning 'out of doors.'

"The most recent work that I have created has been focused on color relationships, design, and paint application. Recent paintings include palettes that are softer and more muted using deep and pale hues, unlike my earlier works, which were often brighter and more saturated. I have been in the habit of trying to unify the tone of my paintings across the entire surface, by using a few colors that are mixed into all subsequent mixes. This color unification of a painting works compositionally and helps in defining the mood of a particular piece.

"I am often motivated in trying to execute my paintings in an alla prima fashion, or 'at first try.' I believe a one time go at a painting, if done properly, keeps a painting fresh, breathing, spontaneous, and alive. This immediacy also aids in keeping things simple in terms of design. Compositions that are cleaner and simpler often reveal more impact than those that are cluttered or overly complicated. I try to keep it simple.

"I am also a custom home painter. After spending a few years painting homes, I have utilized some of the concepts involved in this trade that have helped me as an artist. The level of detail and precision that is necessary to gain customer satisfaction and confidence in painting their homes’ has given me a greater sense of awareness of the overall level of craftsmanship that is also required to make fine art paintings. Some concepts that I have paid more attention to include surface preparation, paint application, surface sheen, and final presentation. The experience I have gained from this trade has proved to be invaluable in the progression of my fine art painting."

1 comment:

Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at