James Nelson

J.A. Nelson Gallery

"Being fully engaged in a joyful creative process is as close as I can get to enlightenment."

Jim Nelson works out of his home/studio in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. He mixes elements of abstract painting with low relief wood carving to create truly unique expressions of beauty. The wall sculpture/paintings have no top or bottom... that decision is left to the viewer/buyer. The substantial nature of his work is achieved by using solid wood with all edges painted and finished so as to include their depth as an added design element.

When creating his smaller works, Jim Nelson builds the wooden pieces of each 'puzzle' individually-- shaping, carving, sanding, painting, staining, and waxing them from 1 1/2" thick wooden slabs of various species. When enough of the 'puzzle' pieces are finished, the artist arranges them in compositions of 3 or more pieces on his studio floor. The selection and arrangement process is intense and fun. Combining textures, patterns, and colors in unexpected and often competing groupings is a crucial and final part of this creative process.

Jim Nelson received a B.F.A. from the University of Kansas and an M.F.A. from Syracuse University majoring in Painting and Drawing at both schools. He has combined his affinity for the two-dimensional painted surface with a love of wood. New carved textures and patterns as well as painting and staining techniques present themselves through constant experimentation.