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Erika Nelson

Artist's Profile

Erika Nelson has been practicing professionally as an artist since grade school. At age 7, she began to sell drawn/painted greeting cards to classmates and adult clients. She was offered her first one-woman-show when she was 10. In high school she began her portraiture business,invited to several group shows and received art awards from banks and her school. She was also in the Honor Society. Based on her track record, she received a full college scholarship though she was also offered a Biology scholarship in Berkeley College.

In college, she continued receiving awards and special scholarship that were more focused on figurative art. One of her contemporary nude self-portraits was juried into a group show by renowned abstract artist Frank Stella. This piece traveled to several museums in the east coast and was sold before the end of the exhibits. Erika received her BFA in Drawing and Painting after taking many advanced portraits and figures courses at California State University, Fullerton under the guidance of her mentor Donald Lagerberg.

She's exhibited all over Southern California in places like Rodeo Drive, Newport Beach, Sherman Oaks and various Orange County venues. Her works are in celebrity collections and corporations like Marriott Hotel, Daniel Freeman, and other private collections. She's sold all over the US and overseas through Ebay.

Currently, she lives with her husband in Northwest Arkansas, where she continues her business as a commissioned artist and participates in competitions and group shows. Her first one-woman-show since their move to Arkansas in 2004 is November 2007.

Artist Statement:
Call me silly, but I see too many BEAUTIFUL things around me that I am aching to share with others. Everybody is literally beautiful to me because each one of us bears the secret of life. Everyone has a story I haven't heard, with episodes that affect changes in his/her story. They are in the eyes, the colors, the complexion, the expression...the way a person sits or walks, etc. I see these stories and I want to freeze the moment so I can share it with you. And maybe you too can enjoy the stories that preoccupy me. I experiment with different media so I can capture texture, vulnerability, angst, ambivalence... I hope to get the attention of the viewer for things besides whether my palette will match their decor. Hopefully, the piece(s) will evoke a forgotten emotion or a realization.

I tend to prefer to work in small dimensions not just because it's a lot easier for me, but also because I like the intimacy. I loved my first experience with Daumier's drawings. They were so small yet they drew the people in so they can savor his humor and beatiful line qualities he used to wonderfully depict people.

Good Art to me is the kind that engages you and quenches your thirsty soul as you study it. When I choose a subject, it's because I find it so breathtaking that I want to share what I see with others. People inspire me. I tend to prefer my subjects in nude because clothes just cover their real beauty. :)

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