"Self Portrait 2014" 12x16 oil on canvas by Erika Nelson

“Self Portrait 2014” 12×16 oil on canvas

I can’t recall a time in my life when I wasn’t an artist! My first playmates were writing tools from pencil to marker pens that kept me busy for many hours.  The rest has been history as art gravitated toward me.  Being a daughter of a movie director, as a youngster, I was exposed to decisions made on movie posters when likenesses and certain messages were important to convey!

Although I was also offered a Biology scholarship by Berkeley University, I knew it was due to my sense of observation and attention to detail about projects, particularly the illustration parts.  So I had to choose the road to Fine Arts at the California State University where I earned my BFA.  There I continued to follow the path to figurative art via very passionate department counselor and instructors.  My grades suffered badly before they recognized that I would respond better to advanced courses.  How fortunate it was for me to be saved by my love of the figures versus drawing 2D basic shapes with technical pens and building 3D boxes versus playing with clay and carving wood.  I was so ready for the next steps!

And for now I have landed in the world of impressionistic style of art, that is, if I have to categorize my sense of expression.  I do stick close to representational and European style of painting.  But I also love exploring the freedom and boldness of abstract art and I am so glad I’ve had clients who respond to that voice I have as well.  For the most part, I am a commissioned portrait artist.  I love knowing people.  Maybe it’s still the Biology student in me who likes to observe and my art as a tool!