Born and raised in Tempe, Arizona, Nelson studied to be an architect earning a degree from Arizona State University. After practicing for 15 years, during which time he owned a successful firm and won numerous awards, Nelson made the pivotal decision to leave the field in 1980 to pursue his dream of becoming a full-time artist. Nelson credits his life-long love of both art and math with his dual-career path of architecture and fine art. His mother, a painter herself, was his earliest influence. As a teenager in the “psychedelic ‘60s”, the only art posters his mother allowed Nelson to hang in his bedroom where those he painted himself. Later, as an architecture student he had time for very few electives. The first one he chose was a watercolor course with a much-admired professor of architecture who Nelson says painted like “magic.” Discouraged by not painting as well as his teacher, he effectively gave up and stayed focused on architecture. Years later, however, the burning desire to paint returned and he resumed watercolor classes, this time with a higher degree of dedication and more realistic goals. It was during this phase of training when Nelson developed his signature style which he credits most to the principle of “gestalt.” At the same time Nelson became increasingly disillusioned with architecture and the increasing business demands of owning his firm. Finally, in 1980, he and his wife made the decision to make a major lifestyle change and move their family, including the seven children, to Northern Idaho. One of Nelson’s goals was to paint full time, however, he knew he would have to sell some works to justify his time. He got his art represented by several Scottsdale galleries by showing his work door-to-door. Within two weeks, two of his paintings sold. Since then, some of the leading galleries in the U.S. have sought to represent his work, recognizing his unique combination of incredible detail and big, bold and graphic images. Nelson’s work is in collections across the United States including the Whitney Museum of Western Art, Cody, Wyoming, the Coca Cola Company and the Dallas Cowboys NFL football team.
Fish On! Taut line, bent rod, quick snap, big grin, reel whines, arms high, bigger grin. Out of the corner of their eye from a hundred yards away, any angler can recognize the lines, body language and adrenaline surge of a hook-up. It is gestalt personified.
Nelson Boren’s rise to prominence in the art world has been built upon applying this concept of gestalt to cowboy life. His large format graphics tell whole stories of the durable American icon one intimate slice at a time. So, it was only a matter of time before Nelson’s other great passion emerged in the studio.
With his first release on the art of fishing, Nelson presents us with just a fragment of a magic day on a clear cold river. Quickly, the mind flows and we fill in the rest; lunkers cruising just beneath the surface, a furtive boil here and there, shooting lines, the favored creel heavy with success. Reproduced as a Fine Art Giclée on Paper this edition captures all the wonder and presentation of the watercolor original and is sure to disappear as quickly as a tail rise in a favored run.
As the sun sets over the prairie, the stifling heat of the day gives way to a cooler, gentler breeze.The cows low quietly as they settle in for the evening and their guardian takes a minute to enjoy the fruits of a day’s hard work.This perfect moment is lovingly captured by artist Nelson Boren and beautifully reproduced on Hahnemühle German etching paper, deckled on all sides.
The average painting by Nelson Boren embodies a number of the artist’s qualities—fastidious attention to detail, a tender eye for texture and a respect for the hard-working people of the modern West. But what makes Nelson Boren’s paintings unique is his playful composition and the teasing close-ups that invite each viewer to create his or her own story.
Engaged is no different. Two dusty, hard-working folks sit beside one another holding hands, perhaps a little excited, as the title suggests, with their new arrangement. But the rest of the story is up to you.
In the oppressive heat of the Western afternoon, a cowboy has found a bright bunch of “Black-Eyed Suzies” to give to his favorite girl. Nelson Boren’s skillful use of light, shadow and shape combines with his flair for storytelling to make this an afternoon to remember. This beautiful little watercolor print is an affordable way to add a touch of cowboy romance to any den, living room or kitchen.