We had the good fortune of connecting with Priscilla Nelson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Priscilla, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
The amount of time invested to create the product and the high cost of the materials. I am a contemporary figurative artist. Some of my paintings take up to 16 months to complete. Most, on average, take 3-4 months. Whenever I mention to someone the cost of my paints and canvases, they are quite often shocked.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The proverbial “I always painted as a child” can only explain part of my journey as an artist. As I said, I give credit to the amazing high school art teachers for the strong foundation in drawing. But the biggest credit goes to my parents. They encouraged a very young child to discover her passion for drawing and painting. There was not a birthday or Christmas without a wrapped gift containing a box of new and exciting art supplies. Many years later, when I was considering the merits of a biology major and maybe medical school, my very wise father said to me, “Life is not a dress rehearsal, you are not coming back. This life is your one and only chance to be the artist that you are.” I never looked back…. For the most part I am self taught. Through trial an error I developed my own style and process. I am a realist artist that stops just short of entering the photo-realism level. I love that everyday I get to do what I am so passionate about…paint. The art world is not easy. You have to have a think skin. Many years of pouring your heart onto the canvas, growing in your ability as an artist, then exposing all of it to the world. It is not for the faint of heart. It takes many years of hard work, but even then, there are no guarantees. My passion and primary medium is oil on canvas. I mainly focuses on figurative works in a contemporary-realistic style. The majority of my work explores the figure, clothing, and water. I love how they interact with each other and how they convey moods and create a story line. My inspiration is people and what they wear. I have always enjoyed observing and interacting with those around me. Since I was little I was intrigued by how people move and the statement they make by what they wear. When I moved to Scottsdale, AZ, I became obsessed by water. Something, water, that I once took for granted was now so striking in its absence here in the desert. Water has become prevalent in most of my painting. The way water channels light and creates chaotic movement. I love painting those reflections on the skin. My models are often immersed in water!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There are some many fun things to do in AZ! Depending on the year… I love taking out of town guests to a hike in Pinnacle Peak followed by a pool side lunch at The Four Seasons. There are many great and fun restaurants. I usually pick one in Old Scottsdale, so that they can experience that area. Love walking around and checking out the art galleries. When they visit during the winter months, Celebration of Fine Art (the white tents on Hayden) are high on my list. In my opinion, hands down, one of the best art shows nation wide. And, of course, for those that love golf, so many great courses.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
A huge shoutout to all those unsung art heroes…the high school art teachers! They guided me, instilled in me the love and passion for creating. And, most important, they helped me build that strong foundation that allowed me to grow and become a better artist. Can’t thank them enough for their dedication and passion.