Canada (birth), 
Michigan (childhood), 
Ohio (high school), 
Michigan (college), 
Texas (wife),
Minnesota (2 children), 
Texas (Seminary), 
Raleigh, NC (2 more children . . . 
and all the rest so far).


Categorical conundrummer.
Musical adventurer. 
Husband to Nancy.
Dad to Four.
Ex-Runner; Jogger.
Inventor / Builder.
Intrepid Journaller.
Theo / Philosophical Hobbyist.
Spoon Hanger.
Fellow Adventurer in this 
    Mysterious Cosmos. 


My dad was an artist. One of my earliest memories is of asking him to "Draw me a house". I watched as his hands inscribed little circles in the air before the pencil touched down to draw. "Why do you do that?" I asked him. "Well, it helps me find the right place to start," he said. 

Voila’!  My very first art class . . . and a pretty good one at that. By the time I got to kindergarten, I already thought of myself as an artist. 

I majored in art (BFA, Calvin College, 1977), but my real education came as a full time freelance illustrator from about 1984 through 1998. I did over 4000 illustrations during that period.

One of the reasons I do such a wide variety of work is that I learned too late in  life that all artists aren’t necessarily supposed to be able to do everything.
I didn’t know that, so I always said “yes.”  


I failed the very first assignment

of my academic career . . .

On DAY ONE of kindergarten I colored the balloons

instead of counting them.

The artistic itch was already that strong.

Undaunted  by such inauspicious beginnings,

I went on to win a string of prestigious awards:

2nd Place, National Safety Poster Contest!

3rd Place, Local Pumpkin Carving Contest!

1st Place, Small Town Window Painting Competition

(against a bunch of kids roughly half my age, as it turned out.)

Naturally, such accolades kept the itch going,

so I went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree

from a small college in the Midwest. 

My real education, however, took place

during the 15 or 20 years

when I sat at my desk 50 or 60 hours a week

drawing whatever the telephone (ad agencies, mostly)

told me to draw.

Most Americans would have stumbled upon my work

at sometime during the 80's or 90's--

in restaurants and sporting goods stores,

at summer camps and public libraries,

from IBM to hospitals and book covers to billboards.

"I'm really famous," I used to tell my kids,

"just nobody knows it."

Three forces conspired to make me

the artist that I am today:

                                 1) The joy of creating,

                        2) Clients with deadlines,

                                 3) The threat of starvation.

I now divide my time between illustration and fine art,

still doing a wide variety of work--

airbrush realism,

cute (or funny) cartoons,

architectural renderings,

street painting,

portraits and landscapes.


I love painting large and I love an audience,

so doing 8 x 10 foot murals in public

is one of my favorite activities.


Nancy and Dan . . . still crazy after all these years.

David, Alicia,

Cameron, and Alicia’s Husband, Seth


Cameron, Dan, and David


for .doc 
version of 
Dan’s Art Bio.ABOUT_DAN_files/Art%20Blurb_1.doc
Press Release 2:
Really Big Dreams; Really Big Canvas
(About Dan’s 
8 x 10 ft paintings)ABOUT_DAN_files/Really%20Big%20Dreams%3B%20Really%20Big%20Canvas_1.pages
Press Release 1:
A Brush . . . with Destiny
(About Dan’s 
8 x 10 ft paintings)ABOUT_DAN_files/A%20Brush...with%20Destiny%20_1.rtf

P R E S S   R E L E A S E S

DAN NELSON PAINTS THE TOWN!ABOUT_DAN_files/Dan%20Nelson%20Paints%20the%20Town%20-short_1.jpg

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