Mary Jo Nelson's paintings evolve as she creates, with oil, acrylic & mixed media materials, most often without a preconceived concept. She paints impressions (with sensual colors and strong design) which are more important to her than representing realistic subject matter. Known as a colorist her paintings give an inspiring, uplifting sense of life, many in a mystical way. Her aim is to give a feeling of place or subject rather than simply duplicate it. Colors are enhanced with contrast and mixing to give the viewer the sense of depth and movement…ultimately to gain an experience within.

I like to be inspired by what I see in nature – the sometimes flowing and sometimes sharp lines that are everywhere. The motion I feel in these lines is something I like to translate to the canvas. Texture and color then add to the experience as I try to help the viewer be led into the midst of the painting – help them become engrossed in the many visual queues that it represents. The challenge is to have the viewer look closer, and relate to the shapes and colors, and to the mystery of the content.

My paintings often start with rough lines representing movement. Various forms develop with the addition of overlapping colors, dots, flicks, blotting and the thick application of paint. Through the applying of layers of translucent color, scribbled lines, and occasional scratching, the image takes form. Often the colors will mix on the canvas itself. I like to use optimistic complementary colors to touch each person’s inner being as they view it with their own emotions. What’s important is for someone to gain an experience, using their creativity … to see new things again & again.

Mary Jo Nelson is primarily a self-trained artist. She started painting, life drawing and pottery in college and continued for several decades until life's challenges took priority. In the last few years she has resumed her art with a fresh approach of an inspiring colorful attitude in her paintings.