I love this episode - so Christmassy! (It probably should have been posted for my "I unfriend you" post instead of this one. Joking, of course.)
I had to send a 'bio' to the very kind shopkeepers who took me in, - it's for their website. I write 'about me' all of the time on the blog, but I'm not very good at writing a biography. (I read somewhere a successful art blog needs more than the photos of your work - people want to know who the artist is.)
Anyway - I wrote the following:
Terry Nelson. Minneapolis, Minnesota. A man of indeterminable age.
I usually tell people I'm a painter. I like saying that better than artist - although I consider myself an independent painter, outsider artist.
I don't like doing commissions - though I have very often done so in the past.
I began work in art and design as a very young man at Dayton's in Visual Merchandising. My expertise was windows and cases in the fashion area.
I was in management towards the end of that part of my career - but wasn't very good at it. I don't like to be managed, nor do I like to manage people. I began painting in the late 1970's - concentrating on the making of icons - Orthodox iconographers seem to prefer saying they 'write' icons, but I prefer to say I paint icons. After being told non-Orthodox people can't paint 'real' icons, I evolved and began to paint western saints in the icon style. I have works in convents, monasteries, and churches throughout the Midwest.
I've also worked with interior designers and applied my skills to murals, painted furniture, faux finishes and decorative objects. I've sold many such things in fine stores locally and around the United States. Although I have done very little of that in the last 10 years.
My love is Spanish Colonial style retablo, relicarios, and santos - the Catholic religious art of Latin America and Southwest US. I have shown my work in two galleries in Santa Fe, New Mexico - both are now closed. I also have small pieces in the collection of the Cathedral there, as well as a monastery and a couple of mission chapels.
For the past several years I've devoted my time to what I call a sort of neo-magic realism, inspired very much by the work of George Tooker, Jared French, and Paul Cadmus. My paintings are also influenced by the surrealists and a few contemporary Latin American artists. My compositions, though obviously representational and therefore readable, are a sort of pastiche or painted collage of figures and settings which I pull together to form the narrative. I consider my work as a sort of visual documentation of events and their effect upon me. I find this type of painting cathartic.