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Today’s paintings are by Carol Nelson, a Colorado artist who works in oils and acrylics. Carol’s subject matter ranges from still lifes to landscapes, and from animals to abstracts—and I must say she does very well in each genre.

This first painting, entitled Birthday Surprise, is one of her smaller still life oil paintings on a 6×6 inch panel.

Birthday Surprise by Carol Nelson

Note that even though she’s working small, her roses are close to life-sized and cropped so that several of them exist almost as much outside the boundary of the painting as they do inside.

Naturally that makes for a much more engaging and interesting composition than if she’d let the dimensions of the panel influence the size and placement of her subject.

Moving on from the roses, I soon found that gold, yellow, and orange seemed to pop up quite often in Carol Nelson’s paintings.

Red Roof is probably titled just that in order to draw your attention to the buildings in the back, but personally I’m much more interested in the somewhat chaotic brushtrokes of red winding their way through the wheat.

Red Roof by Carol Nelson

Just look at all that amazing movement and color going on in the lower two-thirds of the painting: curving lines, thick paint, lots of different shades and tints of yellow, and even some flashes of green amidst it all.

It’s enough to make me wish it was all abstracted. . . but maybe that’s just because I’ve seen what Carol can do with an entirely abstract work of art.

Fusion III by Carol NelsonFusion III is definitely my favorite painting by Carol Nelson. It has intense color, high contrast, and lots of thick texture, all working together to create visual depth and space within the piece.

Since it isn’t really a traditional painting, Carol explained on her website some of what went into it. By that I mean, she wrote down a list of materials she used (some of which you might never guess at).

Those non-traditional materials included “jute rug backing, copper, clear tar gel, wire. . .and metallic paints.”

Not a bad palette, eh?

And if you’ve been reading EmptyEasel for a while, you already know that I’m a fan of paintings with non-standard sizes like this one has.

The height of this painting adds a wonderful vertical flow and really capitalizes on the linear qualities of the wire and those long dark drips of paint.

There are a lot more paintings at Carol Nelson’s website, of course, so if you have a few moments I’d encourage you to head on over and take a look.

And, you can also check out Carol’s art blog at carolnelsonfineart.blogspot.com.

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

This week's featured artist is Lisa Lorenz, a painter from Copenhagen, Denmark. Originally from Canada, Lisa's paintings are bright, cheerful, and stylized, and are often based on her travels through Europe and Asia. I was immediately drawn to the way she used geometric color planes and repeated elements (like windows, sails and waves). . . read more

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