Richard Christian Nelson

Portrait, Landscape, and Still Life Artist

Sat 11-5, Sunday 1-5, and by Appointment
362 Depot Street
[email protected]

I am a portrait and gallery artist residing with my wife Kim and our three children in the mountains of North Carolina. Though portraiture is a major part of my career, I also love painting landscape, still life, and figurative gallery pieces. I am endlessly fascinated by people, places, and things and consider it a privilege and a challenge to capture some aspect of their essence on canvas.

I work toward ‘painterly realism’; good drawing and composition, rendered with strong natural color, in such a way that you can still ‘sense’ or ‘feel’ the paint. The effect of this process is that the subject begins to artfully reveal itself to me and hopefully, the viewer. I do teach workshops now and then so check that out at

We’re from Detroit, Michigan, where I earned my BFA from the College of Creative Studies in 1988. It was at CCS that I developed my love of painting, drawing, figurative art, and art history. I have been working as a portrait and gallery artist, and occasional instructor since graduating. I strive to do museum quality work that will be around long after my subjects and I have left this world.

In over 20 years as a professional artist I’ve completed over 500 portraits, sold many gallery paintings, had a number of one-person shows, and won a number of awards. Here are some of the highlights:

  • 2017- ‘Emelie’ accepted into Oil Painters Of America Salon
  • 2016- Granted signature status from the Portrait Society Of America
  • 2016- ‘Lily Outdoors’ accepted into Oil Painters Of America National Juried Exhibition
  • 2014 – Certificate Of Excellence – Portrait Society Of America’s 2014 International Portrait Competition
  • 2013- Finalist – Portrait Society Of America’s 2013 International Portrait Competition
  • 2012 – Certificate Of Excellence – Portrait Society Of America’s 2012 International Portrait Competition
  • 2012 – 1st Place- Commissioned Portraits- PSOA’s Member’s Only Competition
  • 2010 – Finalist- Portrait/Figure Category of The Artist’s Magazine 27th Annual Art Competition
  • 2009 – 1st Place- Oil and Honorable Mention-Drawing- PSOA’s ‘Choose Your Medium’ Portrait Competition
  • 2008 – 2nd Place- PSOA’s ‘Outdoor’ Portrait Competition
  • 2007 – Semifinalist In American Artist Magazine’s 70th Anniversary Competition

Sam - Nearly 13Merrion Dale

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