In 1962 slater/plasterer John Nelson had no art qualifications. He was accepted into Edinburgh College of Art that year purely on the strength of his portfolio.
During work breaks John was always sketching. An art teacher had seen this and helped him put the portfolio together. The following years John won a number of drawing and painting prizes which included an Andrew Grant Scholarship.
From 1971 to 1996 he was an art lecturer at Stevenson College, Edinburgh. This college was then leading the way in new ideas in adult and further education. John was one of their pioneering lecturers in arts and crafts. He also taught art to ‘lifers’
in Saughton Prison, Edinburgh.
As an Edinburgh man he was proud to be a member of The Glasgow League of Artists, organising exhibitions of their work at home and abroad. He was also chairman of Livingston Art Foundation
and the first artistic director of the Craigmillar Festival Society.
Always finding time to sketch and paint, always developing his painting and his love of colour to his own exacting standards, he did not spend
much time promoting his work. But it was discovered, exhibited and bought, because people really liked it.
‘I make paintings which I hope encapsulate my natural joie de vivre and love of colour.
Always suspicious of the archetypical, I work directly onto the canvas. Make no preparatory drawings, follow and shape intuitively. Ideas for my paintings come from a variety of sources, but I am particularly drawn to the natural forms of land and sea’,
From 1996 he lived in the Scottish Borders. In 2012 he moved to Pittenweem in Fife where he sadly passed away a year later.
A selection of John’s
paintings is now available as Giclée art prints on 100% cotton art paper. More information on: http://www.nelsonartprints.com