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 Nelson Boren  (1952 - )

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Lived/Active: Idaho/Arizona      Known for: Realist cowboy figure painting

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Ad Code: 3
Nelson Boren
from Auction House Records.
Heavy Saddle
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Working from a studio in Sandpoint, Idaho, Nelson Boren creates highly realistic, textured western figure paintings. To achieve this effect, he uses wire bristle brushes, razor blades, a carpet layer's tool, and other implements he has devised to make texture.

He poses subjects from nearby farms and ranches, photographs them, and paints in watercolor from the photographs, wetting the paper and allowing wrinkles to catch paint in the depressions.

Born in Arizona, he was a cum laude graduate in Architecture in 1978 from Arizona State University, and then had a career as an award winning architect in Mesa, Arizona. In 1990, he became a full time fine artist and moved to Idaho.

Source:
Southwest Art

Biography from Pitzer's Fine Arts:
Nelson Boren (b. 1952) has developed a distinctive trademark style. His watercolors present an intimate, close-up view of the life and trappings of the modern American cowboy. In a 1994 article in Art Talk that dealt with the "New West" artists, Nelson Boren was included as one of an elite group of artists who are not necessarily painting a time or place, but a feeling or emotion. "I try with these subjects to capture emotions about them, prompting the viewer to imagine the rest," says Boren.

Nelson creates highly realistic, textured western figurative paintings, whose personalities are established through their visual impact of colorful shirts, gloves, chaps and spurs. To achieve this effect, he uses wire bristle brushes, razor blades, a carpet layer’s tool, and other implements he has devised to create the texture found in his paintings. The end result is amazing, as Susan Hallsten McGarry wrote: “Illusion has no greater master than Nelson Boren. Whether it is the cracks and furrows of well-worn cowboy boots, the weathered rails of a corral fence or the shadows of supple buckskin fringe on dusty denim, the textures in his paintings are extraordinary.”

Drawn to the medium of watercolor because of its vivid and transparent colors, Boren’s work today reflects his appreciation of cowboy life, which he experienced as a young boy working summers on Arizona ranches. He poses subjects from nearby farms and ranches, photographs them, and paints in watercolor from the photographs, wetting the paper and allowing wrinkles to catch paint in the depressions.

Nelson Boren has been featured in many prominent publications: Southwest Art, Cowboys & Indians, Art Talk, and was selected as one of the foremost contemporary artists in a 214 page book entitled, Leading the West; one hundred contemporary painters and sculptors, Northland Publishing, 1997. He was part of a national museum tour called, "The Other Side of the West" from 2000-2004.

Biography from Altermann Galleries and Auctioneers, III:

Nelson Boren (b. 1952)

Working from a studio in Sandpoint, Idaho, Nelson Boren creates highly realistic, textured western figure paintings. To achieve this effect, he uses wire bristle brushes, razor blades, a carpet layer’s tool, and other implements he has devised to create the texture found in his paintings. The end result is, as Susan Hallsten McGarry says, amazing. “Illusion has no greater master than Nelson Boren. Whether it is the cracks and furrows of well-worn cowboy boots, the weathered rails of a corral fence or the shadows of supple buckskin fringe on dusty denim, the textures in his paintings are extraordinary.”

Nelson Boren left a successful and award-winning architectural career to pursue a professional art career in 1990. The stimulus to pursue his artistic interest came from a watercolor class he signed up for at Arizona State University, taught by the same teacher who had instructed him years before in architecture school. Soon after, galleries showed an interest in his work and Boren was motivated to leave architecture behind and paint on a full time basis.

Drawn to the medium of watercolor because of its vivid and transparent colors, Boren’s work today reflects his appreciation of cowboy life, which he experienced as a young boy working summers on Arizona ranches. Referring to his artistic style as “detail cowboy art,” his large, figurative paintings tend to omit the obvious, and instead he challenges himself to convey personality through the minute details and accoutrements of cowboy life: boots, spurs, jeans, chaps and leather gloves. He poses subjects from nearby farms and ranches, photographs them, and paints in watercolor from the photographs, wetting the paper and allowing wrinkles to catch paint in the depressions.


Biography from Morris & Whiteside Galleries:
Originally from Tempe, Arizona, Nelson Boren credits his mother as his earliest artistic influence.  A painter, she only allowed Nelson to hang posters in his bedroom that he had painted.  While studying architecture at Arizona State University, Boren elected to take a watercolor course taught by one of his most respected professors.  Discouraged by his inability to paint was well as his teacher, Boren gave up painting and focused on his architecture studies.

After graduating, Nelson began practicing architecture, owning his own successful firm for many years, and winning numerous awards in his field.  However, in 1980 Nelson was becoming tired of the demands of owning his own firm and was beginning to feel disillusioned with the entire profession of architecture.  During this time, the desire to paint returned, and he signed up for watercolor classes bringing with him more realistic goals and greater dedication.

Finally, in 1980 Boren and his wife made a life changing decision and moved themselves and their seven children to Northern Idaho with the goal for Boren to paint full time and make a successful living as an artist.  Taking his paintings from door to door, Boren found galleries willing to show his work and became an immediate success.

His bright and bold watercolors of cowboys and other western figures can be found in private, public, and corporate collections nation wide, including the Whitney Museum of Western Art in Cody, Wyoming, the Coca Cola Company, and the Dallas Cowboys NFL football team.

Biography from Trailside Galleries:
Nelson Boren left a successful and award-winning architectural career to pursue a professional art career in 1990. The stimulus to pursue his artistic interest came from a watercolor class he signed up for at Arizona State University, taught by the same teacher who had instructed him years before in architecture school. Soon after, galleries showed an interest in his work and Boren was motivated to leave architecture behind and paint on a full time basis.

Drawn to the medium of watercolor because of its transparency and vivid colors, Boren's work today reflects his appreciation of cowboy life, which he experienced as a young boy working summers on Arizona ranches. Referring to his artistic style as “detail cowboy art”, his large, figurative paintings tend to omit the obvious, and instead he challenges himself to convey personality through the minute details and accoutrements of cowboy life; boots, spurs, jeans, chaps and leather gloves.

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