Deborah Rae Nelson, born in California, always loved horses and drawing. Not having a horse of her own, she drew them feeling that it brought her closer to the reality of someday owning one of her own. Proudly her first award was a prize for an American Legion art contest at the age of eleven.

At seven, her family moved to the foothills of Riverside, California, and there this girl from the city first became immersed in the sagebrush and dusty trails of Southern California.

In Riverside, the young artist was introduced to scientific and naturalist illustrator, Karoly Fogassy, who provided her with private instruction and mentored her through her apprenticeship. He taught her how a professional uses pen, pencil and paint, how to observe and interpret.

Professionally Deborah’s career began as a scientific illustrator. Wildlife provided the main themes for her studio work, gaining commissions from the American Bass Association, Save the Seal Foundation and participating in National Audubon exhibitions. Juried exhibitions include the Western Spirit Art Show and Vandewark Miniature Show in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Deborah received her BFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Today, she lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband. The wondrous New Mexico light and southwest setting provide the inspiration and opportunity to capture the images she loves in the western setting that is her heritage.

Many of Deborah’s admirers say that her paintings glow with a natural light, that they are strong and bold. To Nelson, this is warm praise; she interprets the light and natural reflections through glazing techniques in the masters’ tradition.

Deborah considers herself a painter of the American West. Flowers, landscapes, wildlife, horses, ranches and farmlands inspire the images captured in oils. Nelson is on an endless quest, bringing life and the spirit of the west to the two-dimensional painted surface. The journey is one of discovery and preservation–join her in celebrating our western heritage.

PAINTINGS: Click each image for detailed info and larger image
"Rock 'N' Roll"