Craig Nelson

About Dr. Craig Nelson

Dr. Craig Nelson is the Academy of Art University’s Executive Director of the School of Fine Art Painting. He has been depicting landscapes and portraits in vibrant oils by instinctively balancing originality with tranquility for over 30 years.

As a high school student in Cupertino, California, Nelson discovered his passion for painting portraits and his admiration for such varied artists as Bernie Fuchs, Rembrandt, Norman Rockwell and Andrew Wyeth. Nelson, known for the luminosity of his brushwork and stunning color spectrum, captures the beauty of simple, cherished moments in everyday life, implementing settings ranging from a mood-filled bar room to the character of Tuscan architectural landscapes. Artists travel from across the country to locations in Italy, the coastal Carolinas, and California to take part in his private workshops.

Nelson’s internationally collected works are represented by Artiste in Healdsburg and Santa Ynez, California; Ella Richardson Fine Art in Charleston, South Carolina; Garden Gallery in Half Moon Bay, California; Peterson-Cody Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Waterhouse Gallery in Santa Barbara, California.

In addition, Nelson has received sought-after awards from Arts for Parks, the California Art Club, and SILA. He has published three popular art books, including 60 Minutes to Better Painting. Profiles on Nelson and his exceptional artistry has also appeared in American Art Collector and Southwest Art.

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