Tom Nielsen \ Biography

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Tom Nielsen, American Society of Marine Aristists (ASMA) – b. 1948, Clinton, Iowa – brings to each canvas over five decades of painting experience. Beginning with lessons and encouragement by his grandmother – a talented artist herself – he began working with pastels at an early age and was oil painting by ten. He is largely self studied, devoting much attention to the disciplines and methods of artists he admires past and present. As well, he has attended the workshops of portrait artist John Howard Sanden and landscape painter Scott Christensen.

A realist at heart, his paintings reflect his love for marine and landscape paintings by artists from the golden age of traditional painting. Born and raised in America’s heartland, his childhood was filled with one adventure after another on the backwaters of the Mississippi River. Dreams of going to sea led Tom to join the Navy after high school. Following several years of life aboard ships on the high seas and small boats deep in enemy infested jungle rivers, he returned to his home town where he established his first studio aboard a houseboat. Later moved to the Washington, D.C. area where he divided his time between graphic design and painting. Portraits dominated his career at first, but he longed to paint landscapes and seascapes as well and gradually found a balance between the two disciplines. Marine subjects, whether inland rivers, coastal marshes or thundering surf have become the focus of his recent work.

In 2004, his coastal paintings of The Marshes of Glynn were given by Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to each of the world Leaders attending the G8 Sea Island Summit. He is a Signature Member of the American Society of Marine Artists where his work has been juried into multiple regional and national exhibitions. He also serves as an active member on ASMA’s board of directors. His seascape, Atlantic Rhythm, was juried into the 35th Annual Mystic Seaport International Marine Art Exhibition.

Tom and his artist wife, Jan, share a studio in a historic building near the town square in Carrollton, Georgia and live in the loft above. They have four children and several grandchildre