Artistic Excellence 2012 | Nathan Solano

Honorable Mention: Nathan Solano, Colorado

Nathan Solano, 6 Below, Christmas Eve Morning, 2011, oil, 20 x 30.

Nathan Solano, 6 Below, Christmas Eve Morning, 2011, oil, 20 x 30.

What inspired your winning entry? I was walking by the river near my home and liked the way the sun was highlighting the snow on the river bank.

Where did you study art? I learned to paint doing one bad painting after another. I wish that I had gone to art school. It might have made things easier.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you? I’m not saying, and people wouldn’t believe it if I did tell them.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received? The owner of the advertising agency where I was the art director told me, “Never be afraid to hire people that are better than you.”

What is your pet peeve? The word “inspire.” I think that if you need to be inspired to paint, you are in the wrong business. I could live another lifetime and never run out of subject matter to paint.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be? If I wasn’t an artist I would have worked as a brick layer, steel worker, roofer, potter, photographer, waiter/bartender, or soldier, to name a few. Out of these I would have to go with soldier or news photographer shooting news events around the world.

What is one thing you will never paint? Hollyhock flowers and poodles.

What’s the most meaningful recognition you’ve received for your artwork? Years ago I donated a painting to the Richard Schmid Fine Art Auction. After seeing the painting, Richard Schmid said, “Not bad. I like it.” I doubt he remembers me or the comment. But it made my day, year, and decade.

What are your goals for the future? Paint better every day. Learn to play well with others. Get enough rejection slips from shows to wallpaper my bathroom. And last but not least, get one of my paintings on the cover of Southwest Art.

What galleries represent your work? Abend Gallery, Denver, CO; Ann Korologos Gallery, Basalt, CO; Hayden Hays Gallery, Colorado Springs, CO; Settlers West Galleries, Tucson, AZ.

Featured in the December 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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