21 Under 31 | Christopher Owen Nelson

SOLITUDE, ETCHED AND PAINTED PLEXIGLAS, 55 x 88.
SOLITUDE, ETCHED AND PAINTED PLEXIGLAS, 55 x 88.

By Bonnie Gangelhoff

BORN: Denver, CO.

ART EDUCATION: One year at Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design in Denver.

STYLE: Contemporary American landscape.

MOST INTERESTING THING ABOUT THE WAY YOU WORK: “I paint on Plexiglas so my approach is different. My process requires me to plan out a composition in reverse.”

FIRST ART SALE: “I sold a few sketches to my third-grade art teacher.”

SECOND-CHOICE CAREER: Musician.

OTHER PASSIONS: Playing music, writing, fishing, fashion, and cooking.

MANTRA OR MOTTO: “Make it happen,” from Mike Ditka.

QUIRKIEST TRAIT: “I learned to tie my shoes from a certain large yellow bird on TV. Apparently it’s the wrong way, but I still tie them that way.”

BIGGEST FEAR: “Not accomplishing enough in my lifetime. And taxes.”

FAVORITE STUDIO MUSIC: Mars Volta, Elliot Smith, Ellison Park, The Arcade Fire, Iron and Wine, Tetrahedron, MIA.

BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: “I learned while growing up that there are no handouts. My mother taught me that if I wanted something in life, I had to get it myself, and she encouraged me to work hard.”

PET PEEVE: Littering.

FAVORITE ARTWORK BY ANOTHER ARTIST: THE MUSICIANS by Ethan Garton.

PRICE RANGE: $3,000 to $24,000.

NEXT BIG GOAL: “To create large-scale, conceptual installations.”

CREATIVE SPARK: “Interesting light and shadow. Things that are out of the ordinary, no matter how simple or insignificant.”

GALLERIES: The Gallery at Rich Designs, Colorado Springs, CO; Vail Village Arts, Vail, CO; The Vickers Collection, Beaver Creek, CO; VC Gallery of Fine Art, Sedona, AZ; Horizon Fine Art Gallery, Jackson, WY; www.chrisnelsonfineart.com.

Featured in our annual “21 Under 31″ article in September 2008