James Nelson grew up Detroit Michigan, the youngest of eight children. His love of art began at a young age and was shared by all in his family. Recognized as a young, gifted artist, James was selected to study drawing and watercolor at the Detroit Institute of Art while in middle school. High school provided James his first opportunity to place oils on canvas. He sold his first oil painting to his high school English teacher. James went on to teach his mother and sisters how to paint using oils, skills that they continue to enjoy. James began to focus on academics. He graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy Dental School. Always having the desire to see more of the world, James enlisted as an officer in the Army Dental Corps in which he served for ten years. During this period James spent over five years in the Far East. Taking time to travel, scuba dive and ski in this area of the world. While living overseas he had the opportunity to paint and learn the skills necessary to make jewelry. Once back in the United States he attended George Washington University and earned his certification to specialize in endodontics. Separated from active duty James opened an endodotic practice in Durham, North Carolina. James practiced endodontics for thirty years. He lived in Durham with his wife and four children. In April 2008, James lost most of his eyesight and was forced to close his dental practice. Legally blind, he spent two years searching for meaning and purpose in his life to replace what was lost with his sight. When a friend gave him a gift of oil paints and canvas he rediscovered his love of painting. James paints a story in his compositions that developed from his myriad life experiences. He attends classes and workshops through Nicole’s Gallery in Raleigh, North Carolina. He plans to attend a weeklong workshop with Jeff Legg in Scottsdale Arizona in April 2011. In a short period his artwork has been shown at multiple locations. His painting came in first at the North Carolina State Fair, October 2010. He regularly attends class at Nicole’s Gallery in which he paints with other known artists in the Raleigh area.
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