Richard Christian Nelson's Portrait Luke At 15 is a finalist in the Portrait Society of America's 2013 International Portrait Competition. Twenty finalists were selected from over 2,000 entries from all over the world for this prestigious competition. The finalists' paintings will be brought to the annual PSOA conference which takes place in Atlanta this year, on the weekend of April 25-28. Final prizes will be awarded at a banquet there Saturday evening.
Although Nelson has won a number of honors and awards from the Portrait Society, this is the first time his work has been selected as a finalist. This is a portrait of the Nelsons' oldest child Luke. Nelson's wife Kim actually had a dream and woke up and told Rich that she saw him "paint a portrait of Luke in this way" and that he "had to paint it in real life". It also features their chihuahua puppy Finn'. About the somewhat counter-intuitive age of the sitter (you don't see a lot of portraits of teens) Nelson says, "It's interesting to me that we make this transition from child to adult. It's such a fascinating thing in so many ways. As parents we have less and less control. I structured this painting with more symbols than usual. Besides Luke's clothes and things like headphones and wristbands, I wanted it to have a feeling of 'light' and 'dark', hoping and trusting that he moves evermore with and towards the light".
You can see the portrait at Nelson's River Arts District studio located at 352 Depot St. in Asheville, or perhaps at Skyuka Fine Art in Tryon, NC.
For more information on the Portrait Society and Nelson work visit these sites: