Tom Nielsen, b. 1948, brings to each canvas over five decades of painting experience. Beginning with lessons from his artist grandmother, he began working with pastels at an earlyage and was oil painting by the age of ten. He is largely self-taught . 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 near the banks of the upper Mississippi, his childhood was filled with one adventure after another on the river. Though sailing wasn’t common there, he built two sailboats during his school years and spent several summers happily sailing on muddy waters. Dreams of going to sea led him to join the Navy after graduation from high school. While attending advanced training in San Diego, Tom became a member of the Navy’s sailing club. During his time in uniform, he journeyed aboard ships the length of the West Coast and acrossthe Pacific.
Returning to civilian life, Tom refitted a houseboat as his first studio where he paintedfor a brief period before moving to the Washington, DC area to pursue a career that divided his time between graphic design and painting. He has been painting full time for the past two decades with marine subjects the focus of his recent work. In 2004, his coastal paintings of the
Marshes of Glynn were given as a gift, by Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, to each of the world Leaders attending the G8 Sea Island Summit.
As a Signature Member of the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA) since 2012, Tom’s painting “Into the Night – The USS Constitution” is currently part of its traveling exhibition “1812, Star Spangled Nation.” His painting “Mixing it Up” was exhibited in ASMA’s Southern Regional show in 2013. Tom’s work is exhibited in several private galleries across the country and has been included in solo and numerous group exhibitions. He is the designer of a bronze medallion for the U.S. Congress and a commemorative silver dollar for the U.S. Mint. His paintings and portraits can be found in official government, corporate and private collections worldwide.