Flora & Fauna: Honoring Richard James Nelson, with special guest Phil Stringer
In remembrance of our friend Richard James Nelson, we are honored to present “Flora & Fauna,” a retrospective of his life’s work.
Richard was a St. Paul based printmaker specializing in wood block and linocut prints. He began in kindergarten with potato prints and kept on printing, earning a B.A. from the The College of Visual Arts in 1992. His work is based on the philosophy that the image should be as simple as possible, with as few colors as possible. He felt the more simple the work, the more the viewer has a chance to connect with the image. He combined printing, ink, and watercolor applications, often using dark brown rather than black inks to define forms in a way that echoes the earth itself. He took inspiration from time spent at his century-old home on Minnesota’s North Shore. The artist, who grew up north of Minneapolis explained, he “learned to commune with tumble weeds and important survival skills including when and when not to enter a farmer’s field.” He signed his prints as “James” in honor of his father James Nelson. His father encouraged his pursuit of the arts and taught him appreciation and respect.
Phil Stringer has had a lifelong love for the natural world; the mountains, sea, forests. He holds a BS in Forestry from the University of Minnesota. Phil spent all of his formative years sailing the oceans, and has had a 30+ year career as a corporate pilot. He’s had many experiences and interests over the years, but has always had a need to express his creativity, to externalize his internal reaction to the environment. Each medium reflects his relationship with the natural world.
Through photography he tries to convey the sense of the setting; the feeling evoked by being present. Woodwork has allowed him to make something from the forests he treasures. He likes to think there is a sense of the wild in his work; unfinished edges, wild grain and interesting textures. Boat building combines his roots, the sea and the forest.