Students’ Comments

The most common sentiment among Dick Nelson’s students is that Dick taught them how to see. He has trained us how to see and discover, not through his eyes, but with our own eyes. Whether we are concerned with external visual reality, inner vision, painting, quilting, glass blowing, computer imagery or other pursuits, Dick has taught us to observe, to discover, to understand, and to create and critique our own unique artistic expressions.

The following comments and work are testimony to Dick Nelson’s impact as a teacher.

  • Dick Nelson’s classes took me from visual illiteracy to artistic vision. He taught me how to see.
  • It is difficult to judge whether Nelson has had more impact as an artist or as a teacher.
  • I see color through a new set of eyes.
  • I find more honesty in my work…I feel more aligned with my true self when using the tri-hue technique
  • Dick Nelson is the best teacher I have ever had.
  • His classes enlightened me. I have an entirely new way of seeing our visual world.
  • Homework was a joy, a true learning experience!
  • He is renowned for his intimate knowledge of color and his ability to inspire his students.
  • The foundation Richard Nelson provides in the classroom is a base from which to draw and build upon throughout life.
  • Dick’s humor is legendary and he is a master of silence as well… a gift which, combined [with] the integrity of a true art critique, allows any student to enjoy and grow to the best of their abilities. He has been an inspiration to me as a teacher as well as an artist.
  • Learning never ends.
  • I thought I knew about color (whoa, was I wrong!). Mr. Nelson’s teachings changed my life immediately after the first class.
  • If one can inspire another it is truly a gift. Richard Nelson gave me that gift.
  • I felt his ability to stimulate my creative senses with a sense of humor that used to keep us laughing most of the time, and in tears too. For me he is an amazing art teacher, filled with lots of love and compassion.
  • Using tri-hue technique, I find the colors to be more real and believable. The three colors to ring true to me as the true colors, the true palette. The greens are more true, the greys more luminous.
  • He doesn’t hold back compliments, like some instructors do, and he doesn’t hold back criticism either. Both are essential to learn and go forward.
  • A powerful and meaningful teacher who uses the “Aha! method.” Instead of giving you the answer and expecting a perfect parrot response, he takes the time and imagination to create simple exercises that, when followed, give the student a sudden moment of expanded awareness. Students see through their own actions a result they did not expect, but now totally understand, and will not forget.
  • Dick trusts and respects the intelligence of each student enough to allow their own discovery to teach them. This trick is also one of the many reasons he is such a great human being.
  • As a teacher, Richard Nelson simply has no equal. Seeing a 2” brush in his hand and a prepared sheet of watercolor paper in place, you anticipate contact of the two as electric and magical. When it happens, you know a master is in charge.
  • He exposes the student to multiple layers of possibilities in all areas.
  • It’s those little “twitches” that your eyes do that I get a charge out of. That electricity in the blue as it sits next to the purple. The way the yellow shows through, the color combinations out of only three paint colors…the elusive blue line that vibrates through the design. You can’t put a price on that. It’s just plain cool.

Joseph Albers Color chips,
via Dick Nelson…
I came down the mountain.
Lined up a few paintings.
I knew why one worked
And why another didn’t.