Artist’s energy spills out onto canvas, printing block

Mary Odunuga

- photo by Katelyn Krygowski/For the Review

Sophomore Joy Nelson discovered her love for art when she was only five years old, having derived her inspiration from sketch books.

Nelson said the starting point for her art is to put the pen on paper and just go.

“If I think about it too much, it won’t be fun for me anymore,” Nelson said. “You have to know where the endpoint is and a lot of times, that is the most difficult part.”

As a way of improving her technique, she is taking a class in painting and printmaking.

“I usually paint in acrylic, and I use a lot of colors,” Nelson said. “With printmaking, I use a variety of methods and I am still exploring possibilities.”

Ron Mills, professor of art and visual culture, teaches printmaking and said Nelson is one of the strongest students coming through the ranks, despite having just declared her art major.

“She has a skill in dealing with interpretations of human forms with spontaneous gestures,” Mills said.  ”She is very relaxed, spontaneous and has her own ideas on her work.”

Brian Winkenweder, assistant professor of art history, said Nelson stands out as an artist.

“She is unique for a second-year student,” He said. “She has this certain kind of drama she is willing to bring into her canvases.”

He said she attacks her canvases fearlessly, passionately and with a sense of drive. Nelson does not think too much about what she has to do with her work, he said.

“There is a palpable
energy she exhibits when she works on a painting because she lowers her inhibitions,” Winkenweder said. “She does not worry about how to get it right, and she succeeds. Joy flirts with failure and takes risk, and this is essential to her success.”

Winkenweder said he sees Nelson’s work as figurative paintings about the world. He said she adds a mark or gesture to her painting, which is not an illusion or trompe l’oeil, which means “trick of the eye.”

He said her paintings represent things in the world that can be named through her work.

”She is more interested in how it is painted than
getting it right, and she uses color to explore emotions about her subjects,” Winkenweder said.

Nelson said her future plans with art are not yet concrete, but she still wants to continue studying it.



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