Inspired by the masters of impressionism, the classical approach to realism, and historical painting techniques, Nelia Harper blends an impressionistic style of painting with a realistic perspective, using traditional mediums of pastel, oil, and egg tempera. 

Born in Grand Rapids, MN Nelia spent her childhood exploring the woods and living a life integrated with the ebb and flow of nature.  Later, as an adult she moved to Colorado where she began to explore the Rocky Mountains and follow an artistic path through drawing courses, self-study, studio practice, and mentorship under Deboarh Paris in landscape painting, and Daniel Ambrose and Koo Schadler in egg tempera.  Her childhood experience shapes her work, depicting an intimacy with nature that is described by collectors as peaceful, calming and serene. 

She works collaboratively with area artists to create and develop opportunities for art shows and community engagement through plein air (outdoor) paint-outs, events, and annual shows.

Nelia recently returned to her home state of Minnesota to study with Jeffery T. Larson at the Great Lakes Academy of Fine Art in Duluth, MN. 

She is a member of the Pastel Society of Colorado, Plein Air Artists of Colorado and Outdoor Painters of Minnesota.


Exhibitions and Events

2019 Dreaming in Color, Pastel Society of Colorado, Member Show, Grand Junction, CO

2019 Plein Air Artists of Colorado Members Show, Earth, Walsenburg, CO

2018 6th Annual Chasing Light Invitational of Northern Colorado Plein Air Painters, Fort Collins, CO

2018 Regional Fine Art Show, Loveland, CO

2018 Historic Homes Tour, Fort Collins, CO

2018 8th Annual Plein Air Salon, June/July, Plein Air Magazine

2018 3rd Annual Expressions Art Show, Fort Collins, CO

2018 Steamboat Plein Air Event, Steamboat Springs, CO

2018 14th Annual Pastel Society of Colorado Mile High Exhibition, Castle Rock, CO

2018 Pastel Society of Colorado Members Show, Longmont, CO

2018 Creative Capitol Show – The Beauty of Colorado, Denver Capitol Building, Denver, CO

2017 5th Annual Chasing Light Plein Air Invitational, Fort Collins, CO

2017 21st Annual National Lines Into Shapes, Estes Park, CO

2017 13th Annual Pastel Society of Colorado Mile High Exhibition, Denver, CO

2017 Steamboat Plein Air Event, Steamboat Springs, CO

2017 2nd Annual Expressions Art Show, Fort Collins, CO

2016 4th Annual Chasing Light Invitational of Northern Colorado Plein Air Painters , Fort Collins, CO

2016 Solo Show, Peak to Prairie, Fort Collins, CO

2016 Lines Into Shapes, Estes Park, CO

2016 12th Annual Pastel Society of Colorado Mile High Exhibition, Denver, CO

2016 Governor’s Plein Air Event and Auction, Loveland, CO

2015 Spring Forward, Fort Collins, CO

2015 3rd Annual Chasing Light Invitational of Northern Colorado Plein Air Painters, Fort Collins, CO

2015 National Greeley Art Exhibit and Sale, Greeley, CO

2014 Solo Show, From Near and Far, Fort Collins, CO


Awards

2016 – Guerilla Painter Award – 12th Annual Mile High International Pastel Exhibition
2015 – Honorable Mention – Artists Association of Northern Colorado “Spring Forward” Show


Art Training

Mentorship

Deborah Paris – 2019


Classes

Figure Drawing I– Front Range Community College, 2018

Deborah Paris – Trees, Composition 2017

Portrait Drawing – 6 week course – Schissler Academy 2014

Colory Theory – 6 week course – Schissler Academy 2014

Schissler Academy of Art, 2013-2014

Drawing I – Front Range Community College, 2013


Workshops

Brianna Lee – tonal portraits (online) – 6 weeks 2018

Michelle Dunaway – portrait and figure in oil 2018

Jeanne MacKenzie – weekly painting in oil over 3 months 2016-2017

Clive Tyler – pastel 2017

Michael Chesley Johnson –plein air oil 2017

Margaret Jenson – oil 2016

Mike Beeman – pastel 2016

Sherrie McGraw and David Leffel – portrait and figure in oil 2016

Brian Keller – egg tempera 2015

Koo Schadler – egg tempera 2014

Aaron Schuerr – plein air pastel 2014


Education

St. Catherine University, St. Paul, MN – Bachelor of Arts, 1998

School for International Training, 2000-2001


Professional Associations

Pastel Society of Colorado
Plein Air Artists of Colorado