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international painting annual 3 exhibition-in-print
online resource

Val Nelson
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

detail image


Inspired by the stream-of-consciousness novels of Virginia Woolf and the philosophical writings of Alain de Botton, I use the notion of travel and destination as metaphor for the yearnings and contradictions of contemporary life.

The museums, parks, and urban landscapes captured in my travel photos become the stepping-off point from which to enter into that interesting terrain: the language of paint. Jostling for position on the painted surface, the furniture, trees, and other objects that appear in the paintings perform as markers in space as they reflect light and cast shadow. Gradually patterns emerge through the course of my mark-making that suggest what move to make next.

There is no end to a painting, only the point at which one decides to stop. My interest lies in identifying the moment when it hovers in an interesting way between realism and abstraction.


born: 1960, Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada


Emily Carr College of Art and Design, Honors Diploma in Media Arts, 1988

selected awards/honors

Travel Grant, Canada Council, 2011
Purchase Award, Canada Council, 2011
Artist Grant, Vermont Studio Center, 2011
Semi-FInalist, Royal Bank Painting Competition, Canada, 2003

selected publications

Capilano University Editions, one more once, Vancouver, Canada, 2012
Galerie de Bellefeuille, The Happy Place, solo exhibition catalogue, Montreal, Canada, 2012
Magenta Publishing for the Arts, Carte Blanche Volume 2: Painting, Canada, 2008
Royal Bank of Canada Painting Competition, 10th Anniversary Publication, Canada, 2008

selected solo or two-person exhibits

Galerie de Bellefeuille, The Happy Place, Montreal, Canada, 2012
Bau-Xi Gallery, My Divided Attention, Vancouver, Canada, 2010
Bau-Xi Gallery, Voyage en Zigzag, Toronto, Canada, 2009
Minding the Gap, The Works Festival of Art and Design, Edmonton, Canada, 2007

selected group shows

White Columns Online Artist Registry, New York, NY, 2011-2012
TW Wood Gallery and Art Center, Contemporary Drawing, Montpelier, VT, 2003
RBC Painting Competition (traveling exhibition), Vancouver/Toronto/Winnipeg/Halifax, Canada, 2003
Vancouver Art Gallery, Helen Pitt Awards Exhibition, Vancouver, Canada, 1989



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