Artist Biography

Michael R. Nelson

Mike Nelson was born in 1945 in Sacramento, California. He currently lives there with his wife, who is a Kauai kamaaina. They have two adult married children, who also live in California with their families.

From an early age, Mike always wanted to pursue a career in art but as sometimes happens in life, his career took a completely different path. After 4 years in the military in the mid 60’s, he joined the Sacramento Police Department. Following a serious bullet wound in the chest in the line of duty, he left the Department and joined the U.S. Marshals Service. For the past 30 years, he served in various positions within the Service, retiring with 30 years of service as a highly decorated Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal in 1999.

While serving in law enforcement, he studied art under the instruction of the noted San Joaquin Valley artist, Gary Langdon and credits Langdon with helping him develop his love for oil painting. He was commissioned by the Director of the U.S. Marshals Service for a rendition to commemorate the 1989 Bicentennial Celebration of the U.S. Marshals Service. His submission was titled “One to Bury, One to Hang” and depicts U.S. Marshals performing their duties during the old west. The painting was applauded in Washington D.C., and made a part of the traveling Smithsonian display for the Service. Until recently, the original oil has been on permanent display at the U.S. Marshals headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. In the near future, it will become part of the new U.S. Marshal’s Museum in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Limited edition prints hang in Marshals offices from Guam to New York. It has become a nationally recognized symbol of the Service.

He has received recognition and honors for First Place and Best of Show at local art exhibits for his landscape and seascape artwork. Following his study under nationally renowned artist and teacher, Robert Taylor, he refined his color and glazing techniques to extend his talents into marine and golf art. Many of his marine paintings were published in calendars distributed worldwide and limited edition prints.

His current plans are to devote more time and effort at developing and expanding his talent as a full time artist. He looks forward to extending his current inventory to include more wildlife, landscape and seascape paintings.

All text and images copyright Nelson Fine Arts. All Rights Reserved.