About Kate Nelson


Color happens in the moment we’re looking at it. It happens in real time. Like music. Like jazz.

Jazz was born in passion, nurtured by musical structure and grown by improvisation.  Painting for me is like jazz — disciplined yet free, spare yet full, within a rich tradition yet achingly personal. 

I function with minimal premeditation, like a jazz musician. I work from intuition, from impulse, using physical reflexes honed in hard physical labor and senses sharpened by a life in the outdoors, attuned to the mercurial temperament of Mother Nature.  I work to escape the illusion of linear time; color and gesture transport me, the way I’m transported by the crashing surf at the shoreline.  They have for me the same cleansing meditative power.


Painter Kate Nelson is drawn to and moved by the outdoor life.

She has studied at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (there influenced by Chuck Close, Keith Hollingworth, and John Grillo), at Massachusetts College of Art, at Haystack Mountain School on Deer Isle, Maine and worked in residence at the Vermont Studio Center. Her work is in the permanent collection of the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA; the Cahoon Museum in Cotuit, MA and in numerous corporate and private collections, including Sony and Pfizer USA, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and Cape Cod Healthcare.

Nelson creates her lyrical abstract works in her barn-studio in Brewster on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.