Nathan Clements was born in Houston, Texas in 1971. He began drawing and painting at an early age with cars, airplanes, and all the usual things that a young boy thinks about as his subject matter. His drawings and paintings were simple, but always had a certain charm about them. His first big art show was on the refrigerator, but he didn't care. To him it was like having a one man show in the most prestigious art gallery in town. At the age of twelve, Nathan's art was recognized by the Houston Livestock show and rodeo with a certificate of merit for outstanding achievement. As he got older, Nathan did not draw or paint as often as he became heavily involved in sports including basketball, baseball, and tennis. However, even during this "sports" phase of his life, Nathan was very visually sensitive. He would always take notice of sunsets, clouds, and trees and these things brought him joy. Nathan also always kept a deep love for classical music, a love instilled in him by his mother who always encouraged his creativity.
After High School, and thinking practically, Nathan decided to go to college to become an Engineer. That did not last too long. He had always done well in school but he quickly realized that his brain was just not wired for math. He then changed his major to business management and human resource management. He was much more comfortable in this more "right brained" career path and later earned degrees in both fields.
It was during college that Nathan's life changed. One afternoon, while feeling a bit burnt out, he turned on the TV (when he should have been studying) and started flipping through the channels. He came across something that stopped him dead in his tracks... Bob Ross. He was mesmorized. Nathan had not thought about drawing or painting since he was a boy, but here he was, 20 years old, in college, and unable to stop watching this soft spoken man paint on TV. He watched Bob Ross for weeks until one afternoon something happened that would start him on a lifelong artistic journey. As he was watching Bob Ross one hot lazy afternoon he started to doze off. Then suddenly, for no apparent reason, Nathan sat up, looked at the screen and said out loud "I can do that!"....and do it he did. He quickly acquired paints, brushes, and a few canvases and went to work. He was unstoppable and painted like crazy till all hours of the morning. Although his first oil painting was crude, it showed a certain deep quality and keen perception. Eight weeks later, Nathan had mastered the Bob Ross technique and was ready to move on. He began to study the old masters in earnest and was humbled by the works he saw. He no longer felt pride in what he had accomplished in so short a time, but rather a profound humility. He had a long way to go but had found what he was supposed to do. He had found his professional calling.
After painting on his own for 5-6 years, Nathan decided to seek the help of some masters to help him grow artistically. He went to several extended workshops with well-known artist Dalhart Windberg. His mind was like a sponge at those workshops soaking up everything he could. It was wonderful. Nathan continued painting in earnest after the workshops incorporating what he had learned into his work.
In 1999, Nathan began nearly three years of intensive study with the late Russian master Efim Frumin. Efim taught Nathan the essence of painting and beauty. He taught Nathan to paint all over again. Efim instructed Nathan in the lost art of hand grinding paint, and in making canvases and mediums. Efim also introduced Nathan to still life painting, life drawing, and the wonders of "warm against cool". Nathan says, "What Efim gave me was a lifetime of accumulated knowledge, along with opening my eyes to beauty and the understated elegance of a picture well painted". "He also emphasized that painting is not about showing your skills off, but rather conveying a mood". Nathan never forgot those lessons and continues to incorporate them into his paintings today.
In 2001, Nathan moved to the Cascade Mountains of the Pacific Northwest where he embarked on another phase of his artistic journey. In this place, his mind was filled with thousands of paintings. He let God's creation, the mountains, waterfalls, trees, and verdant valleys teach him things that could not be taught, but must be experienced and observed. Nathan continues to emulate the glory of God's creation in his work and to use his talents wisely in the service of his Maker.
While he has never been much into entering art competitions, Nathan has entered a few and received acceptance and acknowledgement for his work including:
OPA (Oil Painters of America) Western Regional Show "award of excellence"
Arts for the Parks "Top 200"
Bold Brush Painting Competition (Fav. 15%) Seven times
Bold Brush Painting Competition Finalist two times