Nelda Sheets is an award-winning fine artist with paintings in museums, galleries, private collections, and has presented workshops around the world.
She comments that she is “inspired by what she envisions the magical, creative energy of the Universe to be and I want the viewer to share a sense of caring. Caring stimulates creative thought. Creative thought solves problems…makes Planet Earth a better and place to live. The power of art is awesome.”
Born on October 31, 1931 in Roger Mills County, Oklahoma, Nelda’s life as an artist and an instructor has taken her all over the world, including continuing to exhibit, educate, and build creative community in her home of some 50 years in Texas.
Although she has lived in Central Texas for decades, throughout her career, she has exhibited in and contributed to the creative community in the Texas Panhandle, which inspired her earlier in her career. The city of Round Rock, TX, has benefitted from the contributions of Nelda Sheets through her leadership in organizations like Round Rock Arts (including as a longtime curator) and the Center Art Club, as well as exhibiting her art and continuing to lead creative workshops.
At an exhibition in 2017 in Round Rock, Texas, Nelda shared that she has considered herself an artist since she was a child, thanks to a mother who taught her about imagination from the very beginning of her life. This year, Nelda turns 89 years old, so that translates into over 80s years of purposefully being an artist!
To me, to paint is to love and connect to the Creative and Spiritual Universe, with its ‘black’ holes, stars and planets, humanity, flora, fauna, seas, lands, and gems. Some of my paintings are inspired by what I envision the creative energy of the universe to be. When I paint a flower, the sea or a ‘black’ hole, it is my goal to connect with its magical creative energy.
I am inspired by several creative geniuses. Some I met in books, some in the classroom; such as Dord Fitz, my art professor of over 30 years. Professor Fitz taught his students painting skills, with an emphasis on the art of creative thinking methods.
One of the creative thinkers I studied was Albert Einstein. Einstein took imaginative journeys into space and launched theories that have worked to create magic in the scientific world. Einstein inspires me to imagine a journey into whatever subject I paint…inspires me to strive to create magic in the art world.
I will love it when the viewer can say; “To connect with this painting is to love and imagine a bit of The Creative Universe.”
- 30 years with Art Professor Dord Fitz of Amarillo, TX
- Student of the Silva Method of Mind Development, Laredo, TX, 1966-67
- Studied art at the University of Texas (non-degree)
- Represented by Sunset Art Gallery, Amarillo, TX, until its closure in 2017
- Attended seminars from New York City artists sponsored by Dord Fitz, including Louise Nevelson, Elaine de Kooning, Alex Katz, Leon Smith, and Charles Bunnell of Colorado.
- In 1967, Nelda led the very first Creativity Workshop ever offered through the Silva Method to share techniques for creative thinking for art and other projects. Fifty years later, she continues to lead creativity workshops.
- Nelda participated in the International Educational Project on the Island of Guam. She traveled to Guam eight times in three years, presenting the Silva Method to students and teachers in three Catholic School and on other South Pacific Island, Yap, Saipan, Truk, Ponapei and Maguro.
- Nelda has also presented Silva Method creativity classes in Puerto Rico, Paris, France; Nairobi, Kenya; Melbourne and Sydney, Australia; Athens, Greece; and Dublin, Ireland.
- She has presented her own Creativity Workshop, which she authored, in New York City, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Boston, and throughout Texas.
- Author of The Creativity Workshop, Effective Parenting Skills Manual
- Author of Creative Study Skills and Silva Stories: My adventures and Life Changing Journeys with the Silva Method
- Artwork in private collections worldwide, including WPA artist Charles Ragland Bunnell
- President (9 years) of the Area Arts Foundation, an organization that offered talks and classes for the 250 members and to the public of the Texas Panhandle area.
- Included in The Amarillo Art Museum collection of Contemporary Artists, alongside Louise Nevelson, Elaine De Kooning and Milton Resnick.
- Solo exhibition, Laredo College, 1985
- President Area Arts Foundation, Amarillo, 1986
- Advisory committee Amarillo College Adult Program, 1991
- She taught art lessons to school aged children (2nd thru 12th grades) in her home for 12 years
- Taught creativity workshops in artist’s homes and in galleries in Central Texas.
- Group show, Zulu Art Academy & Gallery, 2016, Spearman, TX
- Curator of exhibits and creativity workshop leader, 2009-2017, for visual arts nonprofit, Round Rock Arts
- Her painting “Our Creative Heritage” was in the 2012 Amarillo Museum exhibit of women artists with a program of talks honoring the 100th birthday of Georgia O’Keeffe, Amarillo, TX.
- Numerous exhibits at Sunset Art Gallery, Amarillo, TX
- Member and exhibiting artist for Center Art Club of Round Rock (multiple years)
- Best in Show, Center Art Club annual exhibition, 2016, Round Rock, TX
- Guest art judge and curator for annual fundraiser, Center Art Club, 2017, Round Rock, TX
- Honorary Chairperson at the Imagine exhibition, 2017, Round Rock, TX
- Best in Show at “Abstraction” exhibit, 2018, Texas State University Round Rock Campus
I painted this about 45 years ago when I first became interested in Black Holes at a Painting Class given by Dord Fitz. He was interested in Space Science. and would share published findings to his students. It was theorized that Black Holes were a made of a special “creative” energy that would inhale in broken stars and other spatial debris and create new stars. My Mother taught me at age 4 to “play like” (imagine) sailing in a clipper ship to lands across the ocean to learn about different lands, She taught me that all the people in every country were my cousins and I could play-like visiting them. When I took and later taught the Silva Method, I learned to further develop my imagination and make use of intuitive ability such as Einstein did when he developed his theories….such as Theory of Relativity. I mentally imagined or daydreamed a Black Hole….but it wasn’t Black. It was white with colored ribbons swirling around. I made a drawing with pastels and the next day painted the painting as it is to day, When I took the completed painting to class, I reported to Dord that I “saw” the “Black Hole” as really white. Dord wasn’t the only one in the class who scoffed. My story has a happy ending! A few years ago Steven Hawking said, “I made a mistake. We now know the Black Holes are really white!!
My Version of Lascaux Horses
I was inspired by the cave painters, especially in the Lascaux in France, where I visited a few years ago. The artists used shapes on the walls to be a part of their portraits of their animals. In this painting, I used knot holes and the grain of the wood to guide me in the composition.