American Contemporary Artist

Robert Lyn Nelson

What began as an unexplainable, undeniable drive to draw beginning at age three, has propelled Robert Lyn Nelson into a very elite minority of distinguished artists who defy categorization, having extensive bodies of work across all styles of painting & sculpture.

Nelson received world acclaim for pioneering the Modern Marine Art Movement with his 1979 painting, “Two Worlds”. This original painting played a significant role in inspiring marine conservation efforts world-wide. – The distortions of the world around him has led to increasing surrealistic elements that have added a complex dream-like dimension to Nelson’s visionary art and ignited existing and new admirers.

Pablo Picasso, Gerhard Richtor, and David Hockney, known for their versatility and considerable artistic range, inspire Nelson to continue creating works in various styles from realism to cubism to impressionism to non-objective abstractions. He believes creativity is boundless and artists shouldn’t be limited in any way when it comes to expressing themselves through art.

Moved by the intense mystical sensation his paintings and drawings evoke, Robert Lyn Nelson’s art is widely admired and acquired by collectors around the world.

His artistic talent continued to win awards and recognition, including environmental and conservation art awards. By the age of twelve he was selling his paintings, funding his passion. At the age of 13, Nelson was awarded a scholarship to study art history, painting and drawing at Chaffey College in California. He was awarded another scholarship and continued his art studies at Mount San Antonio College, Pomona, CA. In 1973.

At the age of 18, Nelson traveled to Hawaii for a one month vacation. After experiencing life in the islands, he decided to forgo pursuing education at the San Francisco Academy of Art where he had been accepted. He couldn’t imagine leaving Hawaii, which has remained his home to this day.

In 1975 he attended University of Hawaii, Honolulu with studies in both philosophy and fine art. Dedicated to inspiring future generations committed to wildlife and habitat conservation, biodiversity, sustainability and environmental education through art, Robert has taught classes to up-and-coming artists at UH, Maui.

Living in Hawaii for more than 45 years, Robert’s vibrant and soothing images are equally true to life and inspiring. Diving and surfing around the Hawaiian Islands inspired Robert’s monumental “Two Worlds” painting, and continues to significantly inspire him. However, his body of work undermines the concept of an artist’s obligation to maintain a single cohesive style.

Nelson is tirelessly devoted and dedicated to perfecting new techniques – his expansive body of work contains more than 10,000 paintings, drawings and sculpture – distinguishing him as one of the most prolific artists in the modern world.

“Painting is like breathing to me, it transcends anything and everything going on in my life.” Facing his addiction to create from a place of strength, he channels the energy and passion to merge dreams and reality applying color to canvas, bringing his visions to life so they’ll no longer haunt his thoughts. Yet for each one he completes, there are hundreds more in line waiting to be set free.

Devoted collectors of his works consider him somewhere between a national treasure and natural resource – a truly visual poet expressing with color what can’t be expressed in words because the words don’t yet exist! No artist of his generation has awakened the world to such visual complexity and beauty. Many say art is hope, each completed work by Robert Lyn Nelson is hope for a better world. It is the intimate way Robert’s work moves his viewers that make him so desirable by collectors, in all categories.

A passionate conservationist, and considered a visual activist, he has dedicated his life’s efforts on building concern, and more importantly inspiring a call-to-action to protect nature & animals through his art. Co-founding the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation with Jean-Michael Cousteau and receiving the NOAA Environmental Hero Award by then Vice President Al Gore for his efforts to protect the environment, Nelson is widely recognized as one of the most inspiring artists of his generation.

Meet the Artist

RLN Exhibitions & Awards

Clint Eastwood
Jacques Cousteau
Jean-Michel Cousteau
Robert Kennedy Jr
Dr. Sylvia Earle
James Cameron
Bruno Mars
Paul McCartney
Arnold Palmer
Mike Love
Willie Nelson
Nick Nolte
Peter Max
Randy Travis
Pres. Bill & Hillary Clinton
Pres. Ronald & Nancy Reagan
Pres. George W Bush
Vice Pres Al Gore
Barbara Bush
David Silverman
Carl Wilson
David Robinson
Michael Warren
Andy Bumatai;
Jack Nicklaus
Terry Shroeder
Roger Clinton
Bruno Mars
Bernie Kopell
John Davidson
Clare Boothe Luce
Marlon Brando
Kenny Loggins
Chi Chi Rodriguez
Robert Wagner
Michael Schiffer
Robert Rockefeller
Sonny & Mary Bono
Brian Wilson
Jackie Cooper
Jimmy Buffet
Mike Conners
Richard Crenna
Chad Everett
John Forsythe
Jack Lord
Danny Arnold
Dr. Robert Ballard
Ron Ely
Paloma Picasso
Gov. Ben Cayetano
Leonard Nimoy
Richard Lewis
John Candy
Tom Selleck
John Hillerman
Mac David
Lloyd Bridges
Vince Neil
Al Jardine
Gov. George Ariyoshi
Shep Gordon
King Tupon of Tonga
Jimmy Messina
John Denver
David Gates
Guy Buffett
Dan Fogelberg
Cliff Williams
Marlin Perkins
George Benson
Gottling Gallery
Lahaina Galleries, Lahaina/Wailea/Waimea/Newport Beach, United States
Exclusive Collections Galleries, San Diego/Las Vegas, United States
Diamond Head Galleries, Lahaina/Honolulu, United States
Hana Coast Gallery, Hana, Maui
Trowbridge Gallery, Los Angeles, United States
Napua Gallery, Wailea, United States
Shipstore Gallery, Kauai, United States
Takeuchi Galleries, Beverly Hills, United States
Images Gallery, Lahaina, United States
Jacques Cousteau/National Marine Sanctuary Event, Washington DC, United States
Napua Gallery, Wailea, United States
World Harmony Exhibition, Los Angeles, United States
C&S Media International, Shanghai, China
Medea Gallery, Los Angeles, United States
Rancho Cucamonga Museum, Dana Point, United States
Image Station, Lahaina, United States
Lahaina Center Art Galleries, Lahaina/Honolulu, United States
NMSF, American Samoa
NMSF, Key West Florida
Tripp Harrison Gallery, St Augustine, United States
RLN Galleries, Monterey/Lahaina, United States
Smithsonian Institute Museum of National History, Washington DC, United States
Media Arts Group, Santa Barbara, United States
Santa Barbara Museum, Santa Barbara, United States
World Expo, US Official Artist, Lisbon, Portugal
Maui Marine Art Expo, Wailea, United States
Ron Seagal Galleries, Seattle, United States
Images International Gallery, Honolulu, United States
Keith Alexander Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
Graphics Gallery, Blackhawk, California, United States
Maranuchi Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Vancouver Aquarium, Vancouver, Canada
Barr Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
Lahaina Galleries, San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Newport Beach, Lahaina, United States
Makk Gallery, Beverly Hills, United States
Israel Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
Dyanson Galleries, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Carmel, United States
Images International, Honolulu, United States
Monterey Film Festival, Monterey, United States
Daytona Beach Gallery, Daytona Beach, Florida, United States
Falls of Clyde-Maritime Center, Honolulu, United States
New York Museum of Natural History
Kapalua Galleries, Kapalua, Hawaii, United States
Society for Wildlife Art London
Mauna Lani Gallery, Hawaii, United States
Walt Myers Gallery, San Antonio, United States
Abilene Fine Arts Museum, Texas, United States
Fine Arts Museum of the South at Mobile
Show Island Gallery, Honolulu, United States
Peabody Museum, Massachusetts, United States
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Midwest Museum of American Art
McBeth Gallery, Depoe Bay, Oregon, United States
Art Expo, New York, United States
Berkshire Museum, Massachusetts, United States
Arnot Art Museum
Nicolaysen Art Museum
Gallery Americana, Carmel, United States
Gallery Hawaii, Honolulu, United States
Hyatt Regency Gallery, Kaanapali, United States
Casay Gallery, Maui, United States
Kelsey Gallery, Maui, United States
Punaluu Art Show, Oahu, United States
Yello Hippo Gallery, Oahu, United States
Various Southern California shows beginning at age 14
Environmental Hero Award, Office Vice President, Al Gore
Art Conservation Award
Trends and Testimonies of Contemporary Art Award
US Official Artist, World Expo 1998, Portugal
Artist USA Award 1981-1982
American Biographical Institute For Artistic Achievements as “A Young Master Realist”
Trustee Emiriti, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation
Originator of Modern Marine Art Movement Credit by Encyclopedia of Popular Culture and Literature
Benjamin Franklin Award for Our Ocean Home children’s book
NOAA National Treasure
MIPA 1997 Book Achievement Award for Our Ocean Home children’s book
Year of the Reef Award, Hawaii Governor’s Office
International Year of the Reef Artist
International Book of Honor
Tiger of the Year
Official Artist Epson Printers
Official Artist Dana Point Festival of the Whale
“ABI” For Distinguished Artistic Achievements-USA
Best Seller Art Books: RLN “Silver Book”
International Register of Profiles, Cambridge, England
Community Leaders of America, Raleigh, North Carolina
Personalities of America Award
Certificate of Recognition, County of Los Angeles, CA
Certificate of Recognition, City of Monterey Park, CA
Certificate of Recognition, California Legislature, CA
Certificate of Recognition, California Legislature, 60th District
Certificate of Recognition, City of Ontario, CA
Certificate of Recognition, California Legislature, 61st District
Resolution, County of San Bernadino, CA
Companions of Art and Nature
Cousteau Society
Earth Island Institute
Friends of the Sea Otter
Green Peace San Francisco
Green Peace USA
Green Peace Hawaii
Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society
John Wayne Cancer Institute
Lahaina Restoration Foundation
Maritime Center Honolulu
Maui Arts and Cultural Center
Monterey Audubon Society
Monterey Film Festival
National Geographic Society
National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation
Pacific Whale Foundation
Save the Manatee Club
Seattle Aquarium Society
Special Olympics
Steinhart Aquarium
The Nature Conservancy
Vancouver Aquarium
Waikiki Aquarium
World Wildlife Foundation
Year of the Hawaiian Club
Year of the Reef

Fresh Off the Easel

Be first to view new works from the studio!