Heidi E. Nelson has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in oil painting and pursued a fine art career in the Louisville/Cincinnati area, while working in graphic design to make a living. Gradually she focused more on pursuing a free-lance commercial illustration business. Upon moving back to Minnesota in 1994, she shifted focus while staying home to raise two young daughters; there she again started fine art painting for herself, painting from pictures of her beloved girls in watercolor. She has been seriously teaching in numerous venues in the Twin Cities since 2000, teaching drawing and painting in all mediums to students of all ages and abilities, with a talent for teaching beginning classes in a methodical step-by-step way. Heidi competes nationally, she has won many awards including a “Lifetime Achievement” (2010) and an “Honorable Mention” (2011) in the prestigious annual state wide competition at the Minnesota State fair. Known to people who don’t know her well as primarily a portrait artist, Heidi does have a steady stream of portrait commissions, but has started incorporating experimental abstract elements for truly unique pieces of art.