This site is devoted to showcasing the art of Derek K. Nielsen. Here you will find his latest work, some of his past creations, brief history of his journey and once in a while a rare offering for acquisition.
If you would like to be put onto his mailing list for such offers then please fill out the form on this link here: Please send me rare offers of works of Derek K. Nielsen
Derek K. Nielsen has made his home in Silicon Valley where he enjoys the temperate weather that allows him to yearlong receive intimate inspiration from Northern California, but especially from the Santa Cruz Mountains. Often he can be found exploring the trails east and west of Skyline Boulevard, connecting to the energy of the green basalt formed from the eons of terrestrial folding of a mineral called serpentine.
"It is a strange, miraculous tale of how the energies of these mountains brought me here. Come over to my studio. We'll crack a rare bottle of juice that these mountains engendered and talk about how the two thousand year old offspring of Mondeuse Blanche and Duresa alters our consciousness to enjoy the reflective properties of my life's work."
Since the '70's Nielsen has been perfecting his craft. In 1984 he intended to paint what you are seeing now, but it took 14 years of experimenting before he had his first Fractalage show in 1998. This year, 2017, Nielsen commemorates 20 years of Fractalage during which time his paintings have been celebrated the world over in documentaries and music videos in addition to cover art, magazines and the traditional art show.
We invite you to view his new series which further attempts to answer Nielsen's question of what is creative thought.
"When I was in my teens I thought back to all of my ideas for art and stories and wondered, what is creative thought. I asked my self and pondered on how I had received page after page of ideas for characters, inventions, compositions and fantastic settings. The things I thought up were so much different than what the kids around me were thinking that I yearned to know what this creativity was. This desire to know lead me to studying the brain. In my learning of what we knew at the time about the functions of the brain I had a vision. In the scene that had come to me I had dropped into my own brain, shrunk down into a synapse and dendrite connection where it fired its .73 millivolt connection. There I witnessed a magnetic field of intricate beauty with fantastic colors. Inside that wave form I further dropped into it's essence and merged into a nonlocal aspect of its energy where I took a snapshot. That photo I brought back and it looked exactly like the images of what I paint today."
For a very limited time Nielsen's legacy website, www.daementia.com is still up and open to the public. There you will find over 100 paintings, essays and commentaries on his work. We encourage you to visit this site before it is removed.
Artist's Statement 19 Feb 2017
I have always been curious about everything. This curiosity brought me to being curious as to what curiosity is. What are those passions? As those throes of passionate obsession drove me to create about the center of my being another question overtook me: What is creative thought?
What are those moments of inspiration that appear, almost from some invisible universe to inject me with lines to connect informational dots? And how do those dots translate to my peers? From where does that information originate?
In 1991, as if to reply to my question a vision came to me. I had dropped into my brain to witness the electrical action of the synapse and dendrite. Those firings of .73 millivolt connections generated a beautiful wave into which my vision penetrated. Complex shapes of waves of color enveloped me and I passed out of the local in to the non-local.
At the time this vision occurred I had been vastly curious about matter and my reading comprised of Gribbin and Brittanica revealing the origins of quantum mechanics, special and general relativity, wave matter equations, lasers and the soup of particles that comprised the fabric of everything.
As my vision delved into the impossibly small spaces of the quark and gluon of that burst of creative thought, it turned into those magnificent fields where I witnessed the merging of local and non-local electromagnetism. I saw that the two were the same. As soon as I viewed the non-local I saw that this field comprised the universe and that this action of creativity was the universe, beautiful pulsating patterns of color and infinite complexity of shape. As soon as I focused on one pattern it took me into it where it exploded and exploded again into amazing perfection of shapes and colors. These colors were not like those that I knew in the body but were all permeating representations of feelings of lives and existences. It was much bigger than what we human's described as color. I knew that I had to capture this for future reference and bring this back to my world to show to others, so I whipped out a camera. How that was possible, who knows, but I did and I snapshot as much as I could. Then immediately I was whisked back to my body and tears poured out of my eyes as to the profundity of the experience. I had witnessed the essence of everything.
Those snapshots were in my head, but now, how do I get them out of there?
At the time I was a student at the University of Arizona enrolled in painting and illustration classes. My goal was to be illustrator and to tell the many stories that came to me by means of the graphic novel. I had been painting since the 70's but at that time my true medium was pen and pencil, which intuitively moved into chalk and charcoal for it's ability to quickly cover a page with pigment to be rendered by eraser. This method became very successful for me, even garnering accolades from Playboy Magazine for my nudes, but these drawing mechanisms were not capable of translating this vision, though not for lack of trying.
In 1994 I spent hours each day perfecting my chalk life drawings and portaiture, but I reached a point where I became very disatisfied at their limitations. I turned to painting to bring forward my subconsious language at conveying my universe of creativity. Soon, I abandoned drawing life altogether. When I did draw, I drew relationships of spaces from a trained paroxism of hand. Those abstract drawings filled several sketchbooks, but by 1997 my paintings took hold and I raced with my expressions and experiments in paint. As the last months of that year passed I felt that I had finally reached a language that spoke that vision. Fractalage had emerged.
Ironically, I had not yet discovered the term fractal, but had been painting them. Of course, once I had uncovered the history of nonlinear dynamics it all made sense to me. The universe was fractal. Everything beautiful was fractal. Fractals were the answer to the secrets of the universe. I had been painting these secrets all along, based on conveying the question, "What was creative thought."
In 2016 that journey made a quantum leap of evolution. The creature underwent a mutation. It took into itself an ancient plant, one that had been used by humans for self discovery and religious rites for millenia: Vitis vinifera. The use of fine wine instead of water to mix the acrylic had engendered a new dimension in my painting. I am thoughly satisfied at what is being brought forward through this vehicle, this body. I anticipate that this new branch from the tree will expand further to nudge streams into rivers, dendrites into synnapse, microverse into the macroverse.
Derek K. Nielsen