You’re taking impressions and images and translating them in your own way through your painting.
— Nell Tilton

[PHOTOGRAPHER: Rebecca Lily]

Nell Curtis Tilton was born and raised in the culturally rich city of New Orleans. Since high school she has studied oil, drawing and watercolor under many excellent local and internationally known artists.  As a college student, she studied Fine Arts at Mount Vernon College in Washington D.C. and Newcomb College in New Orleans. Later, she discovered the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts where she was a student and received a solid education in the traditional, classical arts. It is with this foundation that Nell was able to transition into an abstract approach with conviction and proficiency. Nell now teaches "Abstract Art" at the institution where she received that training. She has been an instructor at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts since 2003. 

Constantly experimenting with material and subject matter, Nell is continually building knowledge from her explorations and observations. In her abstract work, she begins a piece with an intuitiveness and emotional response, without deliberation, but with the ultimate goal of making her work stimulating and strong. Often, her work becomes "architectural" in feel, with an underlying grid-like structure. 

Nell has won numerous awards throughout her years as an artist and her work is collected widely throughout the U.S. 

 Artist’s Statement
"Movement, colors, shapes, pattern, line, and textures - these are some of the elements of art that I find exciting. Images taken from every day life or from my intuitive sense are translated into  abstract interpretations on the canvas. Then comes the challenges of working out relationships between the elements into a successful and satisfying composition. Through the use of mixed media, I aim to communicate to the viewer in a unique and passionate way about what is personal and meaningful to me."


1966 A.A., Mount Vernon Junior College, Washington, D.C.
1966-67 Newcomb College, New Orleans, LA
Extended study at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts, New Orleans, LA
Studied Fine Arts in college and with many excellent local artists, as well as participated in Workshops with nationally and internationally-known artists such as, Katalin Gergo, Alex Powers, Jean Dobie, Lauren Zarambo, Tony Couch, Robert McCoy, Marilyn Hughey Phyllis, Cheng Khee Chee, Allison Stewart, and Katherine Chang Liu, Master Printer Craig O’Brien and John T. Scott, Steve Aimone. Signature Member of Louisiana Watercolor Society, Arts Council of New Orleans, Contemporary Arts Center, St. Tammany Art Association.

Teaching and Professional Experience
2003 to present, Instructor of “Abstract and Experimental Art” at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts
2003, 2004, The Colony at Country Day, Metairie, LA, Week-long workshop for adults, Instructor of Abstract Art
1995, painted designs for the Tabasco line for Wembly Tie Company
1993, 1995, Celebration of the Arts Festival, Academy of the Sacred Heart, as participating artist demonstrating work to students