Fêtes and Folly: This Side of Paradise

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Kenton Nelson, This Side of Paradise 

The typical scenes associated with "sprang break" consist of "turning up" at tropical destinations with alcohol and extremely poor decision making, but you cannot spend your entire vacation intoxicated. This Side of Paradise by Kenton Nelson shows the part of spring break left off of social media, peacefully reading on the beach alone.

Kenton Nelson, born in 1954, currently resides in Pasadena. California. He paints realist figures, landscapes, and architecture bathed in light. Unlike the people on the horizon, the woman does not use an umbrella. Nelson utilizes the effects of light in many of his paintings and a narrative realism that mimics Edward Hopper. Hopper's paintings encompass the theme of isolation, similar to this Kenton Nelson. But, although the woman is physically isolated from the busy beach scene, it appears that this separation brings her more peace and contentment. She distances herself from the ocean, symbols of death and isolation, in order to feel happiness and the warmth of the sun.

The woman in Nelson's paintings usually wear outfits more fitting for another decade. The woman in This Side of Paradise wears a swimsuit top with matching high-waisted bottoms with loafers, a classier ensemble than one would see if they went to the beach today. Nowadays women have the mindset of "the less clothing the better." By not painting his women like so, Nelson allows for his paintings to encompass a timeless beauty.

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