Nathan Greene is a contemporary painter whose artistic heritage is grounded in the honored tradition of a golden era in American illustration. Greene is only in his forties, but his tie to the spirit of the great illustrator/painters of the 1940s like Harry Anderson, Hayden Sundbloom (noted for his classic Santa paintings for Coca Cola), and Tom Lovell is a tangible one. Nathan knew the elderly Anderson personally and looked to the legendary artist for inspiration and creative insight.
As well as being one of the greatest commercial illustrators ever (working for popular magazines of that era such as Collier’s, Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, and Woman’s Home Companion), Anderson was known for his moving portrayals of Christ in contemporary settings.
In a gift of friendship and confidence Anderson gave young Greene original costumes used in the older artist’s historic paintings. The gesture touched Nathan and helped fuel his career. He still utilizes these items in many of his reference set-ups today. Anderson’s affirmation of the young painter was to later resurface and significantly influence Nathan’s future.
Greene grew up in Michigan and attended Chicago’s historic American Academy of Art where the art principles akin to the illustrators he so admired were taught. Soon Nathan began an illustration career for both secular and inspirational publishers in Chicago, the East Coast, and the western United States.
His skill and reputation grew as he worked his way up to 50-60 illustration commissions annually. He also painted a number of key commissions for the NASA space program while being granted access to launchings, landings, and astronaut training to photograph painting reference. In 1990 the Versacare Corporation approached the aging master Harry Anderson about doing two sizable painting commissions. “I’m retired,” said Harry, but he recommended the up and coming Nathan Greene. The resulting “Family of God” and “Chief of the Medical Staff” were enthusiastically received and remain two of Greene’s most popular images in print format. They were pivotal in the transition of Nathan’s career from mostly commercial illustration to full-time corporate commissions and prints.
Soon he teamed up with California-based Hart Classic Editions, who continue to represent his corporate commissioned work as well as publish his reproduction prints and licensing. Today, like his late mentor Anderson, Greene’s powerful paintings are touching lives around the globe.