As in, my painting of The Captains, is on the Cover of this month’s American Art Collector Magazine…
Blog readers will remember the recent entry about my pals Ted and Pete leaving the planet this winter. Being left here without them was not an option, so I took a couple days off from the gallery work I was producing to do a painting of them, on the bluff, looking out over the ocean, on a distant afternoon, when we all shared some sweet simple time together.
Thanks to gallery owner Micheal Sugarman (Sugarman Peterson Gallery in Santa Fe), the magazine tasked John O’Hern to write an article on my work. In talking with Micheal, and then John, interesting questions arose about what an artist paints “just for themselves”.
I have been working up to taking the challenge of figurative paintings, and when I looked around the studio it turns out that I have already begun that process. The ones which John features in the article are all very personal studies. My Captains leans just to the left of my easel where those two can continue to keep me on my toes.
I’m still shaking my head at the certainty that Ted and Pete had everything to do with nudging the painting on to the cover. It’s a very big deal for any artist and I am completely humbled, but oh how I shake my head in wonder each time I walk by the mag (which I have perched on a weaver’s chair in front of the other painting I did of Ted, The Teacozy)…just shake my head and smile from ear to ear at the folly of those pals working their magic from beyond.
The magazine should hit the newsstands soon. Here’s a link to their website, AAC Magazine.
Here’s an excerpt of John’s writing for the piece,
Neill’s paintings of props, fishermen’s
shacks and the landscape are finely
rendered and often full of humor and
subtle associations that enrich the viewer’s
experience. She paint’s her emotional
response to her subjects.
Full figures and portraits, however, have
only appeared recently in paintings that
she painted “just for me,” paintings that are
“very personal and straight from the heart.”
Her partner Pat Lackey has been urging
her to show the paintings. When her Santa
Fe dealer Michael Sugarman asked her
about the paintings she is most proud of
she replied, “I have rarely taken the time to
do work that is just for me. It is interesting
because if I had to answer honestly, these
portraits are the ones I am most proud
of because they are all about love at the
deepest part of my soul.”
Aren’t we aging well is a carefully
composed double portrait of the artist and
her partner. They vacation on Martha’s
Vineyard every summer. The bluff
overlooking the ocean has always been
a favorite spot. It has eroded away but
remains significant in their memories.
We will be up there soon. And I know it won’t be the same. There are many friends from that island who have gone on to other shores of late. But holding them close is part of growing up and growing old and we are doing both.