Artist Information:Neil Nelson was born in 1977 in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland where he now lives and works. He studied fine art at Northumberland College of Art and Design, and Classical Realism at Studio Escalier in Southern France, where he trained under artists Timothy Stotz, N.Michelle Tully and master draughtsman and painter Ted Seth Jacobs.
Neil's work ranges from still life and portrait to figurative drawings and paintings. He is quickly gaining a strong reputation as a still life painter for his small, earthy paintings of solitary fruit, bottles and jars. His "compartment" series sets these objects within a carefully structured wooden framework, creating an organic and vibrant composition with an intense sense of light and depth.
"On a basic level, I aim towards realism in my work. To the best of my ability I try to paint what I see and understand about the subject. Painting, for me, is a journey towards understanding - a quest for knowledge and an ongoing struggle to understand nature and to decipher the effects of light on the world around. I try to paint as honestly as I can and bring out some element of truth and beauty of the subject. The next step is to try and look beyond the initial physical appearance - the painting quickly starts to take form on a deeper level, and begins to provoke an emotional response. I want to elicit some kind of reaction or sympathy for an object which appears to be striving to communicate, or reaching outwards to be more than it first appears. I am trying to show something which I feel is mysterious or hidden about the object, to transform something humble into something majestic."
Neil's work has been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London as part of the BP Portrait Award, the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh, where in 2008 he also gave a talk about his work, and Londons Mall Galleries with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. He has had local solo exhibitions and group exhibitions in Newcastle, Edinburgh, London and New York, and his work is featured in collections in the UK, Europe and the U.S.
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