Come along, Chris Neale seems to say, come along and follow this path by the sea with me.
Today we’re featuring the work of Welsh landscape artist Chris Neale, who, as you can plainly see, has a thing for the color BLUE. *sigh*
Somehow his gorgeous paintings found me; I imagine it was inevitable since the last few years I’ve been thinking blue, believing in blue, and voting blue (hooray for Virginia turning blue on November 5!).
Thought we needed a good blue fix this week, by escaping across the pond to a land far away, to places that have funny sounding names, like Pwll Deri, Carreg Lafain, and Rhosson Ganol. I have no idea how to pronounce any of them, but judging by Neale’s depictions, these spots are likely beautiful in person.
Neale’s love of painting began in childhood; he was drawn to the play between blues and ochres early on. Painting, however, remained on the back burner as he studied and then established a career in graphic design, which seemed a much more practical pursuit.
In 2002, he returned to painting, and has been indulging his passion for the Welsh landscape — Pembrokeshire and North Wales in particular — ever since.
In our over developed, over mechanized world, what a joy to see these pristine landscapes — stone walls, old farms and cottages, worn paths, cliffs, inlets, harbors. The blues of the sky and the blues of the sea are just stunning.
His limited palette invites us to look closer at composition, the subtle effects of light and shade, and to experience what he felt when seeing these places. It’s like traveling to a land time forgot.
Having lived in Pembrokeshire for over 20 years I am inevitably drawn to the coast and the constant movement of the sea against the shoreline.
There is a feeling of wildness, a kind of stand-off between man and nature. Neale’s paintings of North Wales, where he lives now, reveal the rawness of the landscape with its primeval beauty.
Neale works primarily in pastels (to indulge his love of drawing) and acrylics (“more spontaneous and forgiving”). His habit of extensive walking and exploring the area with sketchpad, camera, maps, and dogs provide lots of inspiration.
He seems especially fond of curved lines and winding paths — an open invitation for the viewer to anticipate what’s around the next corner, or to shift his/her gaze from objects in the foreground to what lies beyond on the horizon.
Do visit Chris Neale’s Official Website, where you can purchase signed limited edition prints as well as framed originals. It’s worth a visit just to read how he describes each of his pieces. You’ll learn what caught his eye and a little about the locales.
Copyright © 2019 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.