Artists like the way light plays on nature. I get that now…more than ever before. The other thing that artists throughout the centuries have talked about is primacy of nature. That all you really ever need is nature. Nature is believed to be the primary teacher, and to enlighten people and to bring others’ to a state of awareness regarding the beauty and majesty of nature is our ultimate calling as artists.

It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to, the feeling for the things themselves, for reality, is more important than the feeling for pictures. -Vincent van Gogh

This is what my run and my future pictures are all about, the idea that art shouldn’t be created from behind a computer screen, but it should be witnessed, experienced, documented, and shared.  Formerly, I would lament the fact that I hadn’t been more “serious” about my art making earlier in life. A mentor of mine gently chided me, “Neal, you have garnered life experiences, lived places, learned languages, and bathed in adventures that will inform your art from here on out. Without the exposure to these encounters, your art would be dull and flat.” My run is to put me literally face to face with new people, landscapes, and objects worthy of appreciation.

There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, thanks to their art and intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun. The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place; from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web. -Pablo Picasso

I feel that my job is to be a witness of the truth of nature, the truth of human compassion, and the truth of beauty so that all men and women will “awaken” from their immaturity, and become conscious of the beauty that is life.

Choose only one master – Nature. Painting is the grandchild of nature. It is related to God. -Rembrandt

If that which is – is as the Hebrew bible tells us, then he is a creator; a painter and sculptor of matter. Regardless of the qualities of that divine entity, the result is the same; a universe of complex and stunningly beautiful mathematically perfect constructs with a litany of repetition, variation, adjustment, and adaptation the sheer genius of which our minds can only hope to understand. How could you not want to paint it?