July’s Featured Artist - Neva Hall

“I spent my life being an artist wannabee.  My career in banking left me with no time or energy to take lessons or self-teach.  After retirement in 2018, the first thing I did was sign up for classes.  I was fortunate to have two amazing teachers:  Donna Clement (color pencil drawing) and Lydia Pottoff (pastels).  I admire both women. Through them, and the Firehouse Art Center, I have met a wonderful, supportive community of artists.   My love for travel and nature has inspired me to primarily paint landscapes from photos I’ve taken on my trips.  Painting nature affords me the opportunity to relive the moments of travel and hiking.  My other love of animals has given me inspiration to paint my own fur girl and other animals with the goal of capturing their personality.  It is also my hope to evoke emotion and fond memories in the viewer.”

Do you have any advice for fellow artists? If you’re just starting, focus on learning to draw. Not only will it give you skills you’ll need, it will help you to see things differently without breaking the bank. Either take classes or go to YouTube. Sometimes art supply places have demonstrations or adult learning courses if you’re close to a college. I was lucky to find a Nature Journaling class that was sponsored by the local County Extension group that was free. I learned to look at flowers differently and how to make texture on trees without getting crazy in the details.

Where do you create your art? I have a finished basement in my home where I have cupboards, countertops, storage and drawers to hold my art supplies and frames. My area has a lovely large window to let in natural light where my cat hangs out. I am surrounded by art from artists I’ve met and admired and I not only draw inspiration from them, I am comforted by the moments I’ve shared in conversations and lessons.

What's your preferred medium? Pencil, Graphite, colored pencils, watercolor and ink pencils and soft pastels for painting.

What style have you been wanting to develop more? I am still working on my style. I think it is something that evolves as I learn. I didn’t take art in school and spent 40 years in banking. I’m a newbie to the art scene. I started practicing art when I retired. I was fortunate to move to an area that has many art associations so I’ve learned much from the talent that surrounds me.

Do you have any artists who inspire you? Many local artist inspire me, as well as the amazing masters. Each have made their contribution to my learning process. Some by helping me see color, some remind me that we don’t have to be perfect. Degas, for example, has a painting of ballerinas where one girl has 3 arms. He didn’t bother to correct it, he just didn’t let the mistakes intimidate him. Some impressionists, for example, also demonstrate that it isn’t necessary to paint every single detail and in fact, it can be distracting. Some are masters of light and shadow. Monet, for example painted the same scenes several times at different times of the day and year. Some remind you that as artists, its ok not to paint in exact local color. Van Gogh, not only interpreted color, he made shapes in clouds, etc, that only he could see in his minds eye.

You can follow Neva on Instagram at https://instagram.com/neva2k

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