Neil Christensen (b. 1947, Imperial, Nebraska)
I am a painter of still life. I choose objects to paint that have interesting colors and shapes, or have symbolic or personal significance to me. I select the lighting like a stage manager to set the mood, usually with strong light for dramatic effect.
I use alkyd paints because their fast drying nature allows for quick edits and layering of paint. As the painting progresses, color schemes need adjusting and mistakes need correcting. In this way, the painting begins to evolve and take on a life of its own.
My biggest influence in painting has been professor James Eisentrager. He stressed the importance of the structure of a painting, the ordering of the elements of painting, such as color, line and shape. He would diagram the paintings of Vermeer, Cezanne, and Diebenkorn to illustrate his point.
My painting teachers were abstract artists. I am a self taught representational painter. I enjoy that learning process which is a never-ending challenge. I present a piece of my visual world where I find a sense of serenity. Ordinary objects can take on extra significance when presented with a solemn reverence. My goal with each painting is to find a bit of visual truth.