Artist statement by Kevin McNeeley:
Working, designing and exploring with different mediums and using figurative and architectural references is my focus in art. I don’t have a favorite. I like to work with all these! I flip and flop using: canvas, plywood, cardboard, metal and plaster coated wood.
I use brushes and charcoal sticks to sculpt the shape rapidly. Squinting and just seeing dark and light shapes and using those shapes to create an abstract form. Then I start to apply the highlights and features to finalize the artwork. Working at a rapid pace helps me capture the gesture and movement of the piece. Setting a timer and using only a limited pallet has been the most successful approach. I try to finish the painting on the first attempt and try not to bring it back into the studio for touch up. Even Van Gogh said, “I might paint them over again, but I think it is better if you get them just as they come, off the heath.”
Most of my artwork is from life (plein air) or sketches and not directly from photos. The church cathedrals and buildings are the only ones painted from references. Finding a good background for my figure studies can be a challenge as well. To help in this manner, I use my mental imagery from the books I read by Emile Zola. Zola was friends with many artists and a popular writer during the impressionist’s period. And those artists from that period are my favorite to study such as Toulouse Lautrec, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Munch and Picasso.
I work as a free lance artist under the business name of KRM Custom Works. I also have 30 years of experience designing and building custom cabinets, furniture and small lightweight building construction. As for paintings and drawings, I enjoy entering juried art shows, contests and I sell my work at local art fairs. My wife, Carol and I, own an Art Gallery and Tea Shop in Waynesville called: Art Expressions Located at: 243 High Street in Waynesville, Ohio 45068. We sell local art, cabinets, furniture, books and pottery.