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Over the past several years I've found inspiration from the working paper mill a block from my family's home, with its towering smoke stack and blooms of steam filling the skyline day and night. It had become the backbone of everything I created, a single starting point with which to flesh out all of my other ideas, thoughts and feelings. In addition to the mill I’ve been drawing on the modern online imagery that engrosses our everyday lives. The slick online and digital art in advertising, comics and memes are the bulk of what many people see flashing in front of them every day when they turnto their smart phones, tablets and computers. Thus, I couldnot help but be influenced by this modern form of media and imagery. Bold black lines and bright colors have always beena constituent of my work, so it was easy to incorporate, morph, and simulate these elements from the online world into traditional painting.

With 6 years of painting mills defining my artistic career I was ready to move onto something new. After drawing in my sketchbook everyday during the month of October 2015, the idea for “Nuclear Garden” came into being. The concept felt like a way to destroy the mills and start onto something new. Like in Tarot, death is not the end--death is change. Nuclear Armageddon, scary as it may be is the ultimate reset button for Earth to move past the damage humanity has inflicted onher and itself. It felt right using it to reset my own work using this metaphor and move myself down a new path on a personal level. The flowers towering over the destroyed landscape felt like a statement or growth and power over what was and what can be. Wanting each painting to stand on it's own to tell the story, I needed destruction and renewed life to happen all in the same frame.

My hope is by fusing the qualities of online content and the traditional medium of paint, I can evoke feelings of comfort and familiarity in the viewer before jarring them with my commentary as it unfolds before them. Life is a constant duality and seeks balance at every turn, with ups and downs following each other in an endless cycle until the day we die; it is a complex world that invariably becomes smaller. The goal of my work is to reflect the environment and feelings of the viewer, be aesthetically pleasing and fun on the surface, as well as deep and profound. My hope is to inspire the viewer to come back to look again and again, to find their own meaning and to find mine, waiting and hidden like the sun behind the clouds of a nuclear winter.

Neill I was born in 1979 in Belfast, Maine. At age 2 my family moved to Los Angeles, California, where I lived until the age of 12 when we returned to Maine and settled in Bath. All through my life I made frequent visits to my parents' home state of Louisiana. In 1998 I graduated from Morse High School. I attended Colby-Sawyer College and majored in Graphic Design and Painting, studying under Professor John Botte. After graduating with a BFA in 2002, I moved to Portland, Maine. For many years I've worked as a graphic designer at a printing company in downtown Portland. In addition to being an artist, I love my role as both husband and father. As an artist my main goal is to create new work and to have it on public display.

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