Painter Vera Neel shares a fascinating story of her journey as an artist, and a collection from her beautiful portfolio. See more of her work on her website.
My journey as an artist began relatively late in life. However, my artistic nature had been nurtured through various experiences such as drawing classes, ballet, music school, and choir when I lived in Russia. These early encounters with the arts laid the foundation for my future growth.
When I came to America without knowing the language, after a 30-year career in management, I immediately knew that I wanted to pursue my dream of becoming an artist in this country. Oil painting became my first and enduring love. Embarking on this artistic path was not without its challenges. I sought to improve my skills by attending masterclasses with renowned artists, searching for my own unique style. Alongside this, I engaged in language classes, computer design courses, and worked at a jewelry store. I eagerly absorbed the language, culture, and new knowledge that had previously been inaccessible to me.
I was delighted to have such a unique opportunity to learn and develop as an artist at a mature age. The initial steps were promising, but my paintings still lacked that special touch. It took me about 10 years of searching for myself as an artist. It was only when I started using palette knives that I realized this was my true style—bold strokes, loose brushwork, and vibrant color choices.
As a subject, I am particularly drawn to nature. The nature of New Mexico, with its rich and diverse landscapes, captivates me. From the harsh mountain ranges to the intriguing summer sunsets, it is a constant source of inspiration for me. However, I don’t limit myself to nature alone. I also enjoy painting portraits, flowers, and animals.
I am not confined to one style either; I love to experiment and derive true pleasure from it. My happiness as a person spills over into my paintings, reflected in the bright colors, beautiful scenes, and joyful events that I depict. Success started to come my way in 2016 when I participated in the annual exhibition Masterwork New Mexico, an event that invites only 41 oil and acrylic painters. In 2018, my painting “Dreams of Carnival” was awarded for creativity at the Masterwork exhibition.
Since then, my paintings have been exhibited at this prestigious event on multiple occasions. Over the years, I have had numerous solo and group exhibitions in the city where I reside. In 2019, one of my paintings, “Motherland” was exhibited at the 13th Salon Art Capital in the Grand Palais in Paris. I also participate in online competitions and have been recognized as a talented artist by platforms like Teravarna.
I collaborate with various online companies, such as Teravarna, See Me, Artboxy, Artboxy Project, and Biafarin, whose juries invite artists to promote their work. Thanks to these projects and new technologies, my paintings have been exhibited at the ArtBoxy Project in New York, the SwissArtExpo in Switzerland, and featured in Artstonish Magazine No. 38 in Canada.
Since 2018, I have collaborated with an art gallery in Taos, New Mexico. In 2021, my friend, business partner, and I took a bold step and opened Art Mozaik Gallery in Santa Fe, located on the prestigious Canyon Road. At our gallery, we showcase not only my own paintings, but also artworks by other talented artists. We have exciting plans for the future, aiming to continually improve and develop our gallery. We are committed to supporting emerging artists and actively engaging with the local community.
In conclusion, my journey as an artist may have started later in life, but it has been a fulfilling and enriching experience. I have embraced new opportunities, honed my skills, and found my unique artistic style. Through exhibitions, collaborations, and the opening of Art Mozaik Gallery, I continue to pursue my passion for art and share it with others.
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