The Copley Society of Art is pleased to continue our series of 5 Quick Questions with realist painter and Copley Artist, Tim Neill.
Why did you become an artist?
My great grandfather was a professional artist and we had a few of his oil paintings in our house growing up; these inspired me, along with my father’s ever-present artwork. I have a worksheet from kindergarten where I state that I want to be an artist when I grow up. As I grew up, I was fascinated by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. I was always the “artist” in my class, and it became part of my identity. My parents enrolled me in art classes outside of school, and encouraged me to pursue a career as a professional artist.
What inspires your work?
The figure has always inspired me. I think the human body is beautiful and it is one of my favorite things to paint. I am also inspired by the idea of Vanitas. I love the Dutch still lives filled with symbols and allegories. I try for my paintings to allude to the inevitability of change or death, or the cycle of decay and growth. I am inspired by mood, emotion, and pretty paintings of non-pretty things, and I paint in a realist style.
What is the best part of doing your work/being an artist?
The best part of doing my work and being an artist is the satisfaction of creating. I need to create new images and put ideas onto the canvas. Often times the act of painting a work of art is strenuous and even torturous but I do it because of the small victory in finishing a piece and having that particular idea transformed into a tangible state.
Outside of making art, what do you enjoy doing?
Outside of the painting studio, I wear a few other hats. The world of music is another passion of mine. I also teach middle school children in a North Shore town. I enjoy the creativity of new projects and great imaginations. As a conservator, I have had the honor of working on artwork from revered New England artists Emile Gruppe, Gilbert Stewart, and Norman Rockwell. By far my most important role is that of Dad. I have two boys; both are showing much promise as budding young artists. My wife, Courtney and my boys and I live in South Hamilton on the North Shore and always try to find time for travel, hikes and adventures.
If you could have a dinner party with any 3 artists (living or dead), who would they be and why?
I would want to have dinner with Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, and Caravaggio. I believe Andy Warhol’s greatest artwork was himself. The character he created and the world he surrounded himself with became one of the greatest performance pieces. I think this far surpasses any of his other artworks, and I would want to experience this at our dinner party. Salvador Dali is similar in that he also created a persona that was as interesting as his paintings. His lavish dress and over the top lifestyle would be sure to keep the dinner party interesting. Caravaggio is not only one of my most respected painters, he also has a reputation for living life to the extremes and would be sure to keep the dinner party lively. As long as we can all stay safe, I believe it would be a night to remember!
by Courtney DiPasquale
You can check out Tim Neill’s conservation business, Allied Conservation, and find examples of their work at alliedconservation.com
You can also find more of his work on his website, timneill.com. He is also on Facebook as Timothy Neill Art, Instagram as timneill, and Twitter as timneillart, artconserved, paintingtolast, and bostonrealism