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Work Samples

1Mangrove Forest.jpg

Mangrove Forest, 2017, Watercolor and archival ink print on paper and framing Plexiglas, 31” x 44.75” Mangroves absorb massive amounts of nutrients, thereby improving water purity and providing crucial assistance to both land and water animals & plants. Collectively mangroves protect coast lines from storm erosion. The print on the Plexi appears at the bottom half of the painting as topographic lines from coastal nautical charts.

Reef

Reef, 2017, Watercolor and archival ink print on paper and Plex, 29 x 44.” The survival of many undersea creatures depends on the steady ebb and flow of ocean tides. Rising sea levels threaten the protective costal reefs and species that live in the intertidal zone. The shapes of underwater animals and plants are reminiscent of shoals during tidal changes. The print on the Plexiglas is of topographic lines from coastal nautical charts.

Disappearing Cavendish

Disappearing Cavendish, 2017, Watercolor, archival inkjet print on paper and Plexiglas, 31” x 44” Cultivated bananas worldwide are in imminent danger of completely disappearing, damaged by fungal diseases. 500 million people, particularly in developing countries, depend on the fruit as a staple food. The global supply is threatened because industry growers have planted just one species, the Cavendish, across continents. The print on Plexi is a line drawing of a healthy banana and it’s inflorescence.

White Death

White Death, 2018, Watercolor and archival ink print on paper and framing Plexiglas, 28” x 42” White death syndrome is decimating coral reefs worldwide. Coral colonies coexist with algae which nourish the coral. Pollution and warming sea temperatures are killing the algae, thus starving the corals. Dead reefs, devoid of the life giving algae, turn a stark white. The Plexi print depicts microscopic zooxanthellae leaving the colonies dissipating as they rise.

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About Christine

Baltimore City

Christine Neill's picture
Nature has long been the subject of Christine Neill's large mixed-media paintings. She grew up in New England and after initially studied biology at Skidmore College, graduated with a BS in Art. It was a natural transition for her from the examination of biological process in a lab to metaphorically visualizing those processes as imagery in paintings and prints. She dates her interest in the effects of climate change to early studies of the environment. As an artist, she feels compelled to visualize... more

Threatened and Endangered

My work chronicles the ephemeral states of the natural world and notes the intersections where environmental and anthropological spheres meet. The works in this project lament the effects of invasive species and environmental changes on human life and imperiled species and observes the reaction of the earth’s habitat to these threats.

  • DisappearingCavendish

    Disappearing Cavendish, 2017, Watercolor, archival inkjet print on paper and Plexiglas, 31” x 44” Cultivated bananas worldwide are in imminent danger of completely disappearing, damaged by fungal diseases. 500 million people, particularly in developing countries, depend on the fruit as a staple food. The global supply is threatened because industry growers have planted just one species, the Cavendish, across continents. The print on Plexi is a line drawing of a healthy banana and it’s inflorescence.
  • White Death

    White Death, 2018, Watercolor and Watercolor and archival ink print on paper. 28” x 44” White death syndrome is decimating coral reefs worldwide. Coral colonies coexist with algae which nourish the coral. Pollution and warming sea temperatures are killing the algae, thus starving the corals. Dead reefs, devoid of the life giving algae, turn a stark white. The Plexi print depicts microscopic zooxanthellae leaving the colonies dissipating as they rise.
  • Cloud of Witnesses

    Cloud of Witnesses, 2015, Watercolor, pencil and archival ink jet print on paper 37.5" x 50" Hosts of undesirable invasive species proliferate in the muck of the understory observed by the gigantic leaves of gunnera, which drift above.
  • Just Weeds

    Just Weeds, 2014-15, Watercolor, pencil, archival inkjet print on paper, 30” x 45” While the word 'weed' has negative implications it may simply refer to a wild plant growing in the wrong place. Some become desirable when intentionally cultivated. Many weeds are in fact beneficial, having nutritional and medicinal properties or proving crucial to the survival of insects and flora in a specific habitat. Nevertheless, farmers use toxic pesticides to rid thistle from their fields, simultaneously poisoning the soil where crops are planted.
  • Pod Invasive

    Pod Invasive, 2015, Watercolor, archival inkjet print on paper, mounted on panel, 11” x 14” A non-native seedpod, painted in watercolor, sits within layered photographs of the environment which it has invaded and is destroying.
  • Philo & Palm with Dying Bees

    Philo and Palm with Dying Bees, 2014, Watercolor and archival ink jet print on clay-board, 14" x 11" Bees, attracted by lush environments, are declining due to multiple risks including increased uses of pesticides, viruses, and loss of habitats. All cause die-off of the hives’ worker bees. Significant economic losses may result because bees depended on to pollinate agricultural crops.
  • Think Again

    Think Again, 2014, Etching, Archival Digital Print and Embossing, 28.5" x 30.5" North American honey bees cluster around a disintegrating hive, a symbol of the struggle bees are experiencing due to colony collapse. The bees are solar plate images printed onto BFK Rives that was preprinted with an archival ink jet print of a drawing of a hive.
  • Holey Leaves, Vert

    Holey Leaves, Vert, 2018, Watercolor on laser cut paper, 18” x 32” Invasive insects and slugs chew holes in the leaves of mature plants, nearly defoliating plants and robbing them of neutrants. The holes in the leaves were laser cut. The images painted after the cutting.
  • Unbalanced Nature, Flower, Leaf, Pod

    Unbalance Nature, Bloom,Leaf,Pod, 2013-14, Watercolor on aquabord panel & archival ink-jet print, each 66" x 30" Bloom, Well meaning human decisions can often be credited with introducing invasive species. Pictured are species that were imported to tropical islands to solve agricultural problems but ran amuck: yellow jackets to rid hibiscus flowers of white mites they won't eat; mongoose were brought into the cane fields to eat attack rats. However, rats are nocturnal and mongoose diurnal.
  • Lizard

    Lizard, 2013-14, Watercolor on aquabord panel & archival ink-jet print, 66" x 30" According to recent research climate changes could cause dozens of lizard species to becoming extinct within the next 50 years due to global temperature increases.

Beneficial

While the effects of environmental climate changes are well documented and progressive, through collective human effort they can be slowed, possibly reversed. Using the immediacy of fluid paint mediums in tandem with my own photographs to interpret natural shapes and internal structures, I reference antidotes to the dangers and threats.

  • Mangrove Forest

    Mangrove Forest, 2017, Watercolor and archival ink print on paper and framing Plexiglas, 31” x 44.75” Mangroves absorb massive amounts of nutrients, thereby improving water purity and providing crucial assistance to both land and water animals & plants. Collectively mangroves protect coast lines from storm erosion. A print, appearing on bottom half of the Plexiglas, are topographic lines from coastal nautical charts.
  • Kelp Fields

    Kelp Fields, 2015, Watercolor, pencil, & archival ink jet print on paper, 30” x 48” Underwater kelp forests are vigorous ecosystems that provide essential refuge for marine habitats. Presented among the thriving kelp are threatened species that will degrade without protection.
  • Reef

    Reef, 2017, Watercolor and archival ink print on paper and Plex, 29" x 44” The survival of many undersea creatures depends on the steady ebb and flow of ocean tides. Rising sea levels threaten the protective costal reefs and species that live in the intertidal zone. The shapes of underwater animals and plants are reminiscent of shoals during tidal changes. The print on the Plexiglas is of topographic lines from coastal nautical charts.
  • Tortugas Coral

    Tortugas Coral, 2018, Watercolor and archival ink print on paper, 27" x 30" Observed on Dry Tortugas Key, this and similar corals provide protection from erosion and nurture aquatic species.
  • Canna Circle

    Canna Circle, 2017, Watercolor and archival ink print on paper and framing Plexiglas, 11” x 14” An Ancient plant with many human uses, canna are also being studied for their ability to eliminate undesirable pollutants in wetlands due to of their tolerance to contaminants. The print on Plexi is a topographical map of farming land.
  • The Other Side of Paradise

    The Other Side of Paradise: 2013, Watercolor & archival digital print on paper and framing Plexiglas, 31" x 44" The stalks and blossoming pods of Strelizia reganie, commonly known as Bird of Paradise, were painted in watercolor and a photo of the leaves and ground was printed onto the painting. Often ignored is the plant’s understory in which the richness of crawling creatures and decay exist, essential to the organisms well being. These are depicted on the framing Plexiglas.
  • Five Stages of Palm with Bees

    Five Stages of the Palm with Bees, 2012-2014, Watercolor, archival inkjet print on paper and framing Plexiglas, 23.5" x 68" Painted stalks, buds and blossoms of a palm tree are layered with a digital photo of palm fronds viewed from above. Palms are simultaneously in the process of reproducing and dying. Healthy swarming bees, crucial to the life cycle not only of palms, but numerous other plants, are printed on the inside of the Plexiglas.
  • Monarch Milkweed

    Monarch Milkweed, 2009, Watercolor & archival Ink-jet print on paper, 41" x 30" The common milkweed, Asclepias syriacia, is crucial for the survival of the majestic monarch butterfly. Preserving milkweed in North America is essential for the survival of monarchs and "to ensure the sustainability of our food production systems, avoid additional economic impact on the agricultural sector, and protect the health of the environment."
  • Queen Emma

    Queen Emma, 2011, Watercolor & archival digital print on paper, 41” x 30” Tall stalks of tropical Crinum bear large umbels of showy, scented flowers. All parts are poisonous if ingested, yet are used medicinally in numerous treatments, notably Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Wild Urban Thistle

    Wild Urban Thistle, 2016-17, Watercolor, archival inkjet print on paper and Plexiglas, 24.5” x 35” A wild, native thistle was observed growing in the garden of a Baltimore row house, a space that would normally be highly cultivated. The owner values it because it is a native plant and will reseed itself. Indigenous plants preserve biodiversity. They are the basis of life in the region where they've evolved. Other life forms depend on them; birds, insects and ultimately humans cannot survive without them.

Night Photos

The process of taking night photographs differs from studio painting in that the nocturns are less direct, cannot be hurried and it's simultaneously an unnerving and engrossing procdure. And human perception is changed, challenged in the dark.
You understand that the stars are always here. They do not go away in daylight. It is that we can only see them in the dark. That is the good thing about the dark. Caroline Herschel, 18-19 c Astronomer

  • NightPool

    Night Pool, 2015, Archival pigmented print, 20 x 15 View of a swimming pool in full-moon light
  • NightBog

    Nineteen at Night, 2015, Archival pigmented print, 20 x 27 Night view of a bog with trees.
  • Cava

    Cave, 2018, Archival pigmented print, 15" x 20" View inside a wine cave.
  • Sonoma Nights.jpg

    Sonoma Nights, 2018, Archival pigmented print, 16" x 20" Night sky after fires in California wine country.
  • Asphalt Lines

    Asphalt lines, 2016, Archival pigmented print, 20" x 15" The smooth material repairing the road surface appears lighter in low light, emulating an abstract drawing.
  • Terraza

    Terraza, 2015, Archival pigmented print, 16 x 20 A terrace illuminate by full-moon light.
  • RedChair

    The Red Chair, 2016, Archival pigmented print, 20" x 16" A nook inside Longwood Botanical Gardens at night
  • Destino Night

    Destino Night, 2014, Archival pigmented print,16" x 20" Garden viewed with only ambient night light .
  • Greenhouse Grasses

    Greenhouse Grasses, 2017, Archival pigmented print, 20" x 15" Night view inside Rawlings Conservatory, Baltimore
  • Nineteen At Night

    Nineteen at Night, 2016,15" x 20" Night in a city yard under cover of snow

Nocturnal

I periodically work with the singular, low lighting found between dusk and dawn. While nighttime is very active in the natural world, human perception slows and changes.

  • Dames de Noche

    Dames de Noche, 2017, Watercolor and archival ink print on paper and framing Plexiglas, 16” x 12” Night blooming plants give off specific scents to attract night pollinating insects. Shapes of the moon’s phases, which all living things are subject to, are printed on the inside of the Plexiglas.
  • Night Wings

    Night Wings, 2013, Watercolor, archival ink jet print on paper & Plexiglas, 34" x 47” Many plants are night bloomers and release scents only at dark. Therefore, species of insects adapt their habits to become nocturnal feeders and pollinators. Scented night blossoms are painted in watercolor and surrounded by a print of a night photo. Night pollinating insects and their fight lines are photos printed onto the inside of the Plexiglas.
  • Flight Lines

    Flight Lines, 2012, Watercolor & Archival Digital Print on Paper and framing Plexiglas, 46” x 35.5” This orchid dispenses a scent at night, which attracts a specific species of moths that will fertilize the blooms. The painted orchids were surrounded with a night photo of its natural environment. Moths and their fight line have been printed onto the framing Plexiglas.
  • Ames' Orchid

    Ames’ Orchid, 2012, Watercolor & Archival Ink Jet Print on Paper & Acrylic, 21.5” x 29” This orchid dispenses a scent at night, which attracts moths that will fertilize the blooms. The painted orchids were surrounded with a night photo of its natural environment; a moth and its flightline and are printed on the framing Plexiglas. It is a tribute to Oakes Ames, an early 20c botanist specializing in orchids and his wife, Blanche Ames, a botanical artist.
  • CaveOrchid

    Cave Orchid, 2014, Watercolor and archival ink jet print on aquaboard, 11" x 14"
  • Balance of Plants, Noir

    Balance of Plants Noir I, 2014, Etching on black paper heightened with pigment, 22" x 30" Details of plant forms precariously balance while black clouds of stones, lunaria seeds and iris pods float around them. Parts of the images were rubbed with iridescent dry pigments to suggest night light.

Myth andMorphology

Using the immediacy of fluid paint mediums in tandem with my own photographs to interpret natural shapes and internal structures, I endeavor to imbue images with metaphorical references to myths and folklore. My practice typically involves scrutinizing the landscape for organic matter that is suggestive of human activity. I line my studio with collected specimens and research their natural history before making a series of drawn studies. The finished drawings and watercolors are layered with archival ink-jet prints.

Morphology, the biological study of the forms and structural relationships of livingorganisms, examines similarities and differences between creatures. Similarly, I'm drawn to phenomena of the biological condition.
The resulting works compare tenuous natural activities with similar human events. It is a reminder that all individuals have a deep-rooted connection to the earth and that similar biological processes bind the natural and human worlds.

  • Canna Case Morphology

    Morphology, Canna/Case, 2015, Watercolor, pencil, archival inkjet print on paper, 30” x 36” Morphology is the biological study of the forms and structural relationships of living organisms. Explored here are the similarities and differences between parts of a canna plant and milkweed. Dualities are presented as symmetry through repetition or shadow.
  • Morphology, Beach/Beech

    Morphology, Beech/Beach, 2015, Watercolor, pencil, archival inkjet print on paper, 30” x 36” As in the study of morphology, similarities and differences between tree and aquatic shapes, color and texture are explored here. Simple elaborations are coupled to make comparisons.
  • Aechmea Caracas

    Achmea Caracas, 2008, Watercolor & Archival Digital Print on Paper, 43 x 28.5 inches This protea is native to subtropical regions. Linnaeus named the genus after the Greek God Proteus, because he could assume many forms. In some cultures the flower represents hope and change. Here the two entwined stalks are backed by a digital photo of the habitat where they grow at the edge of the beach, balancing between an ideal and a devastating environment.
  • Monstera Morphology

    Monstera Morphology, 2017 Watercolor, pencil, archival inkjet print on paper and framing Plexiglas, 12” x 16” Morphology, the biological study of the forms and structural relationships of living organisms, examines similarities and differences between creatures. The leaves of the Philodendron and Uva plants pictured here were both marked by insect trails and chewing. The print on Plexi is a layer of cell structures in teal lines.
  • Orpheus' Orchid

    Orpheus’ Orchid: 2011, Watercolor & Archival Digital Print on Paper, 47 x 36 inches An unfettered orchid floats in the space of a glass house lit from the upper right leaving the area below deep in shadows. A tear through the center of the image irrevocably separates the spaces. The orchid was painted first, and then layered with digital prints of blossoms and the glasshouse space; the tear was made after the image was complete.
  • Spirit Stone

    Spirit Stone, 2014-2015, Watercolor, pencil, archival ink jet print on paper, 41” x 27” In many cultures, ancient and contemporary, stones embody tangible or ephemeral meaning. I observed similar stones at the Wiamea Botanical Garden on Oahu where a ring of stones had been assembled by early Polynesians to ensure successful growing and fishing.
  • Three Days

    Three Days, 2005, Watercolor on paper, 42.25”x 27.5” The buds, seedpods and the stalk of a Bottlebush blossom, Callistemon, appear in the same composition. From …the "three days I dream of you, yesterday, today and tomorrow” by Willie Nelson. The buds and seedpods partially hidden behind the stalk of the brilliant blossom of the bottlebrush, Callistemon, reminding us of where it came from and what it will become.
  • Urna de Pandora

    Esperanza de Pandora, 2006 Watercolor & Archival Ink Jet Print on Paper, 22” x 29.5” The myth of Pandora recounts that one item, hope, was left inside when she slammed shut the lid of the vessel containing the evils of the world. In this painting we see the colorful forms of the rockweed escaping the dark grasses swirling at its roots.
  • Magnolia Disjuncture

    Magnolia Disjuncture, 2008 Watercolor & Archival Digital Print on Paper, 28.75” x 43.75” Magnolias are indigenous to the East Coast of the United States and a region in East Asia, but no where in between. Disjuncture refers to the pattern of plant distribution and diversification that happened when the super continent Pangaea split and drifted apart. The hand tearing of the paper evokes the division of the continents.
  • Balance of Substance

    Balance of Substance, 2011, Watercolor on Paper, 30 x 22 inches Describe by Sedat Pakay as “a tour of earth's unknown mythology” these stacks of stones balance visually, if not physically, like the balance we try to maintain in our lives, our artistic expressions, the environment, our social and political structures.

Prints

Printmaking, for me, is a parallel processes to my mixed media paintings. It's a way to experiment with composition and of using form. In turn, the layered watercolor works influence the prints. I prefer watercolor mono prints and solar plate etching processes because of their less toxic properties. I use the hands-on techniques of painting and drawing, combined with digital photos, to prepare the films necessary to create the solar plates. I often cut the finished plates into major shapes and minor details allowing me to arrange them into unique compositions for each monoprint.

  • Ancient&Tempora

    Ancient and Temporal, 2016, Solar plate etching, embossing and archival ink jet print on BFK Rives, 26” x 24”, A fragile leaf floats within prints of timeworn coral.
  • Balance of Plant-Fibers

    Balance of Plants, Fiber, 2013, Solar Plate Etching on BFK Rives, 30" x 22" Details of plant forms precariously balance while clouds of stones lunaria seeds and iris pods float around them. Solar plates were made from a combination of plant drawings and photos and details of stone textures. Each plate was hand colored.
  • Fragments, Acanthus I

    Fragments-Acanthus I, 1/1, 2012, Solar Plate Etching, 22 x 15 inches As I often do when building images, I scanned plant forms and adjusted them in Photoshop. For this image I blocked parts of the stem, leaves and seedpods of an acanthus plant with shapes from the bark of to fragment them. The resulting print reveals and hides as it makes a new whole.
  • Thorny Pod

    Fragments, Thorny Pod I, 2012, Solar Plate Etching, 22" x 15" To build this image, I scanned plant forms of acanthus seedpods with organic shapes to fragment them. A second plate was made by cutting shapes derived from the pealing bark of a Kousa Dogwood This plate was inked lighter and printed over the plant images. The resulting print reveals and hides as it makes a new whole.
  • SplitMagnolia

    Magnolia Section, 1/3, 2012, Etching, archival ink jet print and embossing on BFK RivesPaper, 15"x11" Magnolia Section shows a cross section of an unopened magnolia bud. The interior forms reveal only a few hints of what will develop, a showy, full blossom and bright seedpod. Instead, the forms evoked are more universal in their organic quality. The blue shades are derived from the concentrated colors that apear when a white blossom is suddenly cut open and exposed to air. The cell structures in the ground suggest what might be disclosed if the bud could be dissected further.
  • Dathura Duo

    Dathura Duo, 201
  • Apis & Janis

    Apis & Janus, 2016, Watercolor Monotype, solar plate etching on BFK Rives, 20” x 25” I often work with print process experimentally to explore images symbolically that may be transferable to my large, mixed-media paintings. Among the images combined here are honey bees and a leaf with the common name Janus. True honeybees are a member if the genus Apis, while Janus is the Roman god of beginnings, transitions and endings.
  • Trio With BeesTrio with Bees, 2016, Solar plate etching, embossing and archival ink jet print on BFK Rives, 26” x 24”, Fragile nature parts floats with prints of honey bees.

    Trio with Bees, 2016, Monoprint, etching, embossing and archival ink jet print on BFK Rives, 26” x 24”, Fragile natural fragments float with prints of honey bees.

Professional Information

I feel writing about one's work parallels the studio practice. The reflective process of assembling a resume, revising bios and writing about the work helps my ideas evolve.
These documents are always 'in progress'. I've included them here to provide interested viewers the insights of what others and I have recently written in the form of a Current Resume, Narrative Biography, Artist & Curator Essays, lectures and news Reviews.