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Work Samples

Jacks,

Jacks, 2020, Watercolor, Archival pigment print, 21” x 29” A wildflower native to shady woods of North America.
Jacks, 2020, Watercolor, Archival pigment print, 21” x 29” A wildflower native to shady woods of North America. It is moderately toxic if ingested by humans or animals.

Weed / Seedpod

Weed / Seedpod, 2021, Watercolor, Colored pencil, 30” x 20”
Weed / Seedpod, 2021, Watercolor, Colored pencil, 30” x 20”

Blue Carbon

Blue Carbon, 2019, Watercolor, archival pigment print on laser cut Arches paper, 30” x 45”  Blue carbon is the carbon captured and stored in wetland ecosystems such as mangrove forests, seagrass meadows or intertidal saltmarshes. The ecosystems are valued
Blue Carbon, 2019, Watercolor, archival pigment print on laser cut Arches paper, 30” x 45” Wetlands are actively advantageous habitats, which store carbon thereby keeping it out of the atmosphere. Depicted here water plants painted in watercolor against a digital photo ground altered by layers of watercolor paint. Holes in the leaves were laser cut before being painting.

Death by Fig

Death by Fig, 2019, Watercolor on paper and Plexiglas, 36.25” x 23”
Death by Fig, 2019, Watercolor on paper and Plexiglas, 36.25” x 23” A Strangler Fig is painted in Watercolor. It invades healthy hosts by casting seeds from the height of its branches which grow downward toward roots and trunks. After several years the encased host will die because it is deprived of the ability to turn sunlight into nutrients. The green drawing of a palm trunk is digitally printed on the inside of the Plexiglas.

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About Christine

Baltimore City

Christine Neill's picture
Christine Neill is a nationally exhibited American artist whose work blends motifs of biological examination with visual processes and techniques.  The effects of environmental changes and invasive species on human life and the reaction of earth’s habitat to these threats underlie all her images. She is represented by Goya Contemporary, Baltimore, MD.  Neill comments on ways Covid 19 pandemic has impacted her studio work:  I watched with great sadness as the corona virus... more

Toxic Beauties

As I do every spring, I gardened in 2020 while isolating from the pandemic. A neighbor, also doing a lot of planting, developed a noxious rash on her legs and arms. We identified (while distancing) a poison sumac sapling that had rooted in her garden, which she had inadvertently brushed against.
That incident prompted me to research plants surrounding us that ranging from uncomfortably irritating to inexorably fatal. Each plant in this series is native to or is cultivated near my Baltimore studio. However, I find it reassuring that humans have live with these species for hundreds of years avoiding illness by becoming informed about their characteristics and treating them with caution. Most of the toxic species are harmful when ingested. Unfortunately, children and animals are most often the victims.

  • Brugmansia

    Brugmansia, 2020, Watercolor, Archival pigment print, 24.5” x 34.5”
    Brugmansia, 2020, Watercolor, Archival pigment print, 24.5” x 34.5” Ironically the common name of this plant is Angel Trumpet while all parts of the plants are highly toxic. Nevertheless, I often found it planted next to outdoor dining areas, the establishments and patrons apparently unaware of their dangers.
  • Jacks

    Jacks, 2020, Watercolor, Archival pigment print, 21” x 29”
    Jacks, 2020, Watercolor, Archival pigment print, 21” x 29” A wildflower native to shady woods of North America. It is moderately toxic if ingested by humans or animals.
  • Castor Bean

    Castor Bean, 2020, Watercolor, Archival pigment print, 24” x 31”
    Castor Bean, 2020, Watercolor, Archival pigment print, 24” x 31” A striking popular but aggressive plant which can grow 10 feet in a season. Its seed balls are brilliant red and spikey. The leaves can cause irritation if merely rubbed against and the seeds are highly poisonous. Yet, I found them planted next to an outdoor dining site as well as along the entrance way to a botanical garden.
  • Rodo

    Rodo, 2020, Watercolor, 20” x 15”
    Rodo, 2020, Watercolor, 20” x 15” A common perennial bush that thrives in North America, the toxicity of honey made by bees that feed on rhododendrons and azaleas has been known since the 4th century BC. The leaves, flowers and nectar are poisonous to humans and lethal to livestock.
  • Caladium

    Caladium, 2020, Watercolor, Archival pigment print, 21.5” x 29”
    Caladium, 2020, Watercolor, Archival pigment print, 21.5” x 29” A common garden annual in the Mid-Atlantic. The leaves, stems and bulbs are toxic to humans and animals.

Isolation Watercolors 2020

Isolation Watercolors 2020
In March 2020 at the beginning of the Corona-19 pandemic, I canceled
a research trip to San Diego and the deserts of Southern California.
While isolating in Baltimore, I walk daily in Linkwood Park and on
Stony Run Trail, picking up small natural objects, familiar and intimate.
When drawing them in my notebooks, I loosely interpreted shapes. The
images gravitated to the page top and bottom, without shadows or ground,
separated by the space between. The compositions and scrutiny of the
images remind me of the solitariness of covid isolation. Subsequently,
I redrew the images in water soluble colored pencils on full sheets of
Arches WC paper and paint them in watercolor.

  • Vine / Capsule

    Vine/ Capsule, 2020, Watercolor, Colored pencil, 30” x 20”
    Vine/ Capsule, 2020, Watercolor, Colored pencil, 30” x 20”
  • Weed / Seedpod

    Weed / Seedpod, 2021, Watercolor, Colored pencil, 30” x 20”
    Weed / Seedpod, 2021, Watercolor, Colored pencil, 30” x 20”
  • Branch / Seed

    Branch / Seed, 2021, Watercolor, Colored pencil, 30” x 20”
    Branch / Seed, 2021, Watercolor, Colored pencil, 30” x 20”
  • Cushion / Pod

    Cushion / Pod, 2020, Watercolor, Colored pencil, 30” x 20”
    Cushion / Pod, 2020, Watercolor, Colored pencil, 30” x 20”
  • Stone / Vine

    Stone / Vine, 2020, Watercolor, Colored pencil, 30” x 20”
    Stone / Vine, 2020, Watercolor, Colored pencil, 30” x 20”

Monotypes 2020

Making prints allows me to investigate imagery similar to that of my paintings in varied mediums
and processes, as well as try out new imagery. I made these prints at Zea Mays Printmaking in Northampton, MA during Fall 2020, under the masterly guidance of Joyce Silverstone.

Flip Page Animations

Drawings are the foundation on which my paintings and prints are built. I frequently keep a drawing notebook nearby to record ideas, draw on-site, and visualize imagery in the studio. They often become the basis for paintings and prints.

I started the first Isolation Notebooks during the second week of March 2020 while isolating in Baltimore. I walk daily in Linkwood Park and on Stony Run Walking Trail. The flip book is a selection of these pages. View the flip-page animation at:
https://www.flipsnack.com/neillbook/isolation-notebook/full-view.html
The Field Guide Drawings become the basis for prints and paintings. View the flip-page animation at: https://www.flipsnack.com/neillbook/field-guide-drawings/full-view.htm
This Herbarium is a selection of the specimens I’ve collected, flattened and mounted in an archival volumn. View the flip-page animation at:
https://www.flipsnack.com/neillbook/herbarium-final/full-view.html

Endangered

My work chronicles the ephemeral states of the natural world and notes the intersections where environmental and anthropological spheres meet.
As an artist, I feel compelled to visualize the damaged condition of our environment as I’ve observed and researched. I’m aware that cultures, especially marginalized communities, are inequitably impacted by these perils.

  • White Death

    White Death, 2019, Watercolor, archival ink jet print on Arches paper and framing Plexiglas, 34” x 47.75” White death syndrome is decimating coral reefs worldwide. Coral colonies coexist with an algae which nourish the coral. Pollution and warming sea tem
    White Death, 2019, Watercolor, archival ink jet print on Arches paper and framing Plexiglas, 34” x 47.75” White death syndrome is decimating coral reefs worldwide. Coral colonies coexist with an algae which nourish the coral. Pollution and warming sea temperatures are killing the algae, thus starving the corals. Dying reefs, devoid of the life giving algae and turning whiteare depicted in watercolor. The Plexi print depicts microscopic zooxanthellae leaving the colonies dissipating as they rise.
  • Disappearing Cavendish

    Disappearing Cavendish, 2017, Watercolor, archival pigment print on paper, framing plexiglass, 31” x 44” Cultivated bananas worldwide are in imminent danger of completely disappearing, damaged by fungal diseases. 500 million people, particularly in develo
    Disappearing Cavendish, 2017, Watercolor, archival pigment print on paper, framing plexiglass, 31” x 44”. Cultivated bananas worldwide are in imminent danger of completely disappearing, damaged by fungal diseases. 500 million people 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 image depicts banana plants vanishing as they recede and the print on Plexiglas is of a line drawing of healthy bananas and it’s inflorescence.
  • Just Weeds

    Just Weeds, 2014-15, Watercolor, pencil, archival pigment print on paper, 30” x 45”, While the label weed has negative implications it may simply refer to a wild plant growing in the wrong place some of which become desirable when intentionally c
    Just Weeds, 2014-15, Watercolor, pencil, archival pigment print on paper, 30” x 45. While the label weed has negative implications it may simply refer to wild plants growing in the wrong place, some of which 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.
  • Monarch Milkweed

    Monarch Milkweed, 2009, Watercolor,archival pigment print on paper, 46.5” x 35” or 41 x 30 inches The common milkweed, Asclepias syriacia, is crucial for the survival of the majestic monarch butterfly. Here the plant is set in situ in a pine forest. Prese
    Monarch Milkweed, 2009, Watercolor,archival pigment print on paper, 46.5” x 35” The common milkweed, Asclepias syriacia, is crucial for the survival of the majestic monarch butterfly. Here the plant is painted set in situ in a pine forest. 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."
  • Philo and Palm With Dying Bees

    Philo & Palm with dying Bees, 2014, Watercolor, archival pigment print on clayboard, 14” x 11”,
    Philo & Palm with dying Bees, 2014, Watercolor, archival pigment print on clayboard, 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 are depended upon to pollinate agricultural crops.
  • Lizard

    Lizard, 2013-14, Watercolor on aquabord panel, archival pigment print, 66" x 30"
    Lizard, 2013-14, Watercolor on aquabord panel, archival pigment 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.
  • Lobster

    Lobster, 2013-14, Watercolor on aquabord Panel, archival pigment print, 66” x 30"
    Lobster, 2013-14, Watercolor on aquabord Panel, archival pigment print, 66” x 30" Scientists deduce a crippling shell disease, caused by warming ocean temperatures and the breakdown of hard plastics in seawater, is leaving these crustaceans with vulnerable soft shells and affecting the livelihood of fisherman.

Invasive

The effects of invasive species on human life and the consequences to the earth’s habitat underlie many of Neill’s images. The works in this project lament the effects of invasive species.

  • Holey Leaves-Emerald

    Holey Leaves, Emerald, 2019, Watercolor on laser cut paper, 24” x 36”
    Holey Leaves, Emerald, 2019, Watercolor on laser cut paper, 24” x 36” Invasive insects, such as the Emerald Ash Borer, chew holes in the leaves of mature trees, defoliating the branches and effectively weakening or killing the trees. The holes were laser cut and cast a shadow on the paper behind.
  • Death by Fig

    Death by Fig, 2019, Watercolor on paper and digital print om Plexiglas, 36.25” x 23”
    Death by Fig, 2019, Watercolor on paper and Plexiglas, 36.25” x 23” Painted in Watercolor is a strangler fig. It invades healthy hosts by casting seeds from the height of its branches which grow downward toward roots and trunks. After several years the encased host will die because it is deprived of the ability to turn sunlight into nutrients. The green drawing of a palm trunk is digitally printed on the inside of the Plexiglas.
  • Hidden in the Slag

    Hidden in the Slag, 2019, Watercolor, archival pigment print on paper and framing Plexiglass, 33” x 41”
    Hidden in the Slag, 2019, Watercolor, archival pigment print on paper and framing Plexiglass, 33” x 41” I visited three months after destructive Hurricane Irma ripped up the Florida Peninsula, leaving piles of manufactured and plant debris throughout. At Everglades NP I questioned a ranger about the invasive Burmese Python. She reported, ”Oh, they’re here, but you’ll never see them.” It became a metaphor, some dangers were at once obvious, others were revealed slowly as a surprise.
  • Pod Invasive

    Pod Invasive, 2015, Watercolor on paper mounted panel, 11” x 14”
    Pod Invasive, 2015, Watercolor on paper mounted panel, 11” x 14” A non-native seedpod painted in Watercolor sits within a digital photograph of an environment, which it has invaded and is destroying.
  • Pods

    Unbalanced Nature, Pod, 2014, Watercolor, archival pigment print on clayboard, 66” x 30”
    Unbalanced Nature, Pod, 2014, Watercolor, archival pigment print on clayboard, 66” x 30”, Painted in Watercolor are Chinese Water Chestnuts (inedible), an invasive pod that will clog waterways and push out natural plants as it grows.
  • Toxic Beauty, Loosestrife

    Toxic Beauty Loosestrife, 2003/04, Watercolor, 30” x 70”
    Toxic Beauty Loosestrife, 2003/04, Watercolor, 30” x 70” A chorus of trouble, the lucious blossoms of this wildflower are painted in watercolor. In recent years the purple loosestrife has invaded wetlands in the northeastern US, destroying the native species and the wild live and insects that depend on them.
  • Unbalanced Nature, Bloom

    Unbalanced Nature, Bloom, 2013, Watercolor, archival pigment print on clayboard, 66” x 30”,
    Unbalanced Nature, Bloom, 2013, Watercolor, archival pigment print on clayboard, 66” x 30”. 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. Meanwhile, the mongoose decimate small native species and the rats remain.

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.

  • Greenbrae Duff

    Greenbrae Duff, Watercolor, archival pigmented print on Arches paper and framing Plexiglas, 41.5” 32.5”
    Greenbrae Duff, Watercolor, archival pigmented print on Arches paper and framing Plexiglas, 41.5” 32.5” Lauren R Stevens, writer and environmentalist, describes the importance of duff, “Trees remove carbon from the air. Old trees remove more carbon than young ones. Furthermore, old forests with their deep layer of duff, store as much carbon on the ground as in the trees." With the advent of climate change due to the increase of carbon, forests’ roles are significant. Leaves are painted floating to form duff; drawings of seedpods are printed on the framing Plexiglas.
  • Blue Carbon

    Blue Carbon, 2019, Watercolor, archival pigment print on laser cut Arches paper, 30” x 45”  Blue carbon is the carbon captured and stored in wetland ecosystems such as mangrove forests, seagrass meadows or intertidal saltmarshes. The ecosystems are valued
    Blue Carbon, 2019, Watercolor, archival pigment print on laser cut Arches paper, 30” x 45” Blue carbon is the carbon captured and stored in wetland ecosystems such as mangrove forests, seagrass meadows or intertidal saltmarshes. The ecosystems are valued because they hold vast carbon reservoirs and isolate CO2 deposit it in their sediments. The leaves and its environment are painted, holes in the leaves were laser cut and a ground painted behind.
  • Holey Leaves-Violet

    Holey Leaves, Violet, 2019, Watercolor on laser cut paper, 24” x 36”
    Holey Leaves, Violet, 2019, Watercolor on laser cut paper, 24” x 36” By the end of the summer season many plants show evidence of having been eaten by insects in preparation for winter hibernation. The species live in healthy symbiosis. The paper was laser cut before the leaves were drawn and painted.
  • Mangrove Forest

    Mangrove Forest, 2017, Watercolor, archival pigment print on paper, framing plexiglas, 31” x 44.75”
    Mangrove Forest, 2017, Watercolor, archival pigment print on paper, 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. The mangrove groves protect coast lines from storm erosion. The print on the Plexi appearing at the bottom half of the painting are bathymetric contours delineating the ocean floor.
  • Reef

    Reef, 2017, Watercolor, archival pigment print on paper & Plexiglas, 29” x 44”
    Reef, 2017, Watercolor, archival pigment print on paper & Plexiglas, 29” x 44” The survival of many undersea creatures depends on the steady ebb and flow of oceantides. Rising sea levels threaten the protective costal reefs and species that live in the intertidal zone. Depicted in watercolor are a variety of coral species and drawings of bathymetric contours of coastal ocean beds are printed on the framing Plexiglas.
  • Kelp Fields

    Kelp Field, 2015, Watercolor, pencil, archival pigment print on paper, 30” x 48”
    Kelp Field, 2015, Watercolor, pencil, archival pigment print on paper, 30” x 48” Underwater kelp forests are vigorous ecosystems that provide essential refuge for marine habitats. Painted among the among the thriving kelp are threatened species that will degrade without protection.
  • The Other Side of Paradise

    Other Side of Paradise, 2013, Watercolor, archival pigment print on paper, framing plexiglass, 31” x 44”,
    Other Side of Paradise, 2013, Watercolor, archival pigment print on paper, framing plexiglass, 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 crawling creatures and decay exist, essential to the organism's well being. These are depicted on the framing Plexiglas.
  • Five Stages of the Palm with Bees

    Five Stages of the Palm with Bees, 2012-14, Watercolor, archival piment print on paper, 29” x 63”
    Five Stages of the Palm with Bees, 2012-14, Watercolor, archival pigment print on paper, 29” x 63”, Painted stalks, buds, blossoms and seedpods of a palm tree are layered with a digital photo of palm fronds viewed from above. Swarming bees are printed on the inside of the Plexiglas. Palms are simultaneously in the process of reproducing and dying. Healthy swarming bees, crucial to the life cycle of not only palms, but numerous other plants, are printed on the inside of the Plexiglas.
  • Canna Circle

    Canna Circle, 2017, Watercolor and archival ink print on paper and framing Plexiglas, 11” x 14x”
    Canna Circle, 2017, Watercolor and archival ink print on paper and framing Plexiglas, 11” x 14x” Canna blossoms and buds are painted withing a favorable environment. 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.
  • Balance of Substance, Balance of Essence

    Balance of Substance, Balance of Essence, 2011, Watercolor on paper, 30”x22”
    Balance of Substance, Balance of Essence, 2011, Watercolor on paper, 30”x22” These stacks of stones are painted to 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.

Monoprints

Printmaking is a process that parallels my layered paintings. Print techinques are a way for me to experiment with concepts, color and composition. In turn, the mixed-media watercolors influence the prints. I prefer the immediacy of monoprints and use non-toxic methods.

Nocturnals


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. The process of taking night photographs differs from studio painting in that the nocturnals are less direct, cannot be hurried and is simultaneously an unnerving and engrossing procedure. Human is 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,19 c Astronomer

  • Sido's Cactus

    Sido’s Cactus, 2019, Watercolor, Archival Digital Print on paper and Plexiglas, 40” x 26.75”
    Sido’s Cactus, 2019, Watercolor, Archival Digital Print on paper and Plexiglas, 40” x 26.75” The French writer, Collette, wrote a story about her mother, Sido’s, epiphyllum, a short-lived, night blooming cactus. She told of her mother's apology for canceling a visit to her daughter in Paris because her cactus would bloom shortly and she wanted to be there to witness it. Sido reminds us of life’s ephemeral nature and the precious choices we’re forced to make.
  • Ames' Orchid

    Ames’ Orchid, 2012, Watercolor & Archival Ink Jet Print on Paper & Acrylic, 21.5” x 29”
    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.
  • Dames de Noche

    Dames de Noche, 2017, Watercolor and archival ink print on paper and framing Plexiglas,  16” x 12”
    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, to which all living things are subject, are printed on the inside of the Plexiglas.
  • Night Wings

    Night Wings, 2013, Watercolor, archival ink jet print on paper & Plexiglas, 34" x 47”
    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”
    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 to fertilize the blooms. The painted orchids were surrounded with a night photo of its natural environment. Moths and drawings of their fight lines have been printed onto the framing Plexiglas.
  • Nineteen at Night

    Nineteen at Night, 2016, Archival digital pigmented print, 15" x 20"
    Nineteen at Night, 2016, Archival digital pigmented print, 15" x 20" Night in a city backyard under cover of snow.
  • Asphalt Lines

    Asphalt Lines, 2018, Archival digital pigmented print, 20" x 15"
    Asphalt Lines, 2018, Archival digital pigmented print, 20" x 15" Night view of a street repaired with asphalt calking.
  • Terraza

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

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

    Night Bog,  2015, Archival pigmented print, 20 x 27
    Night Bog, 2015, Archival pigmented print, 20 x 27 Night view of a bog through trees.

Professional Information

Text about one's work and achievments parallel the artist's studio practice. The reflective process of assembling a resume, revising bios and writing about the work helps ideas to evolve. These documents are always in progress. Included here are a photo of my studio, insights of what I and others have written recently, a Narrative Biography, Artist & Curator Essays, and Reviews.

  • Neill's Studio

    Neill's Studio
    Neill's Studio
  • 2021 Essay

    2021 Essay
    My work chronicles the ephemeral states of the natural world in layered mixed-media paintings and monoprints. By combining the immediacy of fluid paint mediums with digital processes, I interpret a lifelong fascination of biology and the environment.
    Through observation of biotic phenomona, I note intersections where environmental and anthropological worlds meet.The effects of environmental changes and invasive species on human life, and the reaction of the earth’s habitat to these threats, underlie my investigations and images.
    My practice typically involves scrutinizing the landscape for organic matter that suggests human activity or natural events. I line my studio with the collected specimens, which I research before making a series of drawn studies. Drawings and watercolors are created. As the layers coalesce, they depart from representation in favor of a visual translation of the object.
    Segments of digital photos were printed onto the handwork and over painted until all surfaces had a coating of watercolor. Additionally, line drawings were often printed on the inside of the framing Plexiglas, separated from the ground by spacers, allowing shadows from the foreground to fall on the painted and printed surface below. I also used laser cutters to incise holes in the paper, representing ruptures in imperiled species.
    As an artist, I feel compelled to visualize the damaged condition of our environment as I’ve observed and researched. I’m aware how cultures, especially marginalized communities, are inequitably impacted by these perils. This work celebrates the intricacies of thriving ecosystems yet laments threatened species. Such dichotomies, in nature as in art, bind us together as living entities in, on, and of the earth.

    PDF icon 2021 Essay
  • 2021 Narrative Bio

    2021 Narrative Bio
    I had the good fortune to grow up in a family who valued being outdoors, education and the arts. Our Manchester, CT neighborhood backed onto wooded acres lined with old stone walls. Both parents were trained in the sciences, and for them, relaxation was building and maintaining our gardens. My maternal grandmother taught me to identify native wildflowers on woodland walks and took me to the Glass Flowers at The Harvard Museum of Natural History for the first time. Early on, our vacations were spent near Cape Cod Bay. In retrospect, it seems simple, safe and open to options and opportunity.

    Memorable high school courses were biology and art, because both connected hands with the brain.
    I distinctly remember my first look through a microscope of water plants I had collected, then drawing their close-up details. I began drawing on my own, enjoying the quiet concentration of the projects. When I entered Skidmore College as a bio major, I continued taking drawing and painting classes. It was a natural transition from the examination of living things in a lab to visualizing those processes as imagery in paintings and prints. I can date my interest in the effects of climate conditions on human activity, to a lecture by Margaret Mead, although I found the concepts she presented startling and confusing.

    At the end of the 1960s I arrived in Baltimore to work with Grace Hartigan at the Hoffberger School of Painting, Maryland Institute College of Art. While my painting skills and concepts were maturing, Grace taught us how to be artists.

    My work has been exhibited widely in the United States, as well as France and Japan. I am represented by Goya Contemporary in Baltimore and my work is included in many private and public collections including the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts. The honors I’ve received include a Maryland State Arts Council Fellowship and the Mellon Arts Grant. I’m Professor Emeritus from MICA’s Painting Department and live with husband, Designer Lew Fifield, in Baltimore City.

    While a great deal has changed in the natural world, my process echoes early experiences, walking woods and beaches collecting stones and plant material. I line my studio with the gathered specimens, which I research and drawn as I layer imagery into painted and digital mediums. Similarly, the concepts have evolved from representing the natural shapes I found wondrous, to visualizing the conditions of the climate crisis. The work celebrates the intricacies of thriving ecosystems yet laments threatened species. Such dichotomies, in nature as in art, bind us together as living entities in, on, and of the earth.

    PDF icon 2021 Narrative Bio
  • 2019 Observations from the Valley Floor Catalog

    Observations from the Valley Floor Catalog of 2019 exhibition at Katzen Art Center, American University Museum

    PDF icon 2019 Observations from the Valley Floor Catalog
  • 2017 Natural Selections Catalogue.pdf

    2017 Catalogue for the Solo Exhibition at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts

    PDF icon 2017 Natural Selections Catalogue.pdf
  • 2015 Metaphors of Light and Night Catalogue

    Catalogue published in 2015 on the occasion of Neill's solo Exhibition at Goya Contemporary, Baltimore, MD

    PDF icon 2015 Metaphors of Light and Night Catalogue
  • Molly Salah, Curator's Essay

    Molly Salah, Curator's Catalogue Essay
    Christine Neill’s watercolors are visual explorations of the natural world. Examinations of plant and occasionally insect life are captured in intricately drawn, intimate views of the environment seen at ground level. Neill’s works are not from the perspective of looking above or obliquely at her subjects. The viewer comes to the composition as if laying on the grass or forest floor. It is from the point of view of the animals and insects that inhabit these spaces that we, the human viewer, experience her work. She is particularly attuned to the biological cycle of plants and insects, opting for these subjects over other animals including people. Yet, humanity is indirectly the subject of her work, or rather the environmental impact the human species has on the planet, stating that her work “notes intersections where environmental and anthropological worlds meet.”[1]Her watercolors are snapshots of a world that most people pass through every day without noticing the life force contained within. Neill captures moments in time happening adjacent to us every day, but which go ignored.

    PDF icon Molly Salah, Curator's Essay
  • 2019Hanes Essay Endangered, Invasive, Beneficial

    2019 Stephanie Hanes Catalogue Essay ENDANGERED,INVASIVE, BENEFICIAL

    Endangered
    In early 2019, a group of international scientists made headlines when they warned that nearly a million of the world’s species were threatened with extinction. Around the same time, the IUCN – the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which keeps the widely-cited “Red List” of threatened and endangered species – announced similarly dire findings. None of the species it analyzes had become more secure over the prior year, the group said. To contrary, nearly 30,000 of those 105,000 animals and plants were at risk of dying out, some imminently.
    Across the environmental spectrum, scientists and policymakers reacted to these findings with alarm, but not surprise. For some time now, many have been warning that we are in the midst of the “sixth great extinction.” In other words, there have been five times in the past half billion years that a large percentage of life on earth disappeared. Now, environmentalists fear, we are seeing number six.
    Human behavior is to blame for this new extinction. Habitat destruction, over-hunting, the dramatic increase in greenhouse gas emissions are among the myriad ways that people have impacted the earth like no other species.
    This world-wide endangerment is terrifying and overwhelming.
    It can also, in Christine Neill’s hands, be joltingly beautiful.
    For years, Neill has found herself drawn to those places in nature where toxicity and danger merge with the radiant. More recently she has embraced the endangered, those species and places that face the greatest existential hazard. “Disappearing Cavendish,” for instance, has as its main subject the Cavendish banana – the most commonly eaten banana in the world, long favored by big agriculture, and now threatened globally by a devastating fungal disease.
    The story of the Cavendish is layered in a way characteristic of Neill’s work.
    In the middle of the 20th century, the Cavendish was the answer to a different, devastating fungal infection. That disease was threatening to wipe out the Gros Michel banana, the variety that had been planted across the tropics by colonizers and their corporate successors. As growers scrambled to find an alternative, they came across the Cavendish.
    It was not as tasty as the Gros Michel. But the Cavendish traveled well. And most importantly it seemed be resistant to the Panama Disease, which was not only destroying fruit but the economies and livelihoods that depended on it.
    And so the banana growers swapped one monoculture for another.
    There is a risk, though, when large corporate farmers decide that one, and only one, variety of plant will be grown. Not only does it push out other species by human selection and habitat consumption, the lack of genetic diversity makes it shockingly susceptible to disease, climate changes and newly introduced pests. A monoculture is inherently endangered. And so, in some ways, it should not be surprising that the Panama Disease itself adapted and now threatens the Cavendish. In other words, nearly all of the banana plants in the world are endangered.

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  • Mark Jenkins, Washington Post Review

    Review of Neill's exhibit by Mark Jenkins, The Washington Post
    November 28, 2019

    In the galleries: At American University Museum, a world of atmosphere
    By Mark Jenkins
    The atmosphere is humid at the American University Museum, where Christine Neill, Pam Rogers, Lynn Sures and Mel Watkin are showing botanically inspired art.
    In another age, Christine Neill might have spent her career celebrating nature’s beauty. There’s much of that in her “Observations From the Valley Floor,” but these delicate yet vigorous mixed-media pictures also contain intimations of disaster. Among the exemplary pieces are depictions of the fatal bleaching of coral reefs and the damage done by invasive insect species.

    Neill combines traditional drawing, printmaking and watercolor painting with contemporary devices and techniques. She often uses Plexiglas to position imagery on multiple levels, and sometimes laser-cuts paper to yield details such as actual perforations in bug-chewed leaves. The precision of the renderings contrasts looser gestures and the lush pileup of overlapping elements. Nature is under attack in Neill’s pictures, but still teeming.

    PDF icon Mark Jenkins, Washington Post Review