Wednesday, February 09, 2011

I am now blogging directly on my website.

Please stop by my new blog.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Trinity













The Blessed Trinity is an oil painting on a 21X34 lauan panel. The painting presents the viewer with the image of a seascape that forms the backdrop for a surreal triad of primary shapes and colors – a yellow triangle, a red cube, and a blue circle. The shapes interact with two lines that intersect at a right angle and are derived by drawing diagonals through the mother/daughter pair of golden rectangles contained in the dimensions of the panel. The long diagonal symbolizes time and the short diagonal symbolizes space.

The Father
God the Father is symbolized by a yellow triangle. The triangle has long been a symbol for God and reason, as evidenced by the Hebrew use of an equilateral triangle to symbolize God; and the many versions of the Eye of God image that appear throughout history. The position of the triangle at the intersection of time and space symbolizes God’s mastery over creation. The color associated with The Father is yellow, the brightest and warmest of the three primary colors. Yellow shines with a brilliance that overwhelms all other colors.


The Son
Jesus Christ is symbolized by the red cube. The three dimensional cube represents matter and weight. Likewise in his humanity, Christ was an inhabitant of the earth with form and mass. When the sides of a cube are opened as in the illustration, a cross is formed which symbolizes Christ’s victory over death. The image of the cube appears much closer to the viewer and is part of the seascape. The color of the cube is red, the symbol of life, courage, valor and martyrdom.

The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is symbolized by a blue circle. The circle is a locus of points moving at a constant distance from a central point, which is in contrast to the sharp lines and angles of the other two shapes. The circle represents the gentile movement of the spirit flowing through our lives. It is much larger in relation to the triangle and cube because the Holy Spirit interacts with us to a greater extent and thus has a greater influence on our actions. The great size of the circle does not have the mass of the cube nor the brilliance of the triangle. Rather, it is a floating, airy spiritual image that is difficult to see but easy to sense. The color of the circle is transparent blue, the symbol of cool water and flowing motion.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Fall of Lucifer Donated to Art With Heart 2010


Everyone who has admired Fall of Lucifer can have the opportunity to bid on the framed oil painting at the Art with Heart fundraiser in support of the San Jose Clinic.

For more information, please go to: http://ftp.sanjoseclinic.org/coppermine/thumbnails.php?album=9

Monday, September 28, 2009

Whisper of the Spirit


This is a work in process tentatively titled Whisper of the Spirit.  It is a 24X36 inch oil painting on canvas.  The image is currently a grisaille underpainting.  The concept behind the painting is to show the movement of the Holy Spirit as a gentle breeze that moves the soul of those who listen.

Please feel free to comment on the concept or the execution of the painting.



Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Phlegethon


This acrylic painting is titled The Phlegethon. The image is that of the fiery river Phlegethon as it flows through Tartarus - The area of Hades reserved for punishment of souls deemed unworthy by the gods. The painting is an 18X15.5 canvas mounted to a reused Plexiglas sheet.

I like using plexi panels because they are impervious to the atmosphere, vermin, normal temperature ranges, and most chemicals. They also give me the opportunity to keep non-biodegradable materials out of our landfills, and put their longevety to good use.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Elysian Fields

This is my latest acrylic painting. Elysian Fields is a 16X20 canvas panel (canvas mounted to a sheet of acrylic plexiglass).

Friday, July 03, 2009

Happy 4th of July America!


This is a 24X36 acrylic painting that I recently completed to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. How many people throughout the world owe not only their freedom, but their very existence to the founding fathers of this great country and successive generations of American heroes?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Blessed Trinity Completed


I posted a WIP image of this on April 12, 2009, and have finally completed the painting after starting and stoping many times.

The idea behind the painting is to present the concept of the Blessed Trinity graphically using the metaphor of the primary colors and primary shapes to represent the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

God the Father is yellow, the warmest and brightest of the primary colors. The triangle symbolizes perfection, thought, and creative power.

Jesus, God the Son, is red to symbolize his martyrdom. Red is the color of love, courage and human passion. It symbolizes the humanity of Jesus through the blood that ran through his mortal body. Likewise the square is the symbol for the earth, the domain of humanity.

The Holy Spirit is symbolized by the cool fluidity of blue. The circle symbolizes relaxation and smooth motion. It represents the guidance, inspiration and grace that we receive from the Holy Spirit.

I have also worked with the composition to give it a feel of depth with the blue circle moving closer to the viewer and the yellow triangle moving to the background.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Galveston Waits for Ike


Here is the finished version of Galveston Waits for Ike - unless I begin to obsess over some of the details.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Galveston Waits for Ike - WIP

This is an initial layer of a painting that depicts the beach at Galveston just before Ike begins its approach. A fishing pier will be added just at the horizon line. Below is a brief narrative of the painting's key elements.

The granite sentries keep watch in the eternal struggle between land and sea. The looming assault from hurricane Ike is a couple of days off the coast of Galveston, Texas. Allied with the land, we have added a concrete seawall along the border and stationed the sentries in front. A lone pier extends the land over the sea and facilitates the harvest of food from its depths. In the end, the land will stand firm and prevail against the sea, but the pier will fall victim to the violence.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

The Futile Crescent - Finished


Here is the finished version of The Futile Crescent. The images all point to the long history of war and conquest that has characterized the fertile crescent.
My next painting is a somber view of the Galveston coastline as Ike approaches.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Futile Crescent - Continued


Here is an update to the painting.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Futile Crescent - Continued


This is a continuation of the previous post. The paint is still wet, which causes a glare in some areas of the photo. Essentially, I have added some detail to the crossed sabers, the Mosque on the right side the 50 cal, and the Yusafiyah power plant.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Futile Crescent - WIP



This is another work in progress. It is an oil painting on an 18X24 lauan panel. My son, who is currently deployed with the Army Infantry in Baghdad, suggested the painting. I think that I have all of the elements in place, with the possible exception of a crescent moon in the upper right corner.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Blessed Trinity-WIP

This is my latest painting, which is still a work in progress, titled Blessed Trinity. It is an abstract representation of the christian dogma of the Blessed Trinity - three unique and distinct divine Persons who form the single God. I am still trying to work out the composition and the symbolism, so any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fall of Lucifer


I just completed the oil painting at the left. It is a 24X36 abstract image of St. Michael defeating Lucifer and casting him into the emptiness of hell. The painting is executed in painting knife on stretched canvas. The concept is to use multiple layers of thick paint with an emphasis on primary colors to depict the violence of combat between the two spiritual beings.
This is a continuation of my desire to bring modern techniques and materials to traditional Catholic themes.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Annunciation

Here is the more or less completed version of The Annunciation. It is charcoal and acrylic paint on a 24X30 lauan panel. A cord rosary has been pressed into a thick layer of gesso to leave its impression in the painting.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Study for The Annunciation

This is a rough study for a painting of the Annunciation that I am beginning. The idea is to portray the moment that the Blessed Mother accepts the responsibility for concieving, giving birth to and raising our Savior.

I intend to keep the image loose with the original charcoal sketch visible over the glazing. This is a project that I discussed in an earlier blog entry; to execute a series of paintings that portray the Mysteries of the Rosary in a way that will help the viewer meditate on each Mystery.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Creation of Eve

This is my newest creation, which is titled Creation of Eve. The image depicts the moment when God created Eve from the side or rib of Adam.
The painting is on a 26X16 stretched canvas. There is a thick oil ground that provides some texture under the painted image. Comments are as always appreciated.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What's in a name?


After using my last name "McNeel" as my artist signature, I have decided on a new signature. Beginning with the painting titled The Fishing Party, I have changed my signature to "Lefty" as shown above. I have always believed that my left-handedness was an important element of my artwork and one of the defining characteristics of my life, which is why it makes a lot of sense to make this change.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Gypsy


I have finished another painting that I call Gypsy. It is primarily executed in painting knife for a heavy impasto effect. I like to use the knife for a couple of reasons; it reduces my tendency to obsess over details, and it keeps the colors fresh.
Several years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Santa Fe, NM on business. I was amazed at the intensity of the Flamenco dancers and especially the guitarists. I have wanted to capture that frenzy of sound and motion on canvas ever since.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Fishing Party


This is my latest painting, which was completed a couple of weeks ago. I am currently working on two new paintings; an abstract image of a flamenco dancer, and a painting of the torso Ishtar.
I continue to be drawn to images from my Catholic tradition, and plan to execute a series of paintings depicting these themes.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Two New Paintings




I apologize for my lack of posts over the last several months. I plan to post much more frequently in the future. I have completed two new paintings over the last couple of months. I have been very busy with work, and the frame shop that my wife and I own, so I haven't had a lot of time to paint. I am experimenting with Acrylic paint to help me produce artwork with my time limitations.

The following are a landscape and a seascape that have been pushed a little beyond representational images, but not quite as far as abstraction. The first is titled Forest Landscape, and it is based on local east Texas scenery. The second is titled St. Somewhere and it is based on images from the Caribbean.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

At last, a new painting


After several months focusing on other areas of my life, I have finally taken some time to paint. This is an inspirational painting that I have named The Fisherman.


It represents the image of Saint Peter with the netting of his former trade draped around him. His facial expression shows a combination of sadness at our weakness, as well as an understanding of our human nature.


Friday, February 10, 2006

Finally Finished


Here is the finished version of the Mardi Gras painting. I have changed the title to Mardi Gras 2006 to be consistant with Mardi Gras 2005. I will be exhibiting this and other paintings at Art in the Park in Galveston, TX on March 4, 2006. I hope that it will be a nice day with a good turnout.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Work in Progress


This is a work in progress for my 2006 Mardi Gras painting. I am planning on calling it New Orleans Reborn in honor of the great work being done to bring New Orleans back from the Katrina disaster. I have another couple of weeks work on it, and will post the finished version later.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Checking In


It has been quite a while since my last entry. I am currently working on a large figurative painting for Mardi Gras 2006. I intend to complete one of these each year to celebrate Mardi Gras in general and the Galveston version of the feast in particular.

The image to the left is my first Mardi Gras painting Mardi Gras 2005. I will submit an work in process for the new painting later in the week.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Bayou City Arts Festival

I went to the Bayou City Arts Festival today in downtown Houston. The weather was perfect, and the art was great. It is always an inspiration to see such a volume of really good artwork.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Changing Completed Paintings

I just finished making some changes to a painting that I "completed" a couple of years ago. The standard logic warns against doing this because you are going against your initial determination that the painting is finished. I have many paintings that I have completed, but not to my satisfaction. Typically it is a compositional problem. A little time and enough thought will usually allow me to work through the solution, and then I can finish the painting to my satisfaction.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Third Sorrowful Mystery


This is the first in a series of Rosary Mysteries. The intent is for them to be abstract images that assist in meditation and prayer. I will probably increase the contrast on this a little and then it will be complete. For those of you interested in the mysteries, here is a link -
Rosary Mysteries.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Hurricane Katrina

The photos and reports are so awful! What a tragedy.