Friday, March 06, 2009

1st Completed Commission: Discovery


Discovery
oil on canvas
24'' x 24"

I finished the first painting for the Chicago commission yesterday, and I'm very happy with it. The company is dedicated to promoting childrens' health, and each of these four paintings is to represent a specific theme in the development of a child. The subject of this piece is "discovery". I developed this composition by re-visiting my own childhood. My brother Doug, and I were both fervent naturalists in our youth. My brother especially. Had he followed that route, I think he would have made an extraordinary scientist. I did "encourage" him somewhat. To this day he recounts the story of how I forced him into a closet, and refused to release him until he had named all of the geological epochs. In chronological order. Fossils, sea shells, rocks, fish, insects and reptiles were a big part of our young lives. So, when I pondered on how I would portray discovery, I concluded that my own childhood discovery of the natural world was what I wanted to represent. "Learning" is on the easel now.


10 comments:

Chris said...

Very nice. And a surprise. I love the graphical design, the circle and squares.

And I personally find it to be fitting for the subject.

During the past summer, we (my kids, wife and I) collected several insects and, all in the name of science (discovery) put them in these little glass-top display boxes. And every kid who encountered these boxes as we went through parks looking for more specimens was thrilled with them. We even carried around a magnifying glass to get a better look.

I grew up in a place where fossil hunting was a pastime, and as kids we'd always come home with tiny fossilized plants. I guess that's another reason why this piece strikes a cord with me.

Well done!!

James Neil Hollingsworth said...

Thanks Chris - It's really nice to hear that this composition fulfills the requirement for the theme. I love the story of your summer collecting insects. When we lived in Pennsylvania, we went fossil hunting a lot. Great fun. Wonderful memories. Thanks again, Neil

Janet Ternoff said...

What a beautiful, peaceful image Neil! I love the balance of the composition and the beautiful details in the painting. Absolutely beautiful!

Heather Page said...

This is absolutely fantastic! Wow!

Terry Rafferty said...

You've outdone yourself. This is absolute perfection in both concept and execution. Perfect, perfect, perfect.
Wow.

Chris Beck said...

Very, very nice! I love the way you used the magnifying glass - almost like a painting within the painting!

Micah Neff said...

WOW.....I love this. It has everything; composition, colour harmony, and beautiful lines. We have 3 grown sons, this brings up a lot of memories.

Pierre Raby said...

There is something precious and humble with this detailed painting.
Moving post and art Neil- this use of warm/cool in your palette reminds the mysterious colors of insects. Beautiful.

Jennifer Bellinger said...

Yes, this fills the bill nicely. Wonderful that you have drawn on your own childhood for inspiration. I am enjoying following your recent commission work! Oh, and I've tagged you. Please visit my blog for details. It's a fun way to meet other artists.

Paul said...

Absolutely beautiful Neil!!!!! The composition and colours are just superb.