• thomas neel scenic view
  • butterfly in clouds
  • slide 6
  • fabric textiles
  • slide 8
  • slide 7
  • sunset mountains


Tom Neel

Creative Time Of Day

Creative time of day

Many artists find that there is a time of day when they are hyper sensitive to ideas and a free flowing mind. For me it’s the morning, just as I’m waking, but still lying in bed. My wife would tell you that I’m an idea guy, always coming up with new things. But first thing in the morning for some reason is the best time of all.

You Make Things

Hands that create things

It is not as easy to look inside your mind as it is to look at your hands. The two have a great connection though. Look at them, your hands, front and back. Look at every finger and thumb, at every line and callus. Look at your hands that make things by way of skillful touch, grasp and feel.

What Do You Write On Your Artwork?

Copyright info on the back of a painting

So, your artwork is completed, and it’s time to sign it, what else should you write on your artwork? Well first, let’s talk about why you should even sign your artwork! Art is not only a creative thing, it’s a original creative property. You own the rights to this creation and certainly there is no better way in beginning your proof than signing it or making your mark.

Wellness Through Creativity

Low stress help promote wellness

We all care about health, particularly our health, and some certainly more than others. I have been fortunate to be healthy, but my parents weren’t so lucky. My father had a gene related ailment and both he and my mother were smokers. In the end their wellness failed them. Hidden message here - don’t smoke.

Purging Your Studio

Tom Neel's Studio

We artists can be like little squirrels trying to hide nuts for the winter. We put things here, we puts things there, we basically put stuff everywhere! It is as if we grow stuff in the way of odd stretcher bars, left over frames, photos, notes and sketches. Between the tools of the trade and the keeping of keeping on, we can be overrun by our own creative selves.

Jump Start! FIVE Inspirational Things You Can Do Today!

Five things you can do


Juices not flowing? Need some creative stimulation, ideas and thoughts? Okay, here are 5 things that may put some perk in your percolator!

Signs Of Inspiration Are Everywhere

Found inspiration

Look around you creatives, inspiration is everywhere! From the vibrant seasonal colors of spring and fall, to the varied greens of summer or countless earthy desert hues. Nature delivers and not just color, but sounds of the wind, water, birds and all kinds of man made things. Decades of architecture ascend, trees and mountains rise, sunrises and sunsets blaze the sky, as do the bluest blues and clouds of every shape.

Pricing Your Artwork

Tom Neel speaking about pricing artwork

Possibly the hardest thing an artist will do is find a proper value to put on their artwork, and here in lies a big part of the problem. Most often they begin placing the value solely on the product and not themselves. Listen, I’m going to come right out and tell you, this is a BIG topic, one I plan on more properly covering in my upcoming podcast, but let me try for now to offer a good perspective.

Delivering, Hanging or Placing Your Art

Artwork hung on a curved wall

 Delivering, hanging or placing your art in a client’s home or office can offer a wonderful opportunity to get to know your client better and to visualize their art needs, but do not forget that you are providing a service and you better do a good job of it. If there is one thing that has allowed my art business to grow, it is without question providing the service of free delivery and hanging my art. As an artist, it takes me to a whole new level.

Accepting That You Are An Artist!

The painting pallet of Linda Hendrickson

We artists can be an interesting bunch can’t we? Filled with our quirks and characteristics. One such characteristic can be just defining ourselves as artists in the first place. For some there’s intimidation in the title. That, I’m not worthy, I haven’t earned it, a fear of putting the cart before the horse. Some of this comes from seeing the amazing work of masters throughout history, placed by society in that lofty place they hold in art history.

When Is It Time To Sell Your Work?

Gallery owner hanging an art show

Okay, so you have been creating artwork or taking lessons for a year or so and you’re thinking you might like to sell your work.  Is it time?  Boy, this can be a hard question to answer.  I’ve found that sometimes new artists attempt or even successfully sell their work too early and here’s why.  Yes, you may be a protégé, gifted beyond belief, but for the most part you still haven’t likely found yourself, or found your feet in all of this.  Just because you are making art, even art you and your friends like, doesn’t mean it’s time.  

Communicating With Your Galleries

Often artists find gallery representation without even knowing what a gallery's real responsibility is in this relationship.You know your responsibility is to create artwork and get it to them, and it’s easy to assume that their responsibility is to sell it. Frankly, the gallery’s roll is one of representation, which means to show, market and sell your work. That would mean advertise it, promote it through social media, have shows to invite their clients to meet you and see your work.

H2O Oil Paint

The three brands of H2O Oil paint

 They say oil and water don’t mix. Well it turns out they were a tad wrong about that theory. Over 20 years ago, two very successful artists I knew and represented, largely worked in detail using acrylic paint,. Both over the course of a year made a switch to MAX water soluble oils by Grumbacher.

The Carrot and The Stick

Carrot and stick

 Are you the old mule, mindlessly pulling the cart in an effort to get the carrot dangling in front of you, while also stepping it up to avoid the sting of that stick at your rear? A friend who published a popular financial newsletter years ago once told me while discussing why people read his newsletter, that people are motivated by two things, greed and fear.

Book Club, Why Not Art Club?

Art Club sign

What’s the point of a book being part of a book club anyway. There’s a book, you read it, and then get together with like minded people and discuss it. Hey, that’s a great idea! So, let me ask how many of you have traveled to far away cities, and in the process of doing so you have visited an art museum? I suspect, many of you have. So, there inside are treasures from the art world, all with a story to tell.

Sense of Place

Waterfall photo in Virginia depicting a sense of place

Sometimes creativity comes from a strong sense of place, a good foundation for which you can build on. I happen to be a landscape painter and so my sense of place is ever present in my work. But what is a sense of place? For me it’s a place where ...

Page 1 of 2



Follow LAAL!


Don’t miss a single article!

Live An Artful Life Magazine is the digital publication for your artful life. We strive to be a source of inspiration and connection for all who care about creativity of any genre. Subscribe today!


Web ad TN










We strive to be a source of inspiration
and connection for all who care about creativity.

We never sell or give out your email
so you can subscribe safely and
never miss a single article