Tom Neel

Inspire Yourself

an abstract image

Creativity really does begin with inspiration. But the inspiration doesn't necessarily have to come directly from others or externally. If you feed your mind generously, it will, in turn, provide your soul with creative hunger.

Going For It

wall climbing

I’m a bit of a hyper-creative type, meaning if I’m not creating something in one medium or way, I’m definitely am in another. Most know me as a painter, but to be completely honest my dear readers, I haven’t picked up a paintbrush in a while.

Finding Your Medium

paint brush with different colors

I get asked about what medium I use a fair amount. Now, before I share the answer I give, I would like to share that most often I know that the person doing the asking is just asking to ask, as they know little to nothing about paint.

The Passing of a Friend

cat face

I’ve often said that creativity is my friend. There’s been plenty of days when it has spoken to me or I to it in the most useful ways. There have been days when I’ve leaned on it or it on me to make something happen, something out of nothing. I have painted or been in the height of creativity through the worst and best of economic times, and times of great sorrow and happiness.

State of Mind

logo of NC Arts Council

Linda and I have been spending time here in North Carolina which has a rich arts and artisan history, and one need not go far in any direction to find the state’s artistic influences.

A Musician's Life

Silhouette of a muscian

I have a good friend I’ve known for years who did well in life as a business person and entrepreneur. As his early retirement neared he jumped deeply back into his college love of jazz and playing the trumpet. He did not fool around, he devoted himself to becoming a full-time musician although the need for money wasn’t there as it would be for most musicians.

Back In The Saddle

Summer sunrise

Well, though summer is only halfway through, it seems my summer blog break is over. The keyboard has fallen under my digits and I’m here to pass along my thoughts. Let’s begin with the fact that after some 31 years of regularly holding an artist’s paintbrush for a living, I have not picked one up for that reason for over a month, but a commission will begin before too long. Most important though is I never really, at least for income purposes, ever have to again.

Summer Break

photo of thomas neel

There will be a bit of a re-boot going on around here soon. Linda and I have purchased a home in Denver, North Carolina just outside of the city of Charlotte. North Carolina is a powerfully artful place and I can’t wait to bring you new juice from both there and here, as I go back and forth as my artistic aspirations swell.


White Painting

I recently had a speaking engagement for Franklin Parks Art Center’s opening reception of their show titled Monochromatic. There I told the story of visiting the National Gallery of Art’s 10th Anniversary of the East Building and their exhibition - Twentieth-Century Painting and Sculpture: Selections for the Tenth Anniversary of the East Building.

Speaking Wednesday at Franklin Park Arts Center

Book signing details

I’m looking forward to my speaking engagement and book signing at Franklin Park Arts Center as part of their opening reception for “Monochromatic.” Franklin Park Art Center is located at 36441 Blueridge View Lane, Purcellville, VA 20132.

Have You Read Live An Artful Life?

Thomas Neel photo

For about the last decade I have been writing a column I created for The Middleburg Eccentric newspaper. Month after month, year after year I’ve passed along my creative thoughts and opinions and I’m so appreciative of those of you who let me know that you read it regularly.

Coming up on five years ago Linda and I started Live An Artful Life Magazine, which developed into more of a web-mag, but my digits hitting the keys didn’t care. I found it to be a place to expand on my thoughts past the space limitations of my newspaper column.

Creativity and Wellness

woman with arms out on stump

Chapter 2 in my new book Live An Artful Life is tilted, Lifestyle, Happiness, and Wellness. This chapter comes quickly in the book because of its overall importance to the process of living artfully. I begin this chapter with Life can be mundane if you allow it to be.  The good thing is it doesn’t have to be.  It just takes one simple change to truly live artfully, and that’s being carefree.

Spinning Plates

Erich Brenn spinning plates

When I was a boy a real treat was watching the Ed Sullivan Show. For those too young to remember, Ed Sullivan had a very popular variety show. The closest thing we have to variety shows today would be something like America’s Got Talent. But during the 1950s and 60s, and even into the 70s, variety shows were very popular. One by one, Ed Sullivan would introduce his next act by saying, “And now ladies and gentleman…” and the next act would appear.

Book Cover Art is Real Art

cover image of a tree

In my thirty plus years of being a fine artist and creative consultant, I have covered a lot of creative ground, but for some reason, none felt so important or even high pressured as working on a book cover.

Where Do You Fit Into the World of Art?

a world of color

There’s a creative puzzle in play across the world. All kinds of puzzle pieces scattered all about, all trying to fit in. It’s a puzzle of color, a puzzle of texture, a puzzle of multi-race and culture, gender and age.

Painting is Like Cooking

Cooking ingredients

When inquisitive beginners ask me about painting, I tell them its a bit like cooking. You have equipment like a stove, (your easel), tools like pots and pans, (think brushes and palette), you have ingredients, (your paints), a recipe, (realism, abstract, etc.) and then there is you, (the chef).

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Live An Artful Life 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.


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