Art Spot: Neil Groeneveld

Art Spot: Neil Groeneveld

Neil Groeneveld’s watercolours are on display at the Wolfville Memorial Library, 21 Elm Avenue, throughout the month of February. His work can also be found at Evangeline Artists’ Cooperative events, and on his Facebook page.

I’m a retired school teacher and moved to Wolfville with my family in 2011. I’ve been engaged in drawing and painting, as well as woodworking and photography, for much of my life. I’ve been painting in watercolour for about 15 years and, since living in Wolfville, I’ve had many opportunities to study with other artists, which has encouraged me to focus more of my time and energy towards painting. Art is just part of who I am as a person and I cannot remember a time that I did not engage in some artistic endeavour.

I’ve been a woodcrafter for many years and have sold artisanal work in the past. I have built and sold electric guitars. Over the last three years, I’ve spent more time with painting, and since I joined the Evangeline Artists’ Cooperative last year, I’ve been displaying my paintings in public. I paint at home at any time of day.

I’m still experimenting with style, but I’m currently painting mostly in a ‘realistic’ style. I enjoy working with an accurate, detailed drawing on the paper before starting with paint. I find this suits my disposition quite well, since as a woodworker, I’m accustomed to careful planning of layout, precision measurement and marking, and working to very fine tolerances. My process begins with my own photos and I often go on photo-taking expeditions in search of content. This could be something as simple as going out to the garden, or I may drive to one of the local harbours. I’m interested in scenes that I find instill a sense of calm, peacefulness, and relaxation. I take many pictures, and I find the process of editing the photos for composition to be a very relaxing task. These photos form the basis of my paintings, but I am able to make whatever adjustment I desire in terms of colour and composition. I find it very interesting that simple objects, both natural and person-created can inspire emotional reactions in both myself, and those who view my work.

Living in the Annapolis Valley is well suited to our lifestyle of outdoor activity. We enjoy the pastoral landscape, the wineries, the farm markets, the artists and artisans, and the cultural events associated with Acadia University. Living here has inspired me to become even more creative.