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KD Neeley, a New Mexico Artist

KD Neeley | A Brief Biography

Today is March 22, 2017. I feel the date is relevant because I will change by the next time I write this biography again. I know that there is a proper way to do this but it doesn't work for me. I think the first challenge is that I don't know who I'm talking to. Information is only interesting in context and any information about me could only possibly be interesting in the context of somebody else's experience, even if that experience is between a past and future self. I don't know what to say about making art when I don't know who I'm talking to. Art doesn't even exist without the viewer.
I was born in New Mexico, and that's where I live now. I moved back to New Mexico in October of 2010. Before that I had gone to New Zealand, to Colorado, Paris Island, North Carolina, 29 Palms, Okinawa, Fuji, Thailand, Jacksonville and then Iraq. Fellow Marines probably recognize the trail. I was married when I got out and lived in California for a time, Oceanside and Fallbrook and travelled between Los Angeles and San Diego on the art scene, working at a gallery in Carlsbad. I have four brothers and one sister and my parents are divorced. Half of my family is a mix of heavily spiritual non-Catholic Christians and the other half is a more relaxed but steady goers to Catholic church. I'm an Atheist. I used to be a missionary, but that's another story. 
New Mexican Artist KD Neeley
I've made a few paintings since my EAS back in October, 2007. None of them yet express much of what I experienced as a Marine or much of what I really feel now, as an adult. The handful of things I have created have been for school, commissions, and for the ethereal pleasure of the metaphysical aspects of color and emotion. There are also some images I have not shown to anyone, and I don't know if I ever will. I wonder what good it can do. 
That last paragraph was true until I painted 'My Lady'. You may have seen her. She's a Statue of Liberty with the Captain Picard face palm. I've got a few more up my sleeve too.  I have no idea what else to tell you. I guess I still have too much to say.
The most useful art teachers I've had in my life have been David Ewart, Gean Kimura, Lance Richlin, and Jennifer Lynn Johnson. I've had other good teachers as well, but these four deserve mentioning especially. I think that every artist is self taught and that's another story too. The relationship between teachers learning from students and students learning from teachers is what makes humanity unique in all the animal kingdom. 
I was too young to understand the deeper lessons I learned from David or Mr. Kimura while they taught me. Those lessons teach me still. I learn more from the memory of my lessons than I ever did from the mere moment. I might say this very same thing about Lance and Lynn Johnson one day but I met them later in life and am not yet to the point of retrospect.
Dave taught me how to draw what I see, how to mix color, prepare surfaces, and think in terms of the psychology of visual communication. There were other things he said too, things about life and about the purpose of art, the intentions of work, its role and usefulness...these are the things I still contemplate. I also like to break the rules he taught me whenever I can get away with it. Mr. Kimura would have taught me many of these same things if I hadn't already learned them from Dave.
Mr. Kimura taught me how to think about my work and see it the same way as work made by other artists. He demonstrated a way to treat other people and how the active relationships between people were more real than any painting ever could be. Every day I learn how this is more and more relevant to me, not as an artist, but as a human being. There is no reason to make art without people to share it with and conversations to have. Mr. Kimura was demonstrating a philosophy for how to live a meaningful life. He was the first person to bring me to see the galleries in Santa Fe. He tried his best to support my career but...I didn't know it back then. If I could tell myself what I know now I never would have learned it. He was a wonderful teacher. I should say he is a wonderful teacher since I am still learning from my memories of him.
"Without love, the heart is just a clock ticking." What can I tell you about Lance? It's too soon and I lack the professionalism he deserves. I've never had a more efficient teacher. Ten minutes with Lance will save you ten years of experience. I think we had two classes together and I'd equate it to twenty years. He's the only person I said goodbye to when I left California in terrible circumstances. Not because there weren't other people to say goodbye to, people who also deserved it, but for the knowledge he gave to me in that short time he deserved it the most. He refused to let me pay him for classes because I was a veteran. He was very stubborn about it too, I had to drop money on the floor and wait for him to wonder where the hell it came from and then convince him that it had been laying there and he must have dropped it. He won't know that unless he reads this. 
And Lynn? If it weren't for Lynn I wouldn't even be here and that's not even a figure of speech. Her art classes are like bootcamp for artists but that's not even the point. She saw that I was struggling psychologically. I wasn't struggling with the work, I was struggling to breathe and move and keep going on. She didn't just save my life, she's saved what's left of my mind. She takes in strays, animals and artists both. She shows us what home is and gets us to start showering again. She taught me all about the physics of paint and brushes and surfaces and how to properly stretch and seal a canvas and make gesso and miter panels and get the edges perfectly square and scumbling and glazing and how conmplimentary colors really work and how to make a painting with just those two colors! And how to paint like the old masters, by making the paintings they made. And fat over lean, impasto, palette knife painting, dry brush, wet on dry and on and on! I hope one day that I'll be as great a teacher as she is.
 
 
 
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In my youth I was trained as an illustrator studying Visual Communication with David D. Ewart, although this would have given my career a head start and although I did pursue college for a time at the Denver Colorado Art Institute and had been doing extremely well- I dropped out and spent my time on the streets of Denver talking with some of the homeless and found part-time work at Tumbleweed Floral, an eclectic flower shop. After the winter I moved back to New Mexico and began volunteer work with fellow artist Goerge Salas at a Homeless Veterans Shelter. I joined the Marine Corps in 2003 and served until 2007. Afterward, I started my own business as a self employed artist in California while working in the field of fine art as a studio assistant, gallery manager, and contractor for commissioned work. I moved back to New Mexico in 2010, and am continuing my career as a self-employed artist. 

 


 Experience


professional artist, designer, & muralist 
Self-employed  2007 - present

I produce original works of fine art in a variety of mediums. I work primarily in 2-D in both traditional and digital media. I'm a certified Adobe Expert and am constantly learning new techniques in both the physical and digital studio. As an independent visual artist, my experience has far surpassed the predictable tasks of making and reproducing works of fine art and valuable graphic-design assets. I am constantly learning new and creative ways to particpate in the world through my art. These valuable creative stragies include: seamless marketing, visual communication and identification for both meaningful branding and symbolic works of fine art, portfolio builidng, original fine-art reproduction photography and scanning, live performance painting, atmospheric design, strategy develoment for building an engaging social network, and creative / thematic engineering.

Logo design / branding | Willie Oteri
The Shaman's Dream | Oil Fresco on Gypsum Panel | private art collector
YouTube Channel / Video Blog Launch & audio transcription | A Word With Willie Oteri
Video Interview / Videography / Video Editing | Willie Oteri & ZiADiA
Video Editing | Art Outside | Willie Oteri & Kenny Dorham's Backyard
Majestic Love | Wedding Portrait (Original Fine Art Painting) | private art collectors
Sun Ra Portrait | Original Fine Art, painted live on stage | Kenny Dorham's Backyard | private art collector
Eric Dolphy Portrait | Original Fine Art, painted live on stage | Kenny Dorham's Backyard | private art collector
Live Performance Painting | Art Outside : A Special Jazz Outside Event | Willie Oteri Acoustic & ZiADiA
Merchandise Design & Production | Bebe La La & ZiADiA
2015 Band Poster Design & Production | Bebe La La
Videography / Editing / Interview | A Visit to the Chocolate Dude | ZiADiA , Bebe La La, & The Chocolate Dude
Videography / Editing / YouTube Channel Release | Bebe La La Jam Session | Bebe La La
Videography / Editing | Kickstarter Promotional Video | Ya' Gotta Have Harp & ZiADiA
The Oath | Oil on Panel Original Fine Art Painting | private art collectors
Ceiling Mural / private Home / private art collectors
Fireplace Mural / private Home / private art collectors
Faux Finishing / private home / private art collectors
Videography / Editing / YouTube Channel launch | Behind the Canvas starring Gary Gist | Painted Neverlands
Portfolio Building / Print-Photography & C.O.A. production | Gary Gist & Painted Neverlands
My Grandsons | charcoal on paper, a family portrait | private art collector
Journeys of Saint Pasha | large-scale pet portrait triptych | private art collectors
The Eighth Fool | mixed media on paper , original fine art | private art collector
The Phantom Carnival | custom large-scale reproduction | private art collector
Of Knowledge | Oil on Canvas, original fine art painting | private art collector
The Gift | Oil on Canvas, original fine art painting | private art collector
My Soul | licensing for reproduction | Indigo Whispers, Australia
Electric Desire | Album Cover Design | Matt Presti's Electric Desire
Ascension of the Soul | Oil on Canvas, triptych, original fine art | private art collector
Golden Lead | oil on canvas, original fine art | private art collector
Locked Doors | Oil on Canvas, symbolic original fine art | private art collector
Italian Mural on Stucco | private court yard | private art collector
Dishwasher Mural | decorative kitchen design printed on dishwasher door | private art collector
Pangaea | Oil on Panel, original fine art painting | private art collector
Home | Oil on Canvas, Symbolic Original Fine Art | private art collectors
Live Painting | Oceanside Art Gallery | with Joe Villela
My Soul | mixed media on paper, original fine art | private art collector
Klaus | a commemorative pet portrait | private art collector
Live Portrait Drawing | Coronado Skate Park, Albuquerque NM | learning live with David D. Ewart
Atmospheric Color Fields (specialty wall-painting) | private home | private art collectors
Family of Wolves : Symbolic Family Portrait | private home | private art collectors
Southwest Landscape mural on stucco | private fountain court yard | private art collector


Field wireman, switchboard operator, & fiber optic technician 
United States Marine Corps  2003 - 2007


I was responsible for installing telephone and switchboard systems, laying wire and cable, adjusting equipment for proper operation, recovering wire, locating wire system faults, and operating switchboards. My tasks included the installation, termination, and repair of telecommunication lines including: copper lines, CAT5 Ethernet cable, and Fiber lines, all in a field environment. I served in Iraq, locating faults in LAN networks, installing and repairing fiber optic cables and providing O.T.D.R. testing and fusion splicing to maintain our network communications systems.

 


 Education & Certification

 

I'm a self-taught visual artist. I have learned and continue to learn from fellow professionals both in and out of accredited institutions. In my youth I was taken under the wing of David D. Ewart who gave me two in-depth summers of Visual Communication philosophy and rigorous traditional training in Naturalism. I've studied at the Denver Colorado Art Institution. I've studied briefly with Lance Richlin in Los Angeles, California learning wet on wet oil-blending techniques. I've studied a variety of techniques in a series of intensive classes taught by Jennifer Lynn Johnson. I've participated in fantastic workshops with Guy Aitchison, Hannah Aitchison, and Nick Baxter. I have a lifetime membership at the Central New Mexico Community College Art Club where I participate in their fantastic ongoing workshops. 

Central New Mexico Community College | Studio Art
2014 Associate of Arts
Adobe Certified Expert | Photoshop CS6
2014
Adobe Certified Expert | Illustrator CS6
2014
Associated Technical College
2006 Telecommunications Technology
Marine Corps | Communication & Electronics
2004 Field Wireman

 


Skills

 

Visual Communication

Theories in visual communication were originally taught to me by my first mentor, David D. Ewart. I continue to expand on them to incorporate all of the strange facts I find that result from experiments and research in neuroscience, psychology and marketing, and everything I can gain from the research of Margaret Livingstone, and the wacky intrigue of cultural translations in symbolism. My skills in visual communication help me find effective creative solutions for any range of graphic needs from logos to visual public statements to endearing private works of fine art.

 

Portfolio Building

I photograph and/or scan original works of art. I prepare the digital renditions for both printing and web services, including watermarking. I use the same digital files to assemble a Certificate of Authenticity, to print, sign, and fingerprint by the artist for the Art Collector. Each C.O.A. is attached to the back of the painting or saved in an envelope to be shipped to the gallery along with the original work of art. I also offer online gallery SEO services finding relevant hashtags and keywords for each work of art, writing a description, file-name, alt and title tags, dimension and medium data for each original work of art to be ready for hosting. I can also upload and incorporate all of this data to any online gallery (FineArtAmerica, ArtSlant, etc) as well as photograph and prepare the artist professional head-shots and action shots for their profiles and Bio pictures, and more. (Edit articles and biographies, conduct interviews for both articles, audio, transcription, and video interviews that I can also edit and publish on YouTube.) I can also offer a seminar and presentation to artists to teach any of these skills to individuals or groups.

 

Creative and Thematic Engineering

I've been doing creative and thematic engineering since 2011 with fellow artist Miko Zen. It's a process that began in our conversations and debates and has evolved into exciting and beneficial brainstorming meetings that elaborate on abstract themes or notions, and design networks that can grow and flourish as successful pursuits for websites, marketing plans, events, product lines, and more.

Social Marketing Stratagem and Consultation

I can provide consultation and instruction on utilizing  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media tools for professionals and businesses. 

 


Exhibitions

 

I've participated in exhibitions for 7 years across 3 states: California, New Mexico, and Texas. I've shown and sold work through both galleries, businesses, and independent venues during events. During these exhibitions, my works have sold to private collectors, public figures, and local celebrities. 

 

 Exhibits

 

2015
 Exhibition with Miko Zen.
Art Outside.
 Kenny Dorham's Backyard. Austin, TX.
2015
 Exhibition with Miko Zen.
Zia Flower.
 Java Joe's. Albuquerque, NM.
2014
 Exhibition with Miko Zen.
Death on Tap.
 Slice Parlor. Albuquerque, NM.
2014
 Exhibition with Nathan Perry.
Plato’s Cave.
 Griffin Gallery. Albuquerque, NM.
2013 
 Solo Exhibition.
Vaporous Visions. 
 Fusion Kings. Rio Rancho, NM.
2012 
 Group Exhibition.
Known Unknowns. 
 Downtown Contemporary Gallery. Albuquerque, NM.
2011 
 Group Exhibition. 
The Chapel. 
 Oro Art Gallery. Albuquerque, NM.
2010 
 Group Exhibition. 
Easel. 
 Alexander Salazar Fine Art. San Diego, CA.
2010 
 Group Exhibition. 
A Celebration of Artists. 
 Carlsbad Art District Gallery. Carlsbad, CA.
2009 
 Group Exhibition. 
Colors of Africa. 
 Oceanside Art Gallery. Oceanside, CA.
2009 
 Group Exhibition.
Kaleidoscope. 
 JC Gallery & Studio. Oceanside, CA.
2008 
 Group Exhibition.
11th Annual New Mexico Veteran's Art Show. 
 State Fair Grounds. Albuquerque, NM.
 
 




Awards

 

2008 
 1st & 3rd Place Awards. 

11th Annual New Mexico Veteran's Art Show.

2002 
 Excellence in Visual Arts. Scholarship Award. 

Rio Rancho High School. Rio Rancho, NM.

2002 
 Special Congressional Recognition.
Congressman Tom Udall. 
 An Artistic Discovery. NM.

 

 
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