All New Art Prints & Mounted Canvasses at Shadow Art Finds!

Now available at Shadow Art Finds…

All new print sizes,  Including small and inexpensive 8″ x 10″ and 16″ x 20″!

Also…

Mounted canvas prints have been upgraded to be even more heavy duty. Wooden frames now a full 1″ thick and gallery wrapped!

Click the pic below to explore more than 150 prints!


 

Coffee Table Cats – A Mini Art Book by J Edward Neill

Black cats aren’t so unlucky….

Charming, sensitive, and wily, these enchanted felines bring love to every heart they touch.

In this artsy book by J Edward Neill, enjoy numerous illustrations of our black cat friends, each paired with a loving tribute.

Each piece of cat art is based on one of J Edward’s original paintings, and appears in full-color.

Now available in paperback and hardcover!!


Why I Can’t Bring Myself to do Commissioned Art

“Can you paint a portrait of me, but as a sexy, armor-wearing warrior queen? And thirty lbs. lighter?”

No. And you mean forty-five lbs.

“Can you paint my dog? He’s really cute. Look how his tongue hangs out the left side of his mouth. I really want to capture him in a painting.”

No. Your dog isn’t cute. Also, you have no money.

“Can you paint a lovely little orange barn with a giant Florida Gators logo on the side?”

Instead of that, can I paint a giant dark tower with a logo of a massive alligator demon devouring the souls of the innocent?

“Can I wait until you finish painting my commission to pay you anything?”

No. Go download something free off the web.

Ashes for Ande – A commissioned piece. Never got paid, so I kept it.

I know why artists do commissions.

At least…I think I do.

For artists who have a strong foothold in the industry, who sell every single painting they create, and who can demand a high commission fee, doing custom-to-client work can be lucrative.

For everyone else, not so much.

In the past, I’ve entertained commission work. The orange barn with the Gators logo? Yeah, that was a real commission I did. I spent a ton of time and materials in an effort to make it perfect. I delivered, and the buyer paid me as promised. Only trouble was – I lost money on the sale. I invested far more time than I could ever hope to recoup. And more than the money, I lost self-respect.

I paint demons. Towers. Dark trees. Mysterious women.

Not college football logos on cheesy barns.

In my humble experience, I find more reasons to turn down work than to accept it.

Oh, you want examples?

Last year I painted a huge wood panel piece for a buddy of mine. I quoted him my fee, spent most of two full nights sharpening the image, and delivered earlier than promised. Now, I love this guy like a brother. But here we sit, six months later, and he still hasn’t paid. I’m not willing to lose a friend over the issue, and so I don’t mention the money anymore. Though I do feel a little pain whenever I see the panel hanging on his living room wall.

No, I’m not bitter.

If anything, he helped me.

I’ll explain.

When I sit down late at night, a fresh canvas before me, a glass of scotch in hand, and my paintbrush whirling, I’m in my element. I’m right where I want to be. Whatever I’m about to create will bring me great enjoyment. It could be something grand – a giant mural of skulls. Or something simple – a swirly drip-painted tree. It doesn’t matter. I’ll love it because it’s mine. No one told me to do it. No one cares whether or not I succeed.

But…

If I’m creating the piece for a commission sale, none of this is true.

I’ll feel pressure to make it ‘perfect’ as if perfection is something that exists in art. I’ll feel hurried. I won’t feel like a creator anymore, but rather like a business. It’ll become work instead of pleasure. Rather than savor every moment, I’ll want the process to end as quickly as possible.

I’ll hate it.

I want to paint this…

…not this.

What’s weird is..

Even though I’ll strive to make the commission look fantastic, I won’t do my absolute best work. My creative engine will go idle, and my brush won’t move with the kind of freedom to which I’m accustomed. That’s just the way it goes. With freedom comes passion. With rigid expectation comes pain.

Not a week goes by without at least one person requesting some kind of work from me. “Draw me a tattoo?” they’ll ask. “Paint a forest scene for my wife’s bathroom.” “Paint my portrait, only not exactly like me. Make me look better.”

Some people want me to do this work for free. Or at rock bottom cost. Or they want to wait until I’m done to decide whether or not they’ll pay.

To a degree, I understand these approaches. Art is a luxury to most people. More important things exist, like utility bills, car payments, and food on the table.

The solution feels simple.

Don’t do it. No commissions…ever. No worrying about other people’s ideas, needs, and wants. Make art a meditative, peaceful thing, a creative avalanche instead of a business goal. Separation from commission angst means not worrying about whether or not I’ll get paid. It means growing my skill organically, not forcing myself into styles I either haven’t yet mastered or have little interest in studying. It means painting at a self-chosen pace, not hustling to push something out the door I never wanted to do in the first place. And it means a friendly but firm “No” to everyone who asks the question, and then peace of mind afterward.

Commissioned J Edward art

 

Non-commissioned J Edward art

Is it a bad idea to say, “No commissions! Ever!” Yeah. Maybe. I’m probably eliminating a segment of the population who might otherwise be interested in my style.

Am I going to lose sleep over it? No.

I’d rather be broke and free than wealthy and enslaved.

This philosophy applies to much more than art.

It’s life, man.

J Edward Neill

 

 

 

Oracle Decks, Art Prints, & Bead Bracelet Bundles

To celebrate the release of the Spirits & Shadows oracle deck, we’ve created an exclusive set of special bundles.

Only 25 of these bundles are available, five in each theme…

Each bundle includes:

  • 1 Spirits & Shadows Oracle Deck

  • 1 Handmade Bead Bracelet (Woman’s Wrist Size 7.25″) Matching the Color Scheme of the Bundle

  • 1 Art Print in the Bundle Theme

The five bundles are Protection, Reincarnation, Awakening, Strength, and of course, Death.

Click each pic below to see the details of each bundle.

Get yours tonight!



More details on the oracle deck can be found here.

Let’s Talk Art – The Top Five Challenges Facing Modern Day Artists

What’s it like being a full-time artist in the real world?

Let’s talk it out.

In his latest Let’s Talk Art video, J Edward brings up the top 5 challenges facing artists today.

And…

…shows off his giant painting, ‘The Death of Yggdrasil.’

Click the giant painting below to watch the vid!


The Spirits & Shadows Oracle Deck – Now Available

The Spirits & Shadows Oracle Deck

by J Edward & Heather Neill


Welcome to Spirits & Shadows. This 52-card oracle deck includes original art by artist J Edward Neill and card concepts, keywords, & guidebook by Heather Neill.

This deck came into being after four long years of love, focus, and no small amount of hard work. Our focus with Spirits & Shadows is hope, the human spirit, self-improvement, overcoming obstacles, and resilience in the face of life’s many challenges. 

Herein you’ll find spirits of nature, images of hope and light, and even shadows which you, the reader, will master and overcome.

Spirits & Shadows is meant to be used intuitively. The keywords and meaning for each card are merely starting points. Please take the time to connect to each image in a meaningful way. This deck was made for you.

A full guidebook including card definitions appears below. 

For those who prefer a physical guidebook, they’re available on Amazon here

We wish you the best in your journey.


 

Get the Spirits & Shadows Oracle deck right here. Just click the pic!

 

The Spirits & Shadows Oracle Deck – Coming Soon!

The Spirits & Shadows Oracle Deck

An Intuitive Card Deck by Heather and J Edward Neill


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NOW AVAILABLE!!

 


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The Spirits & Shadows oracle deck contains 52 cards, featuring original artwork by J Edward Neill.

Cats, owls, crows… Skeletons, towers, otherworldly landscapes… The theme of the deck: personal challenges and powerful hopes.

The deck ships in a white lux box.

As an intuitive deck (readers are encouraged to find their personal meaning using the artwork) the guidebook is primarily online. For those with e-readers, a guidebook is available on Amazon Kindle. For those who prefer physical guidebooks, they’ll be available at Amazon (Prime w/ fast shipping) for just $5.99.

The deck is now available. Get yours HERE. 

Future expansion decks, including a Dream Symbolism expansion already in the works, will be released using the same card back. (Meaning they can be shuffled into Spirits & Shadows and used at the same time if desired.)

Spirits & Shadows is available at Etsy – ShadowArtFinds. Individual decks, as well as discounted reseller bundles, are available.

Also…a series of six special edition 8 x 10 prints will be available (including full oracle card text) to celebrate the deck release. Available here.

Questions? Contact J Edward at his Facebook art page here.

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Now Available – Digital Art Downloads by ShadowArtFinds!

All new!

I’m now offering digital art downloads of ALL my available art prints.

Low cost, no shipping times, worldwide availability!

And…

If you see an art print for which a download is not available, please let me know. I can add it pretty much instantly!

(Friendly note: art images downloaded from ShadowArtFinds are for personal use only. No commercial use or sales of these images permitted.)

To see the art downloads I have available, click the cats!

The Making of a Giant Skeleton Painting

For many days, during a stormy autumn week…

…I locked myself in my studio.

This is the progress of a large new acrylic-on-canvas painting titled ‘Thy Winter is Forever.’

Please enjoy…


It began with the background. Two coats of heavy acrylic paint. I used a wet brush to blend the colors together. Blue, green, purple, white, cream, grey, black…and more. This took about two days, and another half-day to dry.

 


Next, I began sketching, sketching, sketching. I used a black (soft-nose) colored pencil. Easy to erase. Easy to paint over. For the hands, I photographed my own fingers in various poses. In truth, this was one of my favorite parts of the process…

 


It looks like matte black paint, right? Only, it’s not. The subtle greys I added to the skeleton undertones show up better when viewed in-person. For my painter friends out there, I recommend rarely using straight black. Add a second & third color, mix well, and achieve a nice texture which black alone cannot match.


I sketched in the birds, and then painted them using the same black/grey mix as the skeleton. The wings were hard, but fun! For this entire painting, I worked right to left. Which…normally…as a predominantly right-handed artist, I’d recommend the opposite. Whatever…


 

More sketching, sketching, sketching. I paused to add the foremost tree to make sure my birds ended up in the right spot. And who doesn’t love a nice dead tree? Am I right?


Next, I went in with a few soft details on the skeleton and several background elements, including bones and distant tree limbs. Those poor birds. They’re still waiting on me…

 


Ah ha! Finally, the birds got their due. And look! Snowflakes! The birds swooping into snow was the original idea for this painting, a scene imagined by my lovely bride. Thanks, Heather!


The snow begins to settle on the branches. And the details on the skeleton begin to emerge. This is no evil creature with which we’re dealing. He’s giving winter its essence, its lifeforce. An important task, yes?


A close-up of the left side. Still a ways to go…

 


And a close-up of the right side. Such a gentle giant, Skelly is…


And finally, we arrive at the end. Tiny touches of white for the snow and the crisp winter light falling on Skelly’s bones. And most importantly, the painstaking details of the snow settled on each branch, big & small.

I hope you like it!

(To see even more pics, click the final image below.)