Dragoncon 2018 is over…but the art continues

Whew…

What a ride.

This year’s DragonCon Art Show was epic. A ton of great artists, a TON of great art.

To celebrate, I’m restocking my store with everything I didn’t sell.

AND I’m offering this coupon, which is good for 25% off everything.

YES.

EVERYTHING.

Let’s start with the prints and original paintings I featured at the Art Show. Through the end of this month, use coupon code DRAGONCON to get 25% off the listed prices!

Just click the art you’re interested in and go nuts. 🙂


Where Dreams Die (Print) – $15

Horned Queen (Print) – $15

Hither the Wind (Print) – $15

Season of Shadows (Print) – $20

Worship (Print) – $15

Underworld King (Print) – $10

Be Silent (Print) – $15

Furiosa (Print) – $15

Summoning Tree (Print) – $20


Also, the coupon (again, it’s DRAGONCON) applies each of the following original canvasses.

Visit my shop to learn more.


The 12 Paintings I’m Showing at DragonCon

I’m headed to DragonCon this year.

It’s my first time appearing in their annual art show.

The show will be loaded with great artists, including all of these talented folks here.

As for me?

I’m bringing twelve canvas paintings.

Here they are, each with a little story included:

‘Serpents of Sorrow’ – A collaborative piece created with sculptor Tahina Morrison. I’d never really painted snakes before this. We tried to capture a tragic Greek pose. Did we succeed? You be the judge.

‘The Spider God’ – Detailing the gears, pipes, and machines took days…and days. Some people have said the mess behind the Spider God is too much, but I loved creating it. This giant piece currently dominates my basement.

‘Pierced’ – I wanted to create something sensual without being overtly sexual. Along came this girl. I poured the watercolors on with reckless abandon…and then inked the girl in with soft, serene colors.

‘Summoning Tree’ – Most of my paintings contain metallic, muted colors. I wanted to bring one LOUD piece to DragonCon just to offset the softer stuff. Along came Summoning Tree, whose reds and yellows burn with the intensity of many suns. This one was pure chaos to create.

‘The Nemesis’ – I’m not really a fan of most video game art. But the Dark Souls series inspires me. I can’t stand the game – it’s too hard. The art…on the other hand. This giant piece, I painted atop another, much older painting. His armor turned out really well, I think.

‘Be Silent’ – My favorite collaborative piece of all time. The girl, her crown, the swirling colors in the background…it all just came together. This one is on prime display in my living room. If she sells, I’ll miss her badly.

‘Underworld King’ – Right back to the dark stuff. I wanted to mix a furious range of colors to complement Tahina’s skull work. Somehow, my violent splash of reds, blacks, and golds came together. This painting is big…and intense. (My kid is terrified of it.)

‘Season of Shadows’ – It’s no secret I like to paint trees. Usually split-color, leafless, tormented branches. This one is among my most favorite. The reds and blacks pretty much exploded onto the canvas.

‘Beauty and the Blade’ – The concept here is an (almost) immortal goddess. In a fit of extreme vanity, she wants to prove nothing can harm her. But her blade strikes home, and she learns even goddesses can die.

‘Charon’ – The Boatman. The Ferryman of the River Styx. I love painting bones and bone textures. This one is based off an actual deer skull I keep on my bookshelf. Zoom in to see the dark sigils on his face.

‘Lucifera’ – She’s loosely based on a Danzig album cover. She’s also one of my oldest paintings, marking the first time I really got into using metallics. I hang her over my stairs, which she watches without ever sleeping. I suppose her scream will never end.

‘Rapture’ – A lone girl, connected to machines which ensure she’ll never die, awakens in a tangle of shadows and snaking tubes. She’s something other than human now. Long after we’re gone, she will remain…

*

Hopefully you enjoyed this sneak peek.  Come see the originals at DragonCon 2018.  They’re much more impressive than these little thumbnails.  They’re also for sale at very reasonable prices.

…mostly because I’m not yet famous. 🙂

For more of my dark (usually) art, try this.

My Journey to the DragonCon 2018 Art Show

I’m not sure how it happened.

A few autumns ago, I bought a new house.

And somehow got it in my head to use one of the rooms as an art studio.

Sure, I’d painted before. Twenty years ago, I owned an airbrush T-shirt company. I made banners for local bands. I dabbled in various art forms. I even spent a few seasons at art school, which ended up being the only education in my life I ever enjoyed.

But nothing like this.

On a brisk, windy day, my son and I left our new house behind, marched into our truck, and sped off to Hobby Lobby. You know Hobby Lobby, right? The bible-thumping craft store…which just so happens to sell gallery-ready canvasses, high-quality paint brushes, and paint…tons of paint.

Being fools, we walked into Hobby Lobby and exited an hour later with armloads (and a truckload) of the hugest canvasses we could find. Along with fifty tubes of acrylic paint, charcoal pencils, graphite powder, brushes, an easel, and…well…you get the point.

I’m not really sure why. It’s just what happened.

That first night, while the rain pummeled suburban Atlanta, and while my kid sat on the floor slathering yellow paint onto a canvas of his own, I stood in a daze in our new ‘painting room.’  Really, it was just a bare-walled empty space; most people would’ve used it as a dining room. You know…the room most families never inhabit?

Black paint hit the canvas hard. Directionless. Not quite Jackson Pollock random, but close.

Something like this came out:

‘The Emperor’s Vision’ – 2013

The Emperor’s Vision. It was a scene from one of the fantasy novels I’d written. Somehow…to see it alive on a canvas…I felt an awakening.

All it took was one simple painting. One glance at the strange world I’d accidentally created.

And I was hooked.

Autumn rumbled by. Winter settled atop us. During the long, dark nights, as the never-ending rain drowned our little neighborhood, I found myself wandering each night into the painting room.

At first, I lacked aim. Purpose. Meaning. (not to mention, talent.)

I tried painting people. More dark cities. Corrupted landscapes. Trees. I was nothing if not a bit brooding, a bit dark. I glued all the lessons I barely remembered from art school to my wild imagination, and strange things resulted.

‘Summoning Tree’

For the next two years, I toiled in the shadows of my new, over-big house. My blank walls, once eggshell white, transformed into a cacophony of colors. Ten paintings became twenty, and twenty become more than one-hundred.

And then I moved. To an apartment. In which the walls offered only about 10% of the space I’d formerly had.

What am I going to do with all this junk? I thought.

I’ve got stacks of paintingsand nowhere to put them.

What if…? Nah…

A few quiet months went by, and another accident happened. A journeywoman artist moved to Atlanta, and we decided to paint cooperatively.  No idea why. Once again, no goal existed. We just wanted to ‘art’ for the sake of art itself.

She sculpted. I painted. And I moved again, this time into another house. My new bachelor pad wasn’t nearly as big as my previous house, but the walls offered plenty of space to fill with our new three-dimensional creations.

Many months smoldered by. Summer. Autumn. Winter. Another summer.

Were we getting better? we wondered. Is all our work resulting in actual skill? 

Nah…couldn’t be. 

The walls of my newest house filled up. Once again, finished canvasses were stacked on the floor, collecting cobwebs as they slept well out of sight.

And then, a text message arrived:

“I’d like to buy one of your pieces.”

“Wait…really?”

“Yes. I’ll pay shipping, too. Just give me the price.”

An accident. Luck. A door cracked open. A sliver of light shining through. One sold painting. Then five. Then Ten. Thirty. Fifty.

What just happened?

I’m doing this professionally, I said to myself.

How? 

No idea…

An artist friend – Amanda Makepeace – had a booth and gallery at DragonCon that year. Sure, I’d been to D-Con before. No, I never dressed up or really participated in anything. Honestly, I usually went to party and haunt the art show.

The DragonCon art show.

Hundreds of fantasy, sci-fi, and other paintings…all in one place. 

Thousands of people. 

Look at Amanda’s art. It’s beautiful. I wonder…could I? Nah…right? 

One night, while sipping scotch in my house and painting nothing in particular, I asked a few questions. Of my friends. Of Amanda. Of people I knew who’d attended DragonCon.

Ever the impulsive fool, I made a rash decision. I planned to paint seven pieces to submit to D-Con’s art show selection process. Why? I’m not sure. I’d no intention of succeeding. I really just wanted to challenge myself. After all, the three-person jury included three well-known art masters, two of whom I often emulated (Allen Williams & Brom.) How could my small efforts impress long-term professionals?

Whatever. 

I plunged in. Did my homework. Bought a boatload of new canvasses. Stayed awake until 3AM painting alone or in the company of others.

I worked.

And waited.

I waited.

And I worked.

‘Rapture’

On the day DragonCon art show submissions opened, I stood at the ready, my finger poised to submit what I believed in my head-movie were my seven best pieces.

I clicked ‘Submit.’

And I allowed myself to forget what I’d done.

Impostor syndrome. 

Hundreds of applicants. 

Best fantasy artists in the world. 

This was a fun ride, but it ends here.  

Honestly, I really did forget. There seemed no sense in agonizing over what I’d accidentally fallen into. I told myself I was just a guy goofing around in his kitchen, drinking whiskey, making funny shapes to put on my walls.

And it was true.

Even so…

A few months later, when the phone call arrived, I awoke as if from a stupor. (No really, I was hungover.) And there it was.

“You’re in,” he said.

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

I want to tell you the rest of the story. But it hasn’t happened yet.

The DragonCon Art Show hits Atlanta from Aug 30 – Sept 3 this year.

I’ll have 12 original pieces and more than one-hundred prints.

I’ll probably still be there just to party.  I don’t have a booth, so really all I’m doing is dropping paintings off for everyone to look at.

Whatever.

I hope you’ll stop by the art show.

And then find me down at Hard Rock Cafe.

Look for me at the bar.

First round is on me.

Love,

J Edward Neill

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Oh…here’s a few snapshots of me laying out my gallery space.

All paintings are originals. J Edward Neill & Tahina Morrison.