Jane Schmidt

Jan 17, 18

Anne Neilson Fine Art is excited to present their newest artist to join the gallery, Jane Schmidt! Living in the beautiful mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, Jane is inspired by the vivid colors of her surrounding environment. Her abstract landscapes use color and texture to express more what is felt rather than what is seen by direct observation. Her paintings evoke a strong connection to nature and portray a variety of colors, which balance the landscape between realism and abstraction. Keep reading to learn more about Jane and her artwork.


Name: Jane Schmidt

Hometown: Birmingham, Michigan

Currently Living: Asheville, NC

When did you start your career in art? How long have you known you wanted to be an artist?

I started my creative career in the mid 1970’s as a graphic designer. Initially I was a senior designer for a large architectural firm in Detroit and later had a design firm in Phoenix, AZ where most of my work focused on corporate branding. It was not until 2004 that I completed a three year Masters of Painting curriculum at Arizona State University and began my career as a fine artist. I have since taught art and art history at several colleges and universities but my primary focus has been to paint in my studio.


Describe your aesthetic in three words:

Searching, Describing, Revealing

Describe your artistic process and preparation?

My artistic process typically begins with a canvas or board stained in a warm red. The red gives a glow to subsequent colors and reminds me of the warm earth tones on which colorful vegetation rests. I seldom have a composition in mind before I paint  but I usually start with gesturing dark organic shapes that will later serve as trees or shrubbery and will help to define the visual flow. I build a painting in multiple layers working from large to small shapes, further defining forms with each subsequent layer.  My landscapes are not site specific but are memory based and reflective of many landscapes worked into one. Warm and cool colors play off each other as do contrasting values and complementary hues.


Close up detail showing layers and texture

Favorite piece you’ve painted to date and why?

I don’t have a favorite piece. My greatest pleasure is in the process and discipline of painting; the layering of colors and the mindful balance between energy and restraint.

Who inspires you personally and/or professionally?

Several artists serve as inspiration to me to include Pierre Bonnard, Richard Diebenkorn, Joan Mitchell, Edvard Vuillard, Henri Matisse and Wolf Kahn.

1955 Berkeley #57

Richard Diebenkorn, Berkeley #57, 1955

What challenges do you think exist in the world of fine art? And how do you approach/overcome them?

The biggest challenge to fine art is its continued dismissal in our public schools and public programs. The emphasis of a STEM education at the expense of fine arts funding is voiding our society of a culturally rich and mutually beneficial environment. We need only to study the growth of strong and vital urban societies to note their dependence on the arts as the fabric of enrichment. Unfortunately as I write this blog we are under the thumb of a government that refuses to acknowledge the value of the arts.

Biggest accomplishment to date (personally or professionally)?

I measure success as a series of small accomplishments determined by tenacity and integrity…  to be both vulnerable yet shielded, humble yet assertive. Grateful always for gifts and talents bestowed on us.

Favorite location to paint/what is your studio like?

Favorite location to paint is my studio. It’s quiet and has good feng shui, allowing me to paint with total submersion and concentration.



Jane’s Studio in Asheville

A random fact about you: I love the smell of gum erasers.


Favorite place to vacation? And/or dream trip?

Maine has always been a favorite place to both vacation and paint.


One of Jane’s works painted in Maine

What are you currently reading?

A Little Life by Hanna Yanagihara; a beautifully written portrait of the friendship of four men.


What are you currently listening to?

Yo-yo Ma on Pandora.


What would you be doing if you were not an artist?

I have often thought about being an architect, most likely residential. I have such a fascination with the structures we call homes.

One thing you couldn’t live without?

Can’t live without my dark roast coffee in the morning or my cheap white wine at the end of the day.

If you could switch lives with anyone for a day, who would it be?

I would like to be that person who could and would permanently remove Trump’s twitter account. This would remove so much of the fear, anger and hate he stirs up with his bullying tweets.

Your all-time favorite artist and/or your favorite emerging artist?

Favorite artist is Pierre Bonnard. I love his use of color and texture to convey the simple and endearing landscapes of home and family.


Pierre Bonnard, Huile sur Toile, 1964

Dream commission?

A public installation in an urban environment in need of a colorful and cheerful reminder for passerby’s to look up and smile.

What do you want your audience to know about your work?

That it is both heartfelt and honest.

What makes your work unique?

If your work is heartfelt and honest it is also unique. We all have an inner voice if we take the time and space to listen it will guide us to the expression that is uniquely our own.

Name one goal for your career you’d like to achieve in the next 5 years:

To stay of healthy mind and body so as to always be able to paint.

Stop by the gallery to see Jane’s honest at heartfelt landscapes now at ANFA for yourself!

PAESAGGIO ELEVEN 12 x 12 oil on wood

Paesaggio Eleven, 12×12

Snow on the Blue Ridge - 12x12 - $1250Snow on the Blue Ridge, 12×12

Interactions of Color and Form #1 12 x 12 oil on wood

Interactions of Color and Form I, 12×12

Interactions of Color and Form #2 12 x 12 oil on wood

Interactions of Color and Form II, 12×12


Artist Spotlight: Judith Vivell

Jan 8, 18


Name: Judith Vivell

Currently Living: New York, NY

When did you start your career in art? How long have you known you wanted to be an artist?

My father was an attorney, but he was also a Sunday painter, and my mother had studied art in Paris in the 1930’s, she later became a dress designer.  My childhood home was full of art books and my father’s copies of the paintings of the impressionists and post-impressionists.  When I was in the second grade I brought home a painting of a clown I had done in poster paint on news print.  When my father saw it, he said that I would be an artist when I grew up.  He immediately had the clown framed.  From that moment on he thought of me as an artist, even if no one else did.

Tell us about your path to becoming an artist?

In my junior year my father talked me into taking a semester and a summer off to live in Florence. I took him up on it and spent most days wandering 1961 Florence and visiting the Uffizi every day.  I began by making drawings of the masterpieces I saw everywhere.  In Florence I lived at a Pension.  The woman who ran the pension always wanted to see my drawings when I would come home at night.  When she asked if she could buy one, I told her that she could have it as a gift, but she insisted on buying it.  “I want to be your first collector,” she said.


Uffizi, Florence, Italy

It was another seven years before I had my next sale.  And it was more of a trade than a sale.  I gave a painting of a large nude to a guy who wanted to sell the rights to his loft in Chinatown in New York City. Shortly after that I received my MFA from Hunter College and had my first solo show in New York at a place called Flats Fixed in Soho.  I also started selling my prints through Hank Baum Gallery in San Francisco and through Pace Editions in New York. I was in my late twenties when all that happened.

Describe your aesthetic in three words: Post-modernist realism

Describe your artistic process and preparation?

For the last twenty years I have made photography a crucial part of my process.  My paintings begin as photos which I take in locations around the world (or as in the case of still lifes, that I have set up in my studio).  I photoshop the photo as a way of producing the composition that I want. From there I draw the composition onto the canvas, put in the underpainting and proceed to paint the layers of the finished work.  Often, I let the painting dry between the underpainting and the subsequent layers.  Sometimes the best paintings are the most difficult to get “off the ground”.  There is sometimes a great temptation to scrap a painting at the beginning.  If I hang in there, and mostly I do, there is a moment when I become committed to the painting and begin to believe in it.  After that, I am in the zone and it is pure fun.  Before that it is a slog, but character building.


Judith at work in her studio

Favorite piece you’ve painted to date and why?

I don’t have a favorite painting.  I tend to personally like very large paintings, but small ones have become a challenge and I am trying to become better at making smaller paintings that have the monumental quality that I like in the big ones.  Sometimes I realize that there is something virtuoso or masterful about a painting I have done, but that is not what makes a painting great.  I have paintings of certain subjects which I, myself, love, but which I know will never sell.  I am thinking of two enormous paintings of vultures.

Who inspires you personally and/or professionally?

At this moment, I am loving Indian Mogul art, Lucien Freud, Audubon, John Singer Sargent.  I never go to the Met without visiting the post-impressionist rooms.  The Rembrandt room there is one of my favorite places on the planet. I love Louise Nevelson and Alice Neal.  Walton Ford is a favorite.  Louise Bourgeoise had a recent show at the modern which was wonderful.  But Hieronymus Bosch is my favorite artist of all time.  There is an altarpiece at the Met which is so perfect and so beautiful that I can’t believe it still exists and that I can see it whenever I want.

Hieronymus Bosch (Netherlandish, ’s Hertogenbosch ca. 1450–1516 ’s Hertogenbosch) The Adoration of the Magi, ca. 1475 Oil and gold on oak; 28 x 22 1/4in. (71.1 x 56.5cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1913 (13.26) http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/435724

Hieronymus Bosch The Adoration of the Magi, ca. 1475, Oil and gold on oak,The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

What challenges do you think exist in the world of fine art? How do you approach/overcome them?

It is a huge challenge to do what you believe is good and still be able to make a living as an artist.  I try to make paintings that are as beautiful and perfect as I can and hope that others will see that too. I meditate each day before I go into my studio so that I will have the power and the energy and the skill to do what I know is good.  I take very good care of my body so that I will be in top form to do my job.

Biggest accomplishment to date (personally or professionally)?

My biggest accomplishment to date is to still be alive and to be strong enough to work long hours every day.

Favorite location to paint/what is your studio like?

I paint exclusively in my studio.  My studio is a 12 x 32 ft space in my loft with 12 ft ceilings.  I don’t use an easel; I paint on the wall. The canvas is lit by track lighting.  I stand while I paint.  I have a mirror on the back wall of my studio so that I can look at the painting backwards in the mirror and check the composition that way.  I have a metro system trolley where I keep my palette (which is a piece of glass) and my paints.  Like Louise Nevelson, I clean up everything every night when I finish painting.  I wear Taiwanese jackets with pockets when I paint.  I order them on line from a place in Taiwan.


Judith’s Studio Office

A random fact about you:

My daughter says that I am the happiest person she knows.  Maybe that should have been my biggest accomplishment.

Favorite place to vacation? And/or dream trip?

So far, my favorite place has been Sri Lanka.  I love the town of Galle just because it is a perfectly in-tact 17th Century Dutch town. Most of the old buildings have been beautifully and sensitively restored.  I love the wildlife sanctuaries in Sri Lanka. I like to find birds wherever I go and work at taking pictures of them.

What are you currently reading?

I just finished Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson and Alfred Molina. I am listening to The Enormous Room by E.E. Cummings.


Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

What would you be doing if you were not an artist?

If I were not an artist, I would be a cabaret singer.  I would, of course, have to learn to sing, but I already know all the words to all the songs I would sing, so that’s half the battle.

One thing you couldn’t live without?

You always think that you couldn’t live without something or someone, but then that person dies, or that thing is lost and you do go on.  I do have a perfume I love, it’s called Alamut by Lorenzo Villoresi.  It is made in Florence and reminds me of my magical time there when I was young.  But even that, I could live without.


What do you want your audience to know about your work?

I want my audience to know that the work is informed by the innovations of the twentieth century.  It is not academic.  It is not a throwback to something from the 19th century.  Yes, it is representational, but that is just the broth into which the real ingredients are thrown.  The finished product is a soup made up of everything which has come before it–abstract, non-objective, color-field, pop, conceptual, minimal–all of it.

What makes your work unique?

Recently a friend of mine walked into a house of a friend of hers who happened to own a piece of mine.  It was an early piece and more abstract and loose than the work I am doing now.  My friend looked at the piece and screamed, “Oh, you have a Judith Vivell!”  When she told me the story, I asked her how she knew it was mine and she said, “Who else could it be?”  I said, “Yes, but I want to know how it was different from other bird paintings.”  She said, “I don’t know what to tell you, Jude.  I’d know your work anywhere.”

Name one goal for your career you’d like to achieve in the next 5 years:

I thank the Universe for the life I now have, for the abundance that my work has generated and for the energy and power to continue to make art.  I want to improve and become better every day.  I want to make the most beautiful and close to perfect paintings possible for as long as possible.  I want to continue to wake up every morning and know exactly what I have to do.

To see Judith’s work stop by the gallery now!

Branch Diptych (2- 48X36)72x48 - $11,000

Branch Diptych, 72×48

Great Egret 40x40 $6000

Great Egret, 40×40

Great Blue Heron 40x30 (panel) $5000

Great Blue Heron, 40×30


A Closer Look at Jim Keffer’s Pottery

Nov 29, 17

Anne Neilson Fine Art is excited to exhibit Jim Keffer’s exquisite pottery for sale as part of our holiday gifting pop-up party and Small Works Exhibition! Jim is widely known around the Charlotte area for his car dealerships but many are less aware of his hidden talent as a potter, which he has been practicing and refining for over 30 years! Keep reading to learn more about Jim and how he got started creating these unique and stunning vases.

“Keffer’s introduction to the world of pottery began accidentally with an elective class as a freshman at Appalachian State in the eighties. Unbeknownst to him, he had a natural talent and a love for throwing pottery. His talent flourished, especially under one fabulous professor and with many hours spent in the studio, throwing pottery and throwing away even more pottery. Soon after graduation, he got involved in the family car business and with raising a family he had to slowly put to rest his pot throwing skills.  Now that his children have flown the coop his passion has been reignited. He truly has the ability to create beautiful and intricate pieces of artwork that he hopes to share with everyone.


Jim Keffer, owner and CEO of Keffer Auto Group is an artist working with bodies of clay to create pottery through processes like Raku, Saggar Firing and his personal favorite, Crystalline Glazing.”


Name: Jim Keffer

Hometown: York, PA

Currently Living: Charlotte, NC

When did you first become interested in pottery?

I graduated High School and attended Appalachian State University for two years.  In my first semester at App. I hedged my bets a little and signed up for what I’d hoped would be an easy A, Introduction to Pottery! I’ve never really been very good at moderation, and once I started throwing pots, I was hooked.


Describe your aesthetic in three words:

Crystaline thrown porcelain.

Who inspires you personally and/or professionally?

I read Victor Frankl’s book, “Man’s Search for Meaning” recently.  That was inspiring.  I also enjoy Malcomb Gladwell’s books and reading the Biographies of influential figures in History like  Ulysses S Grant..  From a Pottery perspective, I love the work of Master Potter, Shoji Hamada who passed away in the 70s.  More recently I found works on You Tube by Hsin Chuen Lin and Matt Horne that I loved and imitated shamelessly.


Biggest accomplishment to date personally and/or professionally?

I don’t typically think in these terms.  I focus more on what is still left to do than what has been done already. Some of the things I’ve enjoyed doing most include; (in no particular order) playing High School football at Charlotte Catholic, being married to Sandy for almost 29 years, watching my kids grow into young adults, finishing Ironman New Zealand, figuring out how to make Crystaline pots after  a huge number of failed attempts, Achieving Top Sales accomplishments for the state in4 separate brands, helping other people buy their own dealership and secure, and earning enough to be able to help those with the greatest need in our community.

A random fact about you?

Today I wear a size small t-shirt and weigh 157 lbs.  When I went to Charlotte Catholic, I was co-Capt of the football team, weighed 197 lbs.and wore an extra large t-shirt.  It’s like I’ve had the opportunity to lead two different lives and I’ve enjoyed both immensely.

One thing you couldn’t live without?

There’s lots of things that would be difficult to live without, but I don’t care for the word can’t.  Among the most difficult would of course be my wife and kids, the ability to go for a swim or run, my pottery wheel, my sight and the ability to laugh at myself.

If you could switch lives with one person for a day, who would it be?

Maybe Richard Branson.  I think he’s very cool  and appears to have become very successful without sacrificing his lifestyle and personality.


Describe your artistic practice and preparation:

I enjoy throwing challenging Porcelain shapes without a huge amount of forethought.  My opportunities to throw are usually at night after I finish my emails and on the weekends if Sandy and I don’t have other plans.


Favorite piece you’ve made to date and why?

I have lots of favorites.  An old teapot I made in College, A Saggar Fired Vase I made a few years ago with a combination of terasigulata, ferit chloride and miracle grow is another favorite, and my recent favorite is one of the Crystaline pieces I’ll be bringing to the pop  up sale.

Stop by ANFA now to see Jim’s beautiful pottery!





Artist Spotlight: Ken Tate

Oct 25, 17

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Anne Neilson Fine Art is elated to report the newest addition to our gallery roster: Ken Tate. A Mississippi native, Tate is known for his unconventional painting methods that herald back to the deliberately chaotic style of Abstract Expressionism and Beats writers such as John Kerouac. His recent work superimposes vibrant and raw layers of acrylic paint unto photographs of high-fashion advertisements and celebrity icons. In the Spring of 2017, Ken notably collaborated with Bloomingdale’s Department Store for their merchandising campaign, where his work was introduced to a broader audience (photo featured above). To learn more about this highly-motivated and acclaimed artist, read our exclusive interview below!

Hometown: Columbus, Mississippi

Currently Living: Covington, Louisiana

When did you start your career in art?

7 years ago.

How long have you known you wanted to be an artist?


Describe your aesthetic in three words:

A controlled mess.

Describe your artistic process and preparation?

Have on-hand a lot of material and then just start.

Favorite piece you’ve painted to date and why?

A 6’ x 6’ acrylic on canvas called Bloodoo 3 or a 4’ x 6’ Bridget Bardot mixed media.

Who inspires you personally and/or professionally?

Schnabel, Basquiat, Christopher Wool

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Julian Schnabel, Portrait of Elton John, 80×60, 1997

What challenges do you think exist in the world of fine art?

Finding and keeping one’s own voice.

How do you approach/overcome them?

Intentionally never copy anybody.

Biggest accomplishment to date professionally?

Getting into great galleries.

Favorite location to paint/what is your studio like?

My studio is too small, so I’ll be getting a bigger one in the future.

A random fact about you:

I am both a visionary and pragmatic at the same time.

Favorite place to vacation? And/or dream trip?

Big Sur or Italy.

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Big Sur, California

What are you currently reading?

Spiritual books and mysteries and something of magazines like ArtNews and “W”.

What are you currently listening to?

Ipod on shuffle: Miles Davis, Monk, Phillip Glass, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Esperanza Spalding, Ennio Morricone, etc.

What would you be doing if you were not an artist?  

An architect.

One thing you couldn’t live without?

Art, family and iced lattes.

If you could switch lives with anyone for a day, who would it be?

Julian Schnabel

Your all-time favorite artist and/or your favorite emerging artist?

Botticelli, Weatherford.

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Sandro Botticelli, Birth of Venus, c.1486

Dream commission?

Painting twenty pieces for a large villa on the Pacific Ocean.

What do you want your audience to know about your work?

That it is soulful.

What makes your work unique?

My personality and my fearlessness when it comes to art.

Name one goal for your career you’d like to achieve in the next 5 years.

To be in ArtNews.

A preview of Ken Tate’s work now available at ANFA!

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Gucci Girl I & II, 32 x 25

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Girl with Turqouise Bag, 30×25



Artist Spotlight: Joe Vinson

Oct 18, 17

Joe Vinson is a truly talented artist who rotates painting between two broadly contrasting styles, abstract and figurative. This contrast is partly reflective of his lifestyle, rotating between New York City in the winter and Italy in the summers. In Italy, he enjoys painting the captivating landscapes en plein air, working from direct observation of his beautiful surroundings. In New York, Joe has a large studio in Brooklyn where he prefers painting abstract and more experimental paintings. His ability to rotate between the two dynamic styles speaks to his expertise and continued experience with the paint brush. Read the interview with Joe below to learn more about his unique lifestyle and artistic process!

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Name: Joe Vinson

Hometown: I was born and raised in Florida, but now live everywhere.

Currently Living: 6 months in NYC and 6 months in Buonconvento, Siena, Italy

When did you start your career in art? How long before that did you know you wanted to be an artist?

I came late to art, I took it as an elective in College. The subject was so interesting that I took all of the art classes offered at that school. Then I went to Ringling School of art in Sarasota, FL.  In 1976, after graduation from RSA, I worked at Disney World as a portrait artist.  But it was not until I went to The School of the Museum of Fine Art that I seriously felt like being an artist.

Describe your aesthetic in three words:

Modern, Experimental, Traditional

Favorite piece you’ve painted to date and why?

I make paintings because I want to see them myself. Thankfully there have been a number of my works that I like and that helps me keep going and make more. Since I tend to create works that address some new issue, I have to say that the current piece is always my favorite.

How much preparation goes into a painting?

The short answer is , “A lot.”  There is the physical preparation of the painting surface and then there is the mental side of deciding what to paint and how to paint it.

Painting is like playing chess, you have to plan your moves several stages ahead. I learned from Friedel Dzubas, how one might simply plan a painting. I paint small studies on graph paper.  This way I can scale the works to a larger size and be sure that the ratios of the studies will be the same. I also think that one can over plan something and render it lifeless in the final version. I try to avoid that by leaving enough things undecided at the beginning and resolve them on the fly as the work is made. This keeps me totally connected to the work throughout its creation.


Studies on paper in the planning process


Large (42×126) painting in the first three layers, a work in progress

Who inspires you personally and/or professionally?

I consider myself a student of art history. I have many influences. However, there is one person that I could choose for both personal and professional inspiration, Hans Hoffman.

Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 1.01.59 PMHans Hoffman was a late bloomer. Born in 1880, he quit teaching art in 1958 in order to devote himself to painting full time. He was tremendously important to the advancement of art by bringing 20th century ideas to Americans in the post war period. He did this first by exposing  many young painters to these ideas at his school in New York and in Provincetown, MA. Many of his students would become famous painters in the 1950’s. He also helped make this transition to a modern sensibility in painting away from mimetic concerns to one of realizing the potential of the plastic means in painting. His paintings exploit the widest range of technical possibilities of the oil painting medium. So he inspires me both in a personal way, embarking on a new career at an advanced age, and in a professional way, through his dynamic and prolific experimentation of materials in his paintings.

the-conjurer-1959 Hans Hoffman, The Conjurer, 1959, Lenbachhaus, Munich, Germany

What challenges do you think exist in the world of fine art?

Stability, market, money to buy, time to make art.

How do you approach/overcome them?

If you are an artist you make art under all conditions.  So the big issue is how to find the time to make art and still pay your bills.  I have found that having a number of income sources helps to spread the risk of any economic shocks that might occur.  Some of my sources  are teaching painting for myself in Italy, teaching for the Art Students League in New York and elsewhere, organizing food tours/truffle hunts in Italy, selling paintings, and  investments, etc.


Joe teaching landscape painting to students in Italy

Favorite location to paint? What is your studio like?

I paint in a lot of places. I can paint outside making landscape paintings wherever I go. I also have two studios. I own a large industrial space in Italy to which I usually ride my bike, after the long airplane ride. It is not heated, but  I’m there in the summer. The view to the east is of a farm field that rises up a steep hill and in the summer it is usually full of wheat or a mix of hay. I also rent a small studio in Brooklyn, which I share with my wife, Maddine Insalaco, and a harpist. If you have never painted with a professional classical harpist playing Debussy in the same room, you will not know what divine pleasure that can be.


Painted on location (the best studio light) in Italy

Joe in Studio

Joe’s working in his studio in Italy


Joe’s studio in Brooklyn, NY

A random fact about you?

I collect antiques and art. Specifically I have a collection of 17th-19th century prints, mostly depicting scenes in Italy. I also collect glass ,Chinese porcelain, MCM furniture and early Barbie dolls, and early brass candlesticks. In the last few years I also have bought contemporary paintings. I like to have some beautiful things visible in my environment.

What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?

I have a lot of interests, but for an alternate career it might be in Art History or Real Estate.

One thing you couldn’t live without?

Maddine Insalaco, who is my wife.

Biggest accomplishment to date?

In 2012 Maddine Insalaco and I Organized a Show in Civita Castellana  called “Through Foreign Eyes”. This was a show composed of small works by over twenty non-Italian artists all of which were painted on location in and around Civita Castellana in the early plein-air tradition and exhibited at the Sangallo Fortress Museum. It was an attempt to educate the local population and government of the beauty and value of the local landscapes and its important connection in the development of western painting.  It was the first show organized in that facility outside of the display of cultural artifacts and grave goods from the local ancient historic past.


Link to show catalogue

Name one goal for your career you’d like to achieve in the next 5 years?

To see installed in a public space  a very large abstract painting of mine.

What do you want your audience to know about your work?

It is my intent that looking at my abstract paintings is enjoyable at the sensory level. It is enough to just enjoy looking.  My hope is that through this simple pleasure one can be more appreciative of what  we are and more appreciative of the world around us.  I want the various colors to blend in the eyes and create a subtle vibration in them.  This is what Delaunay called the fourth dimension.  It is not something that is in the painting, you feel it in the eyes.

My paintings are made free hand whether abstract or landscape.  In the past I have worked from photos but even then it is a free hand copy, not traced from a projected photo.  My current abstract works really must be seen directly in the flesh. I recommend that you do not rush your viewing.  Look at them at different distances and at different angles, then look away at something else for a while and then return for another gaze.

Most of the ideas embedded in the paint relate to decisions I’ve made about what kind of paintings I wish to make.  I do not paint these paintings because “that is how I paint”, I paint them that way because I decided that is the way I want to make them. A painting by me is an act of will in a working partnership with the material. They are not accidents, happy or otherwise.  They can be explorations.  I do not make the same painting over and over again. Even when they look similar I am exploring something new in them, even if it is only a color, which is a lot.  I can paint in a lot different manners using various materials.  I take full responsibility for the paintings.


Thank you for sharing Joe!

View some of Joe’s work available at ANFA now!

Optilicus 40x90 - Joe Vinson

Optilicus, 40×90

Big Box - 30x30 - Joe Vinson

Big Box, 30×30

L2 Italy Vinson Oak and Well Tenuta Nardi 24x30in oilcanvas 2010 Italy

Oak and Well Tenuta Nardi, 24×30

L7 Italy Vinson Compriano Fall AM 9.8x13.5in oilpaper 2010-2012

Campriano Fall AM, 9.8×13.5


Denver Moore

Oct 16, 17

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Along with incredible works by Julio Larraz, ANFA is extremely honored to exhibit Ron Hall’s private collection of paintings by his late friend, Denver Moore!

Denver was born in Shreveport, Louisiana on January 30, 1937. He was raised on a cotton plantain in Red River Parish. In the mid-to-late 1950s, he left Louisiana for the first time and lived briefly in Fort Worth, Texas, before moving to Los Angeles. He left LA in the mid 1960s, riding the rails before returning to Texas then Louisiana. He was living in Dallas at the time of his passing.

Though his lips were always flapping’ like the Bible pages, he would say he never claimed to be a preacher, just a sinner saved by grace with a message of hope for those that didn’t have any.

His story, well known by millions, is told in Same Kind of Different as Me, a word-of-mouth, best-selling book written with his friend, Ron Hall. Their story begins when he meets Denver through his wife, Deborah Hall, who works in the local homeless shelter. Denver was living on the streets of Fort Worth, Texas. Miss Debbie, as she is referred to by Denver, dreamt of this poor man with wisdom that would change the city. And did he ever! A few years after her dream, Denver was honored as the Philanthropist of the Year for his ministry and fund-raising for the homeless in Forth Worth.


Denver Moore & Ron Hall

Denver spoke at more than 400 fund-raising events and countless radio and TV shows. He attained rock star status with fans, but the only introduction he ever wanted was, “Tell ’em I’m a NOBODY that is trying’ to tell EVERYBODY about SOMEBODY that can save ANYBODY.” And he did. That “SOMEBODY” was Jesus, and Denver woke up in His arms on March 31, 2012. His famous quote and the final words in his book are, “We are all homeless workin’ our way home.” Welcome home, friend; you were a good and faithful servant. – Ron Hall

In honor of the upcoming debut of the movie, Same Kind of Different As Me, which officially hits theaters this Friday, October 20th, ANFA has partnered with Beacon Partners, Medalist Capital, and R.B. Pharr to host a private showing of the movie at Phillips Place Theaters on Wednesday, October 18th before it opens to the general public. Tickets to the event are complimentary by emailing events@anneneilsonfineart.com with your name, phone number, and number of tickets requested.


Denver showing off one of his paintings

Denver used art spoken through images, scripture, and symbols to convey his strong beliefs and values. Despite his lack of training, Denver’s artworks are very powerful and depict the special and unique life he led. His journey starts as a struggling homeless man and ends as a dynamic influencer who made a large impact on the world. His art is created from the heart and   his subjects range from self-portraits, crosses, angels, scenes from his books, and animals. His unpredictable use of color expresses his different emotions.


Three paintings by Denver on view at ANFA

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Self Portrait by Denver








Julio Larraz

Oct 12, 17


ANFA is thrilled to show works by the esteemed Cuban artist, Julio Larraz in honor of the upcoming major motion picture, “Same Kind of Different As Me” opening in theaters October 20th. Featuring renowned actors, Greg Kinnear, Djimon Hounsou, and Renee Zellweger, the story follows an international art dealer, Ron Hall, who befriends a homeless man, Denver Moore, who changes his life for the better. Julio, portrayed in the movie, is part of their remarkable journey and his original artwork is highlighted in the film.


ANFA is excited to display works by Julio Larraz along with Ron Hall’s private collection of Denver Moore’s paintings until November 17th. The show will benefit the homeless and a portion of all proceeds from art sold will be donated to various homeless organizations including the Same Kind of Different As Me Foundation and various organizations in Charlotte. Julio, like ANFA, believes in giving back through art and eloquently described his belief stating , “We are all particles of sand, and many particles make a beach. I am just trying to do my part to make a difference.”


Julio Larraz in his historic home in Florida

Julio was born in Havana, Cuba in 1944 and moved to Miami, Florida in 1961 where he first started drawing political caricatures for top media outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, Vogue Magazine, and many others. He began painting full time in 1967, leading to many solo exhibitions at prestigious galleries such as, John H. Surovek Gallery in Palm Beach, FL, Marlborough Gallery and Ameringer McEngery Yohne in New York, NY, Complesso del Vittoriano in Rome, Italy and has been featured in museum exhibitions including the Perez Art Museum in Miami, FL. His dedication to art and innate talent has lead to many awards ranging from the American Academy of Arts and Letter, the Center for the Arts and Education, Instituto de Educacion Internacional, and FACE in Miami, FL.

The Red Moon,2013,Oil on Canvas, 60x72in

The Red Moon, 60×72

Julio’s work hovers between real and imagined, depicting recognizable figures and places but not necessarily in realistic proportions or proper contexts. He describes his paintings as daydreams and images reflected in his mind, which he seeks to capture on canvas before they disappear.

From the Deep Recesses of the Mind,2017,Oil on Canvas,60x72in.Hi-Res

From the Deep Recesses of the Mind, 60×72

In the above painting, From the Deep Recesses of the Mind, Julio transcribed a realistic dream in which he encountered the famous artist, Vincent Van Gogh. Before going to bed, Julio was reading a book with images from the Caribbean. As he drifted asleep, Julio saw himself walking through an enchanting landscape filled with different sea animals and the most vivid colors he had ever seen. The brilliant blues, greens, and reds mesmerized Julio. As he walked closer he saw someone painting the scene before him. Suddenly he realized the artist was Vincent Van Gogh! He was so startled by the image of Van Gogh’s face that he emerged from his dream and immediately wanted to paint the alluring scene.

An afternoon with Hesiod,2016,Oil on Canvas,60x72in

An Afternoon with Hesiod, 60×72

En el Jardin de las Hortensias_16x20_28K

En el Jardin de Las Hortensias, 16×20

In addition to dreams, Julio is highly influenced by Greek mythology and the ancient poet, Homer. Many of his paintings depict the white-domed, House of Homer on the end of a narrow peninsula surrounded by cliffs and looking out to the Mediterranean Sea. An Afternoon with Hesiod shows a bird’s eye view of the Homer’s house and a glimpse of a white boat making its way towards the house. The ship is meant to represent another ancient Greek poet, Hesiod coming to visit Homer. In his other painting, En el Jardin de Las Hortensias, you can see Homer walking among his hydrangea bushes surrounding his house on the tip of the island.


Arrival, 18×24

On the Bay of Mirrors,2012,Watercolor&Pastel on Paper,39x53in.

On the Bay of Mirrors, 39×53

The Fall of Icarus, a well know story from Greek mythology, is depicted in Julio’s paintings, Arrival and On the Bay of Mirrors, as shown above. Icarus attempts to escape the island of Crete with wings his father, Daedalus, made him out of feathers and beeswax. Icarus ignored his father’s warnings of hubris and flew too close to the sun causing his wings to melt. Known as a superior craftsman, Daedalus, is shown testing out the handmade wings he made for his son in Arrival. In Julio’s other painting, On the Bay of Mirrors, Icarus falls out of the sky to his death and drowns in the vast sea in front of the House of Homer.

Check out this short film about Julio and his work and stop by the gallery to see his fascinating paintings in person. Hurry! They are only here for a short period!

Stealth,2015,Oil on Canvas,62x70in

Stealth, 62×70

Colosso The Feet_24x30_45K

Colosso the Feet, 24×30

Winter Ride, 2000, Oil on Canvas,40x50in

Winter Ride, 40×50


Art Texture 101

Oct 4, 17

In the last blog post we learned about different fine art mediums. Today we want to take a closer look at texture and explore the different ways artists use texture to emphasize aspects of their work. As we learned last week, medium is not texture. Unlike medium, texture is the perceived surface quality of a work of art. It refers to the tactile qualities of a work and has elements of two-dimensional or three-dimensional designs. Texture is distinguished by its perceived visual and physical properties.  Therefore, medium can contribute to the texture of an artwork but texture does not influence the medium of the artwork.

Physical vs. Visual Texture

            Physical texture differs from visual texture by having a physical quality that can be felt by touching the surface of the artwork. Visual texture is the illusion of having physical texture. Some materials are perceived as smoother or rougher than others and can influence the outcome of the artwork. Artists take into consideration both physical and visual texture in order to give a sense of personality or character to their design. Repetition of shape and line and elements of the surface (canvas, metal, glass, wood grain, etc) all effect the perceived rhythm, contrast, or tactile quality of the work of art – also known as texture. Lets look at a few examples from some of ANFA’s artists.


Vesela Baker

Acrylic and watercolor are Vesela Baker’s, a full time artist based in Chatanooga, TN, art medium’s of choice. On many of her acrylic and watercolor paintings, Vesela applies a thick coat of resin over her different landscape paintings. The end result creates a texture that appears glossy, thick, shiny, and clear as seen in her works below.

Mossy Creek - VB - 36x48 - $1,800

Mossy Creek, 36×48

Summer's End - VB - 60xx48 - $2,800

Summer’s End, 60×48


Troy Dugas

Troy Dugas, an artist based in Louisiana, creates collages made from shredded, vintage product labels. He cuts and arranges the labels onto flat surfaces, usually paper, canvas, or wood, to create texture that appears woven. Repetition, pattern, precision, and scale all influence the perceived texture and distract the eye from seeing the original product label.


Purple, 30×30


Still Life, 48×36


David Burdeny

David Burdeny, an award winning photographer based in Canada, translates his appreciation for travel, structure, and space into photographic observations of the sublime. His sparse landscapes are characterized by an aerial perspective that renders pattern and repetition within his captured details. He uses an aluminum composite panel and lustre laminate when printing his photographs to emphasize the smooth and sleek texture of the landscape that is perceived to continue off the surface of the work.

David Burdeny - Tupips 02 - 32x32 - $4,900

Tulips 02, 32×23

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Saltern Study 06, 32×32


Kinuko Hoffman

Kinuko Hoffman has lived in countries across Asia while studying traditional Chinese brush painting before she moved to New York City to study at the National Academy School of Fine Arts and explore painting in oil. Her training has led her to create mixed media assemblages full of texture, depth, and contrast. She experiments with different materials such as pumice, paper, wood, string, and cloth, adding and taking away elements from the canvas until her finished work emerges. The assemblage of raw materials and limited color palette of bold tones creates varied texture within each abstract painting.

142_Distinct_Path_50x40 - Kinu Hoffman

Distinct Path, 50×40

150_Origin_48x48 - Kinu Hoffman

Origin, 48×48

As with all things, the computer screen can distort images especially when it comes to color and texture. Stop by Anne Neilson Fine Art to check out different textures for yourself!




Art Mediums 101

Sep 27, 17

With close to 50 artists represented at Anne Neilson Fine Art, we see a wide variety of art mediums. An artwork’s medium refers to the different materials or supplies that an artist utilizes in order to create a work of art. In painting, medium can refer to both the type of paint used (oil, acrylic, watercolor, etc) and the base or ground to which the paint is applied (canvas, wood, paper, etc). Knowing the paint medium when you look at a work of art is key because it greatly affects the way one can perceive the color, texture, and overall appearance of an artwork.
At the gallery, our artists utilize a variety of media. This permits differences between artworks where the style and subject matter cannot compete. Below we’ve highlighted a few examples to show you why medium matters and how it contributes to the diversification of our fine art collection.

Painting: Oil vs. Acrylic vs. Watercolor

Oil on Canvas: Sandy Ostrau, Joe Vinson

Oil is a type of slow drying paint. It consists of particular pigments suspended in a drying oil. This kind of medium does not dry quickly. It blends into the surroundings and allows the blending of color. It produces vivid colors with a natural sheen and distinct context. It provides a surface translucency similar to human skin making it an ideal for portrait painting. Oil paint eventually became the principal medium used for creating artworks as its advantages became widely known. The transition began with Early Netherlandish painting in northern Europe, and by the height of the Renaissance oil painting techniques had almost completely replaced tempera paints in the majority of Europe.


Sandy Ostrau, Outdoor Seating, 18×12

Art Critic, John Seed describes Sandy Ostrau and her work, “An intuitive artist who loves paint as a substance — and who has a tendency to obliterate her imagery with painterly gestures — Ostrau doesn’t go all the way to abstraction. To do so would remove the emotional connection she wants viewers to have with her source material. “I’m not a fully abstract painter,” she explains: “I want people to feel the landscape.”

Tangerine 24x24- Joe Vinson

Joe Vinson, Tangerine, 24×24

Joe Vinson explains his love for oil painting, “I love painting, especially oil painting.  There is something wonderful and unique about the immediacy and totality of this art form.  I love its long history and the many forms that it has taken.”

Acrylic: Stuart Coleman Budd, Adele Yonchak

Acrylic is a fast drying paint allowing far less time than oil to blend colors and apply minute details unto the painting. It contains pigments suspended in polymer emulsion. Acrylic paints are usually diluted with waters, but become water resistant when dry. Using acrylic, the artist must work far more quickly than if they were using oil.

Folly - SCB - 44x72 - $8,000

Stuart Coleman Budd, Folly, 44×72

Viaduct View - 30x30 - $1,100

Adele Yonchak, Viaduct View, 30×30

Watercolor: Ellen Levine Dodd

Watercolor is a painting method in which the paints are made of pigments suspended in a water-soluble vehicle. The traditional and most common support for watercolor paintings is paper; other supports include papyrus, bark papers, plastics, vellum or leather, fabric, wood and canvas. The art of water color began with the cave paintings of Paleolithic Europe, used in the manuscript illumination by the Egyptians, and continued to flourish during the European Renaissance. Water color paint consist of four principal ingredients; colorant (commonly pigment), binder, the substance that holds the pigment in suspension and fixes the pigment to the painting surface, additives, substance that alter the viscosity, hiding, durability or color of the pigment and vehicle mixture, lastly, the solvent, the substance use to thin or dilute the paint for application and that evaporates when the paint hardens or dry.

California Contemporary painter, photographer and printer

Ellen Dodd, Saguaro Sunset, 11×15
Sea Bluff 2 - ELD - 4x3

Ellen Dodd, Sea Bluff, 4×3


Mixed MediaKen Tate, Kinuko Hoffman or Kim Fonder 

Wait…. What does “Mixed Media” mean? Mixed media indicates that an artist used a variety (two or more) of mediums to produce a single artwork. 
Burberry - KT - 31x25 - $2,000

Ken Tate, Burberry, 31×25


Kim Fonder, Cieli Grigi E Blu Delle Nuvole, 60×72

143_Bliss_II_50x40 - Kinu Hoffman

Kinuko Hoffman, Bliss II, 50×40


CAUTION: Medium is not Texture!

Sometimes the best of us confuse medium with texture. Although medium contributes to the texture of a painting, the two terms are completely different. Texture refers to the tactile qualities of a work. Does it look smooth and glossy? Or rough, like sandpaper? Is the painting built up in drips/globs? The texture will differ depending on the medium that the artist chooses. We will discuss more of texture in a later post, so check in soon!


Artist Spotlight: Michael Barringer

Sep 20, 17

Anne Neilson Fine Art would like to introduce one of our most distinguished artists, Michael Barringer. A fellow North Carolina native, Michael has been painting full time for as long as twenty-five years. His work provides the viewer with a fresh perspective, often breaking down forms and exploring multiple layers. Interested in the history of the natural, spiritual, and primitive world, Michael’s work questions, “how the world fits together from its many parts, and what drives our need to know and create and seek the spiritual.” He uses charcoal, conte crayon, and washes of acrylic paint to create his image and continues by sanding and carving directly onto the canvas with a razor blade to develop multiple layers within his work. To gain more insight about Michael’s artistic process, read the exclusive interview below!


Michael and his son, Ben hiking at Stone Mountain Park

Name: Michael Barringer

Hometown: Granite Quarry, NC

Currently Living: Lilburn, GA

When did you start your career in art? How long have you known you wanted to be an artist?  

I began painting full time in 1992. From early on, I drew constantly. I remember always feeling the magic of being in the ocean or the mountains, and wanting to make my own version of those experiences. My maternal grandfather was a stonecutter in the quarry. My paternal grandfather was a blacksmith for Southern Railroad. I suppose some of their ability for making objects, and crafting out form came down through the gene pool. As well, both were Renaissance men: making their own tools, planting and harvesting many vegetables and fruits, and making wine.

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Michael’s maternal grandfather, Arthur Lefler’s handmade hammer, chisel, and cut paving stone from Granite Quarry, NC, circa 1920s – 30s

Describe your aesthetic in three words.

Inevitable, layered, lingering

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Close up detail of Michael’s work

Describe your artistic process and preparation.

I paint by natural light during the day, and never work at night. I enjoy taking walks through our woods and meadow, as this exposes me to textures and lights and natural sounds. Lately, I have been using my computer to continually run through images and texts and ideas from all over. This “universal brain” we now have is astounding. I keep regular studio hours, Monday through Friday, generally 6 to 7 hours daily.  I need the structure.  

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Michael’s light-filled studio

Favorite piece you’ve painted to date and why?  

I like to think my most recent completed painting is my favorite piece!  But then, there is always the restlessness to keep going, and make the next work the one I am most proud of making

Who inspires you personally and/or professionally?

I greatly admire these poets: TS Eliot, Wallace Stevens, Kenneth Rexroth, and Walt Whitman. Eliot’s major work, Four Quartets, has been the main foundation for me for many years, because of his exploration of the spiritual in humankind, from the primitive sense of the Other, on through to highly developed rituals and sacraments. Wallace’s use of colorful language and his supreme imagination have all been intriguing. Rexroth’s concern with integrating many religious belief systems, throughout eras and geographies, has been inspiring. With his exploration of the animal desires in us all, Whitman has always opened my eyes to our place in the natural world.

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T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

What challenges do you think exist in the world of fine art?  

There is always the desire to keep the work honest and original and untainted from popular tastes and demands.   

How do you approach/overcome them?

I try my best to stay fresh, but I realize that it is an honor to paint for a living, and that compromise is unavoidable at times.

Biggest accomplishment to date (personally or professionally)?   

I think striving to meet the challenge of helping to raise my three children with my wife, Mindy, and maintaining an active studio practice as well.

Favorite location to paint/what is your studio like?

My studio is filled with natural light, with several windows and skylights and a large garage door on one end which I can open – so it is an airy, bright space. I enjoy an orderly and clean environment. I work to music of all kinds, but lately, jazz, and the more free form expressions of Eric Dolphy, Dave Holland, Ornette Coleman, McCoy Tyner, and Charles Mingus, to name a few. Acoustic guitarist Michael Hedges, with his primal groove and unbelievable dynamic range, always inspires. PJ Harvey’s raw emotion and artistry are examples of urgency.

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Musical artists often played in Michael’s studio and influencing his work


Years of accumulated layers and drips of paint in Michael’s studio

A random fact about you?

Rufus Barringer, a general in the Civil War, and a distant relative, was married to Stonewall Jackson’s daughter.


Rufus Clay Barringer (1821 – 1895)

Favorite place to vacation?

Our honeymoon trip to Alaska was life changing. We flew into Anchorage, rented a car and drove over 2500 miles through awe inspiring terrain: huge expanses of tundra, soaring mountain ranges, rushing snow melt fed rivers, and mammoth slow creeping glaziers. Another adventure up the coast of California to Humboldt State Park and the largest Redwood trees on earth was truly reality altering. The gigantic scale and otherworldly quiet within the groves made for a primal exhilaration. Frequent trips to the southwestern mountains of North Carolina always reacquaint me with the ancient cycles and the frightening indifference of the natural world.

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What are you currently reading?  The Idea Of The Holy, by Rudolf Otto.

What would you be doing if you were not an artist?

I would enjoy being a chef or landscaper. Chefs are perhaps the truest artists we have, as they create beauty which arouses and satisfies all the senses. Landscaping provides the joy of witnessing first hand, and in focus, the shifting seasons and growth rhythms.  

One thing you couldn’t live without?  

I would like to think that I could adapt to losing anything.  

If you could switch lives with anyone for a day, who would it be?

Albert Einstein.

Your all-time favorite artist and/or your favorite emerging artist?

Brice Marden, James Bishop, Willem deKooning, Paul Klee and Kurt Schwitters are visual artists of great importance for me. I admire Marden for his integrity and purposefulness and ability to evoke deep emotions within a rigorous, minimalist aesthetic. Bishop’s sense of improvisation, and his confident acceptance of the accidental are both powerful strategies I admire. DeKooning’s versatility and sheer energy are almost beyond belief. Plus, his supreme dedication to the craft of painting always amazes. With his ability to create profound visual statements within a small format, Klee demands my continual respect. As well, his highly sophisticated visual language (in the guise of primitive markings) is a wonder. I go to Schwitters for his pursuit of the collage sensibility.


Willem de Kooning, Woman I, 1952

Dream commission?

The next one!

What do you want your audience to know about your work?  

Each time out, I do my best.

What makes your work unique?

Only one me in the world, so it could not be otherwise.

Name one goal for your career you’d like to achieve in the next 5 years:

Just being able to keep working steadily, and feel that the work is illustrating my vision.

Come check out some of Michael’s works now hanging in the gallery!

Bloomstone (Tabernacles) - MB - 48x36 - $5,800

Bloomstone (Tabernacle), 48×36

Bloomstone (Chauvet Rain) - MB - 44x44 - $5,800

Bloomstone (Chauvet Rain), 44×44

The Rock (Broke Into Bud) - MB - 48x36 - $5,800

The Rock (Broke Into Bud), 48×36

In Search of Crowns - MB - 22x22 - $1,700

In Search of Crowns, 22×22