Heather Neill


Heather Neill
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, 1958, my family moved every two years thereafter from California to NJ to PA, and back and forth in-between coming to rest for a while in Swarthmore, PA for the high school years then off to Connecticut College as an art major. The only formal training I have is from my college years, when I focused mainly on black and white, finding refuge in the pencil and printmaking process. I went to Boston after college. Worked in the Harvard Sq. Coop as a picture framer and ended up managing their custom-framing department for most of the 80’s. I left there to move to Muddy Creek Forks, a tiny self-contained village in a remote holler of Pennsylvania where I lived in the abandoned general store (post office, train station and hotel all in one building) and spent the next 5 or 6 years as a traditional chairmaker. Sitting on my shaving horse with my drawknife (using only hand tools) I made Shaker style ladder-back chairs and made the rounds of juried craft shows and museums. I can’t count the number of odd jobs that have put bread on the table since then, but they include farm hand, carpenter, bookbinder, vest maker, stripper at a three woman printing company and picture framer off and on for 25 years. My easel has been set up in every one of the 26 places I have lived so far. As of 2001 I now paint full time and divide my time between my log cabin and adjoining studio along the Little Conewago Creek in Manchester, PA and the open studio of Martha’s Vineyard, MA. By the time I decided to give painting my full time efforts I was well into my early forties. My partner of twenty years is a hospice nurse and living with her has taught me that life is short and far too precious to be doing something less than meaningful work. I work happily and gratefully full time, all day, every day, taking not one minute for granted. In the ensuing years the paintings have won numerous awards, been featured in both solo and group shows in galleries in New York City, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Denver, CO and at the Granary Gallery on the Island of Martha’s Vineyard, and in juried shows at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, the Butler Museum of American Art and The State Museum of Pennsylvania. I was selected as a feature artist for the second issue of American Art Collector, and have had work and articles featured in International Artist Magazine, Tea A Magazine, Cape Cod Life Magazine, and received several awards in Artist’s Magazine competitions.