- Published: Monday, 15 September 2014 15:24
- Written by Linda Neel
Tom Neel - Editor, Writer, Photographer
Born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Maryland not so far from the family farm in Neelsville, Tom was creatively inspired from infancy on. Drawing and painting, fine scale model building, writing for the school paper and lead to sign painting, photography and a vast automotive career which included racing, customization and eventually sales management in California.
Feeling creatively stifled, it was time to reboot and he migrated to Virginia in the late 1980s where he would meet his wife to be Linda, owner at the time of Leesburg Gallery of Art. Tom, a self taught painter began to sell his fine art there over 26 years ago. The creative duo would go onto join the management team of fine art publisher, The Greenwich Workshop in Connecticut for 4 years, before coming back to Virginia where Tom has been a full time professional artist for over 20 years.
While Tom Neel does paint other places and other things, mostly in oil, some in acrylic, he is well known for his rich oil paintings which show his emotion and passion for the Piedmont region of Virginia. But to see a body of his work is to truly see wide artistic diversity and vision, as almost half of what he paints is commissioned by private and corporate collectors and offers a wide range of subject matter.
What goes around can come around in a good way too for an artful life. Tom is still known as an accomplished fine scale modeler with examples of his work in world wide collections including Ferrari. He is an avid photographer, writes his monthly column - The Artist's Perspective, for The Middleburg Eccentric newspaper and serves on the board of the Loudoun Education Foundation.
His dream though is Live An Artful Life Magazine. Never one to miss a chance to share his passion and help others find theirs, is a strong inspirational and motivational way of life - an artful life.
Linda Neel - Associate Editor, Graphic Design
Born in Denver, Colorado, educated in IT management, Linda Neel actually grew up with two absolute loves - textiles and horses. Early on, her passion for textiles was a passionate hobby and horses a way of life. So much so, that her love of breeding and dressage would bring her to Virginia in 1984. Ready for the new spin on life, she also opened Leesburg Virginia's first art gallery, Leesburg Gallery of Art. The gallery became well known for its fine art, fine art reproductions and distinctive museum quality framing.
In 1990, Linda and artist husband, Tom Neel, accepted a unique opportunity to join the management team of fine art publisher, The Greenwich Workshop, in Connecticut. For four years they represented some of the nation's top artists, before returning to Virginia. In that time, Linda had also chosen to leave her life of horses behind. Another new beginning.
Her unquenchable thirst for textiles became an unstoppable creative journey of workshops and experimentation, but finding her love of dye and silk, as a true medium, was the game changer. First, her colorful contemporary silk scarves became a hit with clients, while also exhibiting and acquiring awards at textile shows around the country. Linda's knowledge for textiles as an artistic medium is vast, which allowed her to achieve her ultimate goal of creating fine art.
Leaving her the last years of her IT career behind in 2008, another new beginning was opening Live An Artful Life Gallery in 2009 with her husband - artist Tom Neel. Located about an hour west of Washington, D.C. ironically in Virginia's horse country, the gallery's specialty has been fine art and fine artisan pieces made in American.Live An Artful Life has created friendships with both artists and customers that have deepened Linda's understanding and enjoyment for those seeking an artful lifestyle.