Penn Cove Barn by Stacey Neumiller

Penn Cove Barn by Stacey Neumiller

Artist’s Statement 2019


You may have noticed by my subject matter, that I am smitten with farm life. Well, I grew up on a farm, albeit a small non-working farm but we had plenty of manure nonetheless. And I was (am) horse crazy. I was (am) animal crazy. There wasn’t an animal I didn’tadore. But it was horses I drew and drew and drew and drew. My drawings overflowed my bedroom and eventually ended up in two large Hefty bags stored in the basement.

My parents, realizing my constant drawing wasn’t a passing phase or an attempt to avoid homework, enrolled me in workshops and classes with local artists. It was during this time that I graduated from pencil to pastel and discovered the glorious world of color. I dashed along through my high school years happily creating horse paintings with pastels, garnering a number of amateur art show awards along the way.

With college looming, I decided to pursue my love of animals and become a veterinarian at the University of California, Davis. Unfortunately, college-level chemistry and I met head on and I lost. Not long after this I became an art student at U.C. Davis and studied under the celebrated Californian artist, Wayne Thiebaud. What a wonderful colorist he was and a joy to have as a teacher.

But I was convinced I would be a starving artist. So, looking for a more lucrative career, I enrolled in the Graphic Design program at California State University, Chico. I graduated and spent many years as a graphic designer in San Francisco and Napa, California. Whenever possible, I incorporated my illustrations into my designs. My illustrations were used in national in-store advertising campaigns. Despite my success as a graphic designer and illustrator I still felt the need to paint and create fine art.

So I began taking “plein air” classes, painting out of doors on location. I loved it, the fresh air, companionship with other artists, and painting with oils. Oil paint is wonderful; it has a buttery texture and vivid rich colors. It soon became my medium of choice. However, I noticed my art looked like everyone else’s art. I wanted to produce something different, something uniquely my own. Oddly enough, my quest for uniqueness began with a dream.

I woke up in the middle of the night with the image of a large, colorful rooster dominating a simple, brightly colored landscape where the house, trees and barn were dwarfed by its stupendous size. The next morning I went to my studio and created the image in my dream. I liked the results so much, I painted a large cornstalk in the same style.

In my latest body of work, I’m still exploring the images of farm life but on a smaller scale. Color still has a starring role in these paintings as do the animals, but now the background plays a more integral part in the overall composition.

My studio is located in Coupeville on Whidbey Island. I live in this magical place with my husband and assorted animals. Our two sons are now grown and off creating their own lives.

-Stacey Neumiller, Artist