THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE PROJECT WITH LELAND NEFF, PAINTER AND PHOTOGRAPHER
LELAND NEFF'S ART DOES INVOKE THE VISION OF DREAMS COME TRUE.
Leland Neff: "I do believe one's essence can be seen in one's work. If one looks at my work, one sees me clearer than if one looks at me directly."
BPP: Who are you? And who are you really?
Leland Neff: My name is Leland H. Neff. I'm an artist: painter and photographer from the United States of America. My name means the land. I believe it is appropriate for me. I feel grounded with an appreciation of the land. I see and I try to express what I see in my work.
Leland Neff: I often find others do not have the desire to look but instead learn in other ways what they think that they're seeing without the investiation or question to look. My work is challenged based in the way of an adventure. I've lived and traveled to all ports of the world with enthusiasm for each new adventure and vision. My work comes from this excitement and desire to share what I've seen and felt.
BPP: If you could say something important you've learned all these years of your life, to the other people and they were able to listen to you, what would you like to tell them?
Leland Neff: There are three primary colors. All colors seen are combinations and percentages of those three primary colors: red, yellow, and blue. Any combinations of these colors are beautiful and takes away any fears of creating anything but pure beauty.
BPP: What is your real dream, the one that keeps you awake at nights and if one day it would come true, you would feel your heart calm and peaceful?
Leland Neff: All the artist's work that I've loved reflected their environment and their life. My dream is or was to create a beautiful life to reflect. I've been developing My Land, a 150 acre horse farm surrounded by rivers, hills and forests, with all the "friends" that are born on the farm. I grow most of my food in a garden and cut and split my wood to stay warm. I grow my own flowers and watch the births of my beautiful herd.
Peace on the farm was taken away last end of summer when a flash flood came and washed my beautiful herd of 22 horses away. The day before I indeed, after all the nights dreaming, had believed the dream was a reality come true,... then gone. I am thankful to at least have realized my dream and have had time living the dream.
BPP: How is life for the people in your country today? What do you wish to happen to them and to the people of this planet at large?
Leland Neff: I have as I said lived in many parts of the world and met amazing people everywhere. I've been embraced by people of many relgions and cultures and many levels of society. There remains pockets of bitter, uneducated people that strike out of fear and jealousy and ignoriance. I wish all to be enlightened.
BPP: If you had the chance to be a child again, will you choose to do the same life you do?
Leland Neff: Oh I probably would. I would thank my beautiful Mother many, many time more though.
BPP: Which exactly was the moment you understood what you want to do in your life? How did you feel at this very moment?
Leland Neff: There was never a moment nor a moment of hesitation or doubt. I have followed my heart for better or worse adnno matter what.
BPP: Something your: Do you want to tell us something we didn't ask you until now?
Leland Neff: I do believe one's essence can be seen in one's work. If one looks at my work one seem me clearer than if one looks at me directly.
If you want to learn more about Leland Neff, visit:
paintings copyright by Leland Neff, photos copyright by Pelito Galvez, Yasmina Rossi, Matthias Clamer, All rights reserved.
Leland Neff's art does invoke the vision of dreams come true. I hope he can rebuild his dream and that he will continue to share it with us through his work.
Thursday, May 26, 2016
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
AN ABIDING LOVE OF HORSES, LELAND NEFF, BY SUSAN SALK
JET-SETTING FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER LELAND NEFF RODE TO THE HIGHEST PEAKS IN A CAREER THAT CARRIED HI AROUND THE WORLD, AND FILLED HIS DAYS AND NIGHS WITH DAZZLING IMAGERY AND BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE. AND YET AT HIS CORE REMAINED A ROCK-SOLID PASSION FOR WHAT HE FOUND TO BE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL INSPIRATION OF ALL.
SINCE NEFF WAS 3 YEARS OLD AND GROWING UP IN TEXAS, HE IMMERSED HIMSELF IN THE SHEER JOY OF BEING NEXT TO THEM, RIDING THEM, AND EVEN BECOMING A TALENTED RODEO RIDER IN HIS YOUTH.
BY AGE 6, LELAND ALSO DISCOVERED HIS NATURAL TALENT FOR DRAFTSMANSHIP AND WENT ON TO CREAT A 200-PIECE EXHIBIT OF HORSE DRAWINGS FOR HIS FIRST SHOW.
"MY MOTHER HAD BOUGHT ME THE WALTER T. FOSTER SERIES HOW TO DRAW A HORSE," LELAND SAYS, CREDITING HIS AWAR-WINNING FINE ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY CARER, IN PART, TO THOSE FIRST TENTATIVE BEGINNINGS.
IN THIS WEE'S CLUBHOUSE Q&A, LELAND TALKS ABOUT HIS CAREER AS THE OFTEN PRAISED "FINEST EQUESTRIAN ARTIST PRACTICING TODAY," AND HIS ONGOING EFFORT TO HELP RAISE FUNDS FOR HORSE CHARITY THROUGH DONATED HORSE PORTRAITS.
Q:YOU RECENTLY HAD TO DECIDE BETWEEN DIPPING YOUR PAINTBRUSHES IN BAY-BROWN OR NEAR BLACK PAINT TO RENDER A PORTRAIT FOR OLD FRIEND EQUINE TO AUCTION FOR A FUNDRAISER. HOW DID YOU DECIDE WHICH FAMOUS RACE MARE TO PAINT?
I FELT BOLD ENOUGH TO ASK BARBARA LIVINGSTON (FAMOUS RACE HORSE PHOTOGRAPHER) FOR A PHOTO OF ZENYATTA AND OF RACHEL ALEXANDRA.
I DECIDED TO PAINT RACHEL ALEXANDRA BECAUSE I LIKED BARBARA'S IMAGE. IT HAD A VERY CLEAN BACKGROUND AND A GOOD LIGHT, A DIRECT GOLDEN LIGHT, WHICH IS VERY SIMILAR TO MY FAVORITE WAY TO PAINT, WITH A SHADOW OVER MY SHOULDER.
I ALMOST NEVER PAINT FROM OTHER PEOPLE'S IMAGES, BUT I REALLY LIKED THE SHADOW AND THE DIRECT LIGHT SHE USED.
THE PORTRAIT RECEIVED THE TOP BID AT THIS YEAR'S OLD FRIENDS FUNDRAISER AT OHEKA CASTLE, AND EARNED $7500 FOR OLD FRIENDS.
Q.YOU MADE ANOTHER PAINTING TO HELP THE RETIRED RACEHORSE TRAINING PROJECT, WHICH SEEKS TO RE-TRAIN AND RE-HOME RACEHORSES. HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH THE NONPROFIT STARTED BY TRAINER STEUART PITTMAN?
I'VE BEEN FOLLOWING STEUART PITTMAN'S WORK FOR ABOUT 15 YEARS. I WOULD READ HIS ESSAYS ON HOW TO RIDE AND HAVE BALANCE. HE HAS A STALLION SALUTE THE TRUTH (JC NAME: BOY DON GOOD)...AND I ACTUALLY GOT ONE OF MY MARES FROM STEUART.
SO HE ASKED ME ONE DAY IF I'D DONATE A PAINTING TO BE USED AS ONE OF THE GRAND PRIZES FOR THE WINNER OF THE RETIRED RACEHORSE TRAINING PROJECT A YEAR AND A HALF AGO, AND I THINK HE DIDN'T EXPECT ME TO SAY YES, BUT I DID.
I PAINTED ERIC DIERK RIDING HIS FAVORITE THOROUGHBRED FROM A F BY 5 PICTURE. ERIC IS A GREAT RIDER, AND HE WON THE FIRST TRAINING PROJECT, AND THE 30 BY 40INCH PAINTING WAS HIS GRAND PRIZE.
Q: EVEN BEFORE YOU HAD A HERD ON YOUR NEW YORK FARM, HORSES HAVE BEEN CENTRAL IN YOUR LIIFE.
I GOT INVOLVED WITH HORSES WHEN I WAS 3. THEY WERE MY FIRST BIG LOVE. GROWING UP IN TEXAS I RODE IN RODEOS, AND DID BARREL RACING, WESTERN PLEASURE, AND WAS INTERVIEWED ON A TELEVISION TALK SHOW FOR HAVING WON SO MANY RODEOS. MY FATHER, A NAVAL AVIATOR, TOOK US ON HORSE ADVENTURES EVERY WEEKEND.
Q: WHEN YOU BECAME A TOP FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER BY YOUR MID 20S, YOU STILL NEVER QUITE FORGOT YOUR FIRST BIG LOVE.
AT ONE POINT I WAS WORKING WITH THE FAMOUS MODEL SARA KAPP, AND SHE WASN'T AN EQUESTRIAN, BUT SHE LOVED HORSES. . AND SHE ACTUALLY ACCEPTED ASSIGNMENTS BASED ON WHICH HORSE EVENTS THEY WERE NEAR, AND WE REALLY BONDED OVER THAT.
I STARTED MAKING MY OWN PHOTOGRAPHY DECISIONS BASED ON WHERE THE HORSES WERE, TOO. I LIFE PARIS BECAUSE OF THE HORSE THING AND WENT TO ARGENTINA TO PHOTOGRAPH THE ARGENTINEAN GAUCHOS AND POLO PLAYERS.
I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN PASSIONATE ABOUT NATIVE PEOPL.E, AND NO-SUBURBAN LAND... AND MY ARTWORK REFLECTS MY APPRECIATION OF LIFESTYLES THAT ARE CONNECTED WITH THE LAND. I BELIEVE PEOPLE, NO MATTER WHAT, SHOULD DO A LITTLE MANUAL LAVOR EVERY DAY, FOR THEIR OWN STATE OF MIND.
Q:AFTER A STELLAR PHOTOGRAPHY CAREER THAT WENT FROM 1985 TO 2011, YOU CREATED A UNIQUE EQUESTRIAN PORTRAIT NICHE FOR YOURSELF, WHICH IS INFORMED BY YOUR YEARS OF TRAINING AND YOUR DAILY LIFE WITH YOUR OWN HORSES AND THOROUGHBREDS.
IN MY WORK,I APPLY COLOR THEORY AND TRY TO INCORPORATE SOME OF MY BIGGEST ARTISTIC INFLUENCES, INCLUDING THE VISION OF MARY BUCKLEY, WHO WAS THE MAIN COLOR TEACH AT PRATT INSTITUTE. AND I ALSO VERY MUCH ADMIRED DUTCH LANDSCAPE PAINTERS AND THE WORKS OF ANDREW WYETH AND GEORGE INNESS.
Q: COLOR THOERY AND IMAGERY MARRIED PERFECTLY IN ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE PAINTINGS, OF A GRAY RACEHORSE, WHICH YOU DID FOR JUDDMONTE FARMS.
THIS WORK IS ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN COLORS, YELLOW, RED AND BLUE, AND ALL THE COLORS THAT COME FROM THOSE THREE, TO CREATE LIGHT AND SHADOW OF THE OPPOSITE COLOR.
THE GRAY HORSE IS ABOUT COLOR AND FORM AND MOOD, BUT IT ALL APPEARS AS HAPPENSTANCE.
VISUAL BEAUTY STIMULATES ME ON EVERY LEVEL. MY WORK ISN'T SO MUCH ABOUT THE SUBJECT, AS IT IS ABOUT LIGHT AND COLOR.
Q:Q: YOU ARE BRINGING ALL OF YOUR EXPERIENCES, WITH HORSES AND WITH ART, FULL CIRCLE WITH THE CREATION OF THE LELAND NEFF FINE ART GALLERY AND SCHOOL.
I'M PLANNING ON OPENING OF THE LELAND NEFF FINE ART GALLERY AND SCHOOL AT MY FARM AS WELL AS A SERIES OF ONLINE CLASSES IN DRAWING, PAINTING AND PHOTOGRAPHY. THERE ARE A COUPLE LESSONS NOW ALMOST READY TO POST TO THE INTERNET, STARTING WITH "HOW TO PAINT A HORSE? RACHEL ALEXANDRA."
8 RESPONSES TO "Q&A: LELAND NEFF, AN ABIDING LOVE OF HORSES
DESPITE ALL THE WONDERFUL EXPERIENCES AND TALENTS THAT HAVE GRACED LELAND'S LIFE, FEW PEOPLE I KNOW HAVE PERSEVERED THROUGH SUCH ADVERSITY TO FOLLOW THEIR DREAMS AND CONVICTIONS. HOW LUCKY WE ARE THAT HORSES ARE AMONG THOSE DREAMS AND PASSIONS.
A TRUE ARTIST HE IS, IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE...
I CANNOT WAIT TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT LELAND NEFF-INTERNET SEARCH HERE I COME:O) WHAT AN AMAZING STORY SAUSAUN AND WHAT BEAUTIFUL PAINTING, MR. NEFF. HIS USE OF COLOR IS PARTICULARLY OUTSTANDING:O) I CAN'T WRITE MY NAME SO I CAN READ IT, SO MY VISUAL ART SKILLS ARE LIKE ZIP, BUT I KNOW WHAT I LIKE WHEN I SEE IT, AND I LOVE MR. NEFF'S WORK.
MICHAEL BLOWEN, OF OLD FRIENDS
LELAND, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR GENEROSITY, YOUR TALENT SPEAKS FOR ITSELF. HOPE TO SEE YOU SOO...ALL THE BEST, MICHAEL.
MARY WILSHIRE MAGNUSSON
LELAND IS THE KIND OF ARTIST WHOSE HEART AND INTELLECT ARE INSEPARABLE FROM HIS MASTERFUL SKILL AS A DRAFTSMAN: A VERITABLE MEDIUM WHO CAN CAPTURE HE SUBTLETY AND POWER OF LIGHT, ATMOSPHERE, EXPRESSION, AND EMOTION WITH UNCANNY SIMPLICITY.
HIS BRILLIANCE IS NOT LIMITED TO PRECISION IN THE WAY HE BRINGS SUBJECTS TO LIFE IN TWO DIMENSIONS. HE NEVER FAILS TO CREATE AN ENERGY AND SPIRIT WITH HIS PAINTING WHICH I BELIEVE IS ALMOST AKIN TO MINISTRY: IT FORCES ME TO LOK AT ANY NORMAL IMAGE AND SEE IT WITH FRECH EYES. I HAVE NEVER SEEN HORSES- OR PEOPLE OR EARTH AND NATURE PAINTED THE WAY LEE DOES IT. HE IS EXTRAORDINARY.
LELAND NEFF HAS A SPECIAL LIGHT IN HIS EYES. WHEN HE WALK INTO A ROOM HE LIGHTS UP THE SPACE. THIS SPECIAL LIGHT HE CARRIS WHEREVER HE GOES AND IT SPECIALLY SHINES THROUGH IN HIS ART. HIS ART IS A TRUE BLESSING TO NATURE AND LIFE.
I REALLY ENJOYED THIS INTERVIEW. I ADORE LELAND'S GREAT LOVE OF HORSES, AND ANIMAL LIFE IN ALL FORMS. I AM ONE OF THE LUCKY ONES TO HAVE HIS MASTERY OF ART HANGING IN MY HOME. HIS IMMENSE TALENT KNOW NO BOUNDS AND WE ARE SO LUCKY TO BE ABLE TO ENJOY HIS ARTISTRY. DO NOT PASS UP ANY OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE IN HIS VISIONS!
LOVE READING ABOUT LELAND NEFF....SUCH AN INTERESTING, TALENTED ARTIST....