As a young woman, Doreen McNeill was a technical draughstperson, drawing navigational charts for aircraft. The work was meticulous and intricate. In the early 1960's she began painting while living in the Bahamas. Since moving to New Zealand in 1987, Doreen has perfected her contemporary abstract techniques.
"My compositions are not specifically geometric or representational but somewhere at the intersection
- they are a record of complete engagement"
Doreen uses abstractions, grids and directions which are derived from her many years of hand drawing navigational charts for aircraft – before computers were in common use and aircrafts were guided only by radio signals shown on distorted roller charts in the cockpit.
“I create my own images and I freely abstract using marks and lines to lead the viewer through a colourful and textural terrain”
“My paintings are emotional works and the inspiration comes as I apply the paint to the canvas allowing it to form organic shapes and textures”
While not based on any particular geographical area, the underlying inspiration for Doreen’s art work comes from the basic elements representing nature. Doreen paints in acrylics and builds up layers of exquisite colour to give the painting depth and a vibrant sense of texture.
Doreen does not wish to 'finish' her paintings and considers art as a process that is begun by the artist and if successfull, starts to live a life of it's own. In her creative process she works on a painting until a time when she sees the painting as 'something living' - when the art begins to work for itself.
"I create paintings that will forever be alive, fluid and moving - they can never be brought to a stop"
Now in her eighties, Doreen continues to paint with passion and gusto and is still exhibiting her work in galleries throughout New Zealand. In 2014, Doreen was a finalist in the Molly Morpeth Art Awards and was a winner at the Miles Art Awards - Friends of the Gallery Award.
Doreen McNeill has exhibited her work widely throughout New Zealand and overseas including Taiwan where she exhibited with Philip Trusttum and Philippa Blair. Her work is in the permanent collections of the ASB Baypark Arena, Tauranga Hospital, and the Tauranga Art Gallery, where she had a public retrospective exhibition in 2010.
"The thing that interests me is that today painters do not have to go to a subject outside of themselves"
Jackson Pollock, 1951