Neal Grieg

Exploring the language of paint and investigating creativity of the moment are fundamental aspects on my journey of making a painting.

The elemental combination of earth, fire and water are my core subject matter, once thought by the ancient Chinese to be the components of a human body. I seek to infuse and overlap these elements in a distillation of paint.

There are musical and poetic comparisons as I aim to create a breadth of dialogue in response to a live landscape situation.  I attempt to weave a line between abstract passages of paint, that which is familiar, analytical and representational.  I am reminded of a jazz musician using a familiar musical passage as the hook on which to hang his improvisations.  Similarly, the landscape is equivalent to my hook.  I am interested in going outside to paint, responding to the day as it changes and unfolds. I document the light, space and texture, spontaneously painting the changes, observing and marking the passing of time.

At times a vigorous approach is employed, capturing a sense of urgency in an effort to catch the changing light. This could then pass on to analytical observation, seeking to emulate the subtle complexity of natural forms.

Working outside brings an instinctive aspect to painting. I employ a directness of articulation and economy of language. At times areas are left understated while other areas are the focus of attention. This is reflective of how the mind, eye and the hand respond in a cohesive flow in response to working from life, whilst the creative energy emanates from the heart.

I look for a sense of pictorial space, taking the furthest point from the eye, then drawing the composition towards me. Conversely, the viewer, looking at the surfaces and reading the painting is gradually drawn through the space.  In a sense I am painting an organic, natural space rather than a picturesque view of the landscape.  I am not averse to the beauty and interconnectedness of things.

The palette of colours is kept simple. Considerable mixing takes place, on the palette and on the painting.  I push the paint around using various brushes and tools as the pigments get to know each other.  I often think of the process of painting as a series of mistakes, with an underlying sense of knowing, continuing towards a resolution.

Working within the parameters of a creative window, I see the painting evolve.  I aim to depict a distillation and observance of the passing of time, rather than a photograph snapshot of a landscape, which represents a split second.

At times the event of doing a painting can be very challenging.  Finding and getting to a location which has the right combination of elements, also being weather beaten and insect bitten standing too close to the edge on a windy day, sneaky freak waves, not to mention close encounters with various animals are  all part of the happenings.  At times I am struck in wonderment, standing painting the passing of a day as the planet revolves around the sun.

Born Belfast Northern Ireland 1965


Edinburgh College of Art Edinburgh Scotland 1983 1987

BA Hons Fine Art

Edinburgh College of Art Post Graduate Diploma Fine Art 1988 – 1990.


2015 Artist in Prison Scheme Arts Council Ireland

2012 Artist In Prison Scheme Arts Council Ireland.

2011 PollockKrasner .    Award Jackson Pollock Foundation New York.      Culture Ireland Grant , Imagine Ireland America.

2009 Artist in Residence in Reardon House Newfoundland.        Arts Council Travel Award.

2009 Monaghan Co. Council Professional Artists Grant

2007 Professional Arts Grant Monaghan Co. Council

2006 Professional Arts Grant Monaghan Co. Council

2004  Fellowship to Vermont Artist Studios Vermont , U.S.A.

2001  AerLingus Travel Award to Chicago U.S.A.

2000 Millennium Fund Monaghan Co. Council

1998 Leader Grant rural Development Award Cavan .

1994 Northern Ireland Art Council Award

1995 Aer Lingus Travel Award to Italy

1988 Andrew Grant Scholarship to Edinburgh art College.


2009 Portadown Health Centre Shortlisted

2007 Cork City airport Hotel

2004 Patrick Kavanagh Bicentenary Monaghan Co. Museum

2002 CPV Clones.           Fugi Sawa

2001 Queens University Dept. Palaeocology , Belfast

2001 Derrygannon Community Group, Co. Monaghan

2000 Knocktallon Community Group Co. Monaghan


2016     Custom House Studios Mayo.

2015     Ballinglen Art Foundation Mayo.

2014     Artist in residence Ontario Arts Society

2012     Ballinglen Art Foundation Co. Mayo

2011     Cillrailling Art Studios Kerry

2009     Reardon House Newfoundland

2007    Ballinglen Art Foundation Co. Mayo

2005     Ballinglen Art Foundation Co. Mayo

2004     Ballinglen Art Foundation Co. Mayo.   Cillraillig Art Studios Co. Kerry.             Vermont Art studios Vermont U.S.A.

2003     Cillrailig Art Studios Co. Kerry.             Loophead Lighthouse Co. Clare.   Artist in Residence Belfast Print Workshop.

2000     Artist in Residence Termon House Donegal.

1999     Artist in Residence TermonHouse Donegal

1990     Artist in Residence TheTyrone Guthrie Art Centre Monaghan



 Mayo County Council

Beaumont Hospital

Drogheda Hospital

















Clefnote Chicago 2011

Aiden Dunne The Irish Times. 2010

Fred Johnson TheSunday Time Cultural Magazine.

Aiden Dunne The Irish Times

Ian Hill Belfast Telegraph.

 One Person Exhibition

 2017   Doorway Gallery Dublin

2016   Claremorris Contemporary  Fine Art . Co Mayo

2015   Fidra Fine Art North Berwick Scotland.          Doorway Gallery Dublin

 2013   The TomCaldwell Gallery Belfast

2012   Claremorris Contemporary Fine Art

          The Market House Monaghan

2011    Lydon Contemporary Chicago.  Peter Lewis Gallery St Johns Newfoundland

2009    Blackbird Gallery Kilkenny

           Buckley Gallery Co. Cork

2008    Tom Cadwell Gallery , Belfast

          The Market House Gallery Monaghan

2007    The Private Collector Gallery , Cork

2006    The Private Collector Gallery , Cork

2005    The Mullen Gallery , Belfast

           The Private collector Gallery, Cork

          The Market Place Gallery , Armagh N. Ireland

2003    An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.

          The Mullen Gallery, Belfast

2002    Atlantic Light, Wellspring Gallery Co. Kerry.

           On Edge, the Origin Gallery Dublin.

2001    Artemisia Gallery , Chicago, U.S.A.

          Mullingar Art Centre, Co. West Meath.

1999   The Logan Gallery ,Galway

          Source The Dolmen Gallery Waterford.

          Source Drochied Art centre, Drogheda

          New Works St Patricks train, Armagh n. Ireland

1995    Donagh Series Monaghan County Museum

1994    Donagh Series the Basement Gallery, Dundalk Co. Louth

          Donagh Series The Cootehill Arts Festival Cavan.

1992   New Works Harmony Hill Art Centre Lisburn, Co. Antrim

          New Works The Crescent Art Centre Belfast.

1990    The Step Gallery Edinburgh Scotland.

          Hanover Fine Art Edinburgh Scotland.

Two – Person Exhibitions

2012     At Home Exhibition Tom Cald Well Gallery , Belfast.

2011      Tom Caldwell Gallery Belfast

2010       The Origin Gallery , Dublin

2004      The Wellspring Gallery, Co. Kerry

1997       New Works The Paul Kane Gallery Dublin.

And Many Group Shows.