Paintings on Wood
Keep watch, dear
Lord, with those who work, or watch, or
weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who
sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless
the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the
joyous; and all for your love's sake.
Book of Common Prayer
In 2005, I began
painting angels on strips of wood that were left over from a
classroom project. I gave these angels to friends and family
when they were going through a time of grief or trouble. These
Guardians were intended to be a simple reminder of hope in the
dark corners of a home where we feel the most afraid and alone.
encouraged me to paint smaller versions of these angels that
could be given as affordable gifts. My mother says, "Everyone
has at least one dark corner in their life."
In this light, painting them is a manual
act of contemplative prayer for me. Each one is different and my prayer
is that it will provide a sense of hope to the home where it is
Some friends have
asked me to paint an angel with a specific friend in mind. I
welcome these commissions.
than the image of the angel is the knowledge that the recipient
has a friend who cares and understands the difficulty they face.
Guardians are now
and Medical, Spartanburg
Neely is the Director of the Success Initiative at Wofford College.
Neely holds the
B.A. degree from Wofford, (2002). During his time at Wofford, he
was selected as the 16th International Presidential
Scholar. Neely studied relationships between water and spiritual
practice during his global journey.
creative writer and a visual artist, in 2005 Neely served as
writer-in-residence and editor for Hidden Voices, a book project
sponsored by The Hub City Writers Project, the Spartanburg Arts
Partnership, and Piedmont Care, Inc.
photographs of a Spartanburg water tower are on permanent display at the
Spartanburg County Administration Building. He is currently a student in
the MFA in Interdisciplinary Art program at Goddard College.
In his studio,
Neely experiments with new media and found objects to create
two-dimensional and three-dimensional art. In his body of work,
distorted renderings of human forms are often presented. He brings an
attentive eye to the human condition in both his painting and
photography. These works often reflect his background in the study of
religion. He considers his time in the studio to be a manual
manifestation of contemplative prayer.