Neil Welliver

Neil Welliver
Born July 22, 1929
Died April 5, 2005
Nationality American
Education Philadelphia College of Art (University of the Arts)
Yale University
Field Painting
Works View Complete Works

American painter Neil Welliver was an extremely well-educated artist trained at the best Ivy League universities. His journey as an artist took him from working in the abstract style to more realistic landscapes, the latter for which he became much recognized and appreciated.

Welliver was born in Millville, Pennsylvania, in 1929, and he successfully completed studies at the Philadelphia College of Art. He went on to earn an MFA from Yale. He was fortunate to have studied under some of the more influential abstract painters of the day while at Yale, including Burgoyne Diller and Josef Albers.

Welliver paid his bills by teaching art at Yale, but he worked steadily on his own works. He was known for his dedicated work ethic, often painting for marathon 8-hour sessions after a long day of teaching art. While at Yale, his style migrated from abstract to more realistic, favoring nature scenes and realistic small-town images done in watercolor. Even so, his creations bare the mark of abstract influence. His scenes are watery and flowing. Edges are fluid and moving.

Many of his works feature abstract nude female figures partially immersed in lakes or streams. His colors favor natural, yet bright hues of sky blues, snow whites and rich wood browns. He painted many images of thickly forested landscapes, as well as mountainous scenes and icy-blue streams of water flowing through serene woodsy regions.

Neil Welliver endured enormous tragedy in his life. His home and all his art was completed destroyed by a fire in 1975. His daughter died suddenly a year later, followed by the death of his second wife within the same year. He also suffered through the death of two of his sons, Eli and Silas. Welliver himself died of pneumonia in 2005 at age 76 in Maine.

The works of Neil Welliver are on display today in prestigious art galleries, mostly in the United States.