Annalise Neil: “Relational Gradient”


August 13, 2023

On View Through:

October 15, 2023

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Annalise Neil Solo Feature
Olympic National Park/San Diego/Isla Ispiritu Santo: Snake Molt in Hands, Wild Cucumber Husk, Son, Desert Island - Annalise Neil (Detail)
Time Piece - Annalise Neil (In Situation)
Annalise Neil - Earthstars, Willow Catkins, Coral Mushroom, Tube Lichen, Red-Belted Conk

Sparks Gallery is pleased to show the work of Annalise Neil this summer. We have been exploring the theme of “imagination” in our exhibitions this year, and Neil’s work is a wonderful example of how the development of complex ideas can be brought to physical form through a unique vision.

Neil’s cyanotype and watercolor works are conceptually driven, with inspiration coming from both recognizable subjects like nature and animals, to abstract, philosophical topics like quantum theory, perception, and time. In particular, Neil has been investigating the work of physicist Carlo Rovelli, psychologist and economist Daniel Kahneman, Professor of Forest Ecology Suzanne Simard, and essayist Rebecca Solnit.

Starting with ideas prompted from research, Neil processes these topics in her sketchbook, writing down quotes and theoretical diagrams, which are then edited down to form the visual composition of the piece.

Once she is satisfied with the visualization phase, Neil starts the cyanotype process: “Taking pictures throughout my extensive travels and time spent in nature has allowed me to build a library of images that I have subsequently turned into hand-cut, individual negatives. I have hundreds of them grouped into categories such as mushrooms, birds and plants, which I use to build my cyanotype compositions. After completing the photographic stage of the work–which often involves complex, sequential exposures–I may employ bleaching and toning to shift the color. I then use watercolor paint to sharpen and enhance formal qualities and to weave in narrative elements.”

Neil hopes her work will help encourage public discourse around these topics, especially what it means to be human in an interconnected world: “… I am keenly interested in discussing states of awareness and connection. All properties of all things are relational, and life is only possible through a collaborative symphony—nothing exists independently. Every living thing is a complex, multidimensional universe that interacts with others to form a prismatic web of energy. I endeavor to create work that will lead to contemplation and reflection, and that invites a thoughtful examination of our relationship to reality and our surroundings.”


Annalise Neil received a BFA in Printmaking from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY, with a minor in Art History (summa cum laude). In this program, Neil gained a strong technical and image planning foundation, along with a penchant for delicate mark-making. In 2010, she worked as an illustrator on packaging and product information campaigns for Anthropologie. She completed an Artist Residency in Motherhood between 2016-2017.

Neil is a member of the San Diego Watercolor Society, the Artist Alliance at the Oceanside Museum of Art, and the Los Angeles Art Association. Her work resides in private collections across the U.S. and in Europe.

Neil’s works will be on view at Sparks Gallery from August 13 – October 15, 2023  with an opening reception on Sunday, August 13, 2023 from 5-8pm.

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