Feb 15, 2014

Spotlight Story: Portrait Painter Brian Neher

     Hibiscus House would like to welcome Brian Neher to our Artist Series.  I first saw his work on Facebook and immediately it stopped me in my tracks.  I was in awe of this man's talent.  His work is so very special.  Don't you agree?  
     Brian thanks the Lord for the talent which He has given to him and for the opportunity to use those creative skills for His glory.

I asked Brian to tell me something about his childhood.
Brian:  I grew up in Alexandria, VA, just outside of Washington D.C. Living so close to the nation’s capital provided many opportunities for me to be exposed to some great art at an early age. I can remember taking several field trips to the National Gallery of Art and being amazed at some of the paintings by Rembrandt. It wasn’t until 1996 when my wife, Jacquie, and I moved to Charlotte, NC, shortly after graduating from Pensacola Christian College in Pensacola, Fla.

I asked:  When did you realize that you had the desire and the talent to paint?
Brian:  I can specifically remember having the desire to draw when I was about three years old. Whenever I had the chance, I would pull out the crayons or a pencil and begin drawing from my imagination. It seemed that no matter how many hours I spent drawing, I never got tired of it. Each new project just fueled my desire to draw more. 

As far as talent goes, I’m not sure that it can be as easily assessed. I don’t really look at what I do as a talent, but more so as a passion to create. Between the two (desire and talent), I would say that desire is more important than talent because it is what motivates you to pursue your goals. There are many people who have natural “talent”, such as good hand/eye coordination, but if they don’t have the desire to further develop that ability then it doesn’t amount to much. It’s really the desire that a person has that drives them to pursue their dreams.

I asked:  Do you have some of your first artwork even as a child?

Brian's Very First Painting
This is so special and I'm touched that he shared it with us.

Brian:  Yes, I have several works of art from my childhood, including my very first painting. I remember working on it as a first grader in school. It was painted with finger paints and is somewhat abstract. I was so enthralled in the project that I missed half of recess to finish it. I’m sure that my teacher thought that I was a little odd, not wanting to go outside and play but, instead, staying behind to finish a painting.

My mom is the type of person who likes to save everything, so she put together several scrap books with many drawings and paintings that I did as a boy. I sometimes take a look at these scrap books and can remember specific things about each work of art. 

I asked:  Did you go to art school?

Brian:  I went to college and majored in commercial art. In fact, I had no formal art training until I got to college. My grandmother was a commercial artist who first inspired me to become an artist as well. She would let me watch over her shoulder as she worked on projects at her drafting table and would occasionally take me with her when she delivered artwork to a client. She was a tremendous inspiration to me and always encouraged me to draw and paint. 

I asked:  Do you have your own business?  Do you work from home?  

Brian:  I’m self-employed, painting commissioned portraits full time. I also work with two brokers, Portraits South and Portraits, Inc., who also provide commissions for me throughout the United States.

I do work from home and use one of the rooms as a studio. I’ve found that working at home provides an ideal setting for me and, because there is no travel time spent each day, allows for the most painting time possible throughout the day.

Working at home also provides some priceless memories. I have two daughters who always like to come visit me in the studio while I’m working. Occasionally, I’ll have to limit these visits if I’m pressed for a deadline on a portrait. Whenever this happens, the girls will often slide notes, candy, drawings or crafts under the door in place of their visits. One day, I kept hearing the sound of papers sliding under the door. At the end of the day, I counted about 30 drawings that the girls had done for me. Like my mom, I tend to save these drawings and will probably put them in a scrapbook one day.

I asked:   Where is your work shown?

Brian:  The majority of my work is not on public display but, rather, in private collections. Once a portrait is finished, it is packed up and shipped to the client. I do post photos of these commissions on my website and Facebook, but rarely ever see the original paintings again, myself

You can find Brian here at links below
Brian Neher Fine Art Website:  Portrait Painter and Artist 
Brian Neher:  Facebook Page
E-mail:   brian@brianneher.com
Phone:  (704) 543-8815
For more information on the Commission Process link here
Instructional Art DVDs and Downloads link here
Head Study Oil Painting Demonstration link  here

My sincere thanks Brian for sharing your beautiful works of art with us.

You are cordially invited to dolly's designs for tour of more breathtaking art by Brian Neher.


  1. HUGE talent-HUGE!!!! He has so much detail in his paintings that they look almost like photographs---only better because he has captured the essence of the child in each portrait. OH MY! WOW!!!!! xo Diana

    1. I know Diana. When I ran across one of his paintings on Facebook it took my breath for a minute. I say he has a great talent and he says it is more of a passion! I'm so glad to hear from you.

  2. These are so close to photographs, it's amazing. From a distance I would swear they were. Wonderful.

    1. I know! He is amazing! Thanks for the nice compliment I'll pass it on to him.