I am an Artist living in the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan. The obsessions & compulsions of my art making are tied to the natural world around me in this and other locales I visit.

Lake Michigan is about 500 yards in front of our home - I see it everyday. I grew up summering on the lakes of Northern Michigan. In my early twenties I served in the Navy, piloting an ammunition ship across the Atlantic and through the Mediterranean Sea. I traveled to sites I had only read about in National Geographic or studied in Art History classes. I guess you could call me a truly "Michigan Artist" - having all of my formal college training here at quality schools, and at least three branches of my family have lived continuously in Michigan before it was made a state.

The horizon line of a lake or land feature is one element that has been persistent for the last few years, and I see the thread of that feature in my past works. This obsession with line and drawing with the liquid paint in gravity has been around for over 30 years with me.

The aforementioned horizon line simply stated has been evolving and flowing to trees, fractally descriptive drips, and other focal colors. Bright yellows & reds of the day and sunsets, the shifting reds of the underneath of clouds, the green line of a shoreline...all float with the blues of the skies & water in my studio.

In 2016 I embarked on a new palette of silvers and golds along with my other past tones and colors. These works are even more abstracted from nature, yet maintain the essence and gestalt of my progressions. I had thought about this line of work for some time, and my 2016 solo exhibit gave me the right motivation to do it.

In 2017-2018 these gold and silver works have gotten more and more linear and complex. I am reworking older paintings at times with this new activity. This makes some works many years old in the process time. I have moved on to wood cradled panels as of the last year, and am satisfied with the painting sides evidence of my process.

My influences and heroes in painting are diverse. The focal home of my inclinations would be the Abstract Expressionists of the 1950's, although I draw ideas from diverse sources in Art, History, Science, and Philosophy.

I have exhibited locally the past few years at the July 4th Art Fair in in Harbor Springs; Palette Bistro in Petoskey; Twisted Fish Gallery in Elk Rapids; and in Bay Harbor, Michigan.

Currently (Summer 2018) I am in a juried exhibition in downtown Harbor Springs at the Historical Museum's "Shay House" across Main St. from the museum. The exhibition is open Fridays and Saturdays, 11AM-3PM.

My work can always be found at Ahrens' Gallery and Studio on our property just outside of Harbor Springs, Michigan at 5200 W. Lake Street. (by appointment)

SKY IRIS in downtown Harbor Springs have my quality smaller works for sale. Please visit this creative gallery of fine furnishings on State Street/ M-119 in the heart of Harbor Springs! https://skyiris.com/pages/about-us

Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey currently has my work in their Art Tree Gallery, look them up at www.crookedtree.org

Contact us directly @ 231-881-6607 or at neilahrens@icloud.com for inquiries on works or for a private appointment.