Down the Dark Path Home of author and artist, J Edward Neill

A Bounce Between Bottles – Write Tipsy, Edit Sober

August 2, 2018 | Books!, Love & Relationships, Philosophy, Relationships | Permalink

While deep in his cups, J Edward Neill takes readers on a sometimes funny, often poignant journey.

Playful yet serious, humorous yet honest, A Bounce Between Bottles delivers readers on a stroll through everything. It’s a lighthearted memoir blended with sharp philosophy. It’s social commentary blended with powerful cocktails.

Dating. Religion. Politics. That one time J Edward and his friend built a dam and met the world’s most relaxed water moccasin…
It’s all here.
One bottle per chapter.
One chapter every night…

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Now available for every e-device worldwide. 

New Coffee Table Book – 101 Questions for Single Parents!

July 31, 2018 | Books!, humor, Life | Permalink

This book is for you if…

…you’re a sleep-deprived single mom who can name at least 50 Pokémon but can’t keep your kids’ names straight or remember where you parked your car at the grocery store.

…you’re a single father who sits in a morning work meeting, waiting to give a monthly report presentation, when suddenly you realize you forgot to remove the polish your daughter had applied to your finger nails (and half your hand) the night before.

…you‘re the grandparent who can’t retire because you’re raising your young grandson alone. After an eight-hour work day, your nights are filled with homework, constructing cities out of Legos, and answer 2AM calls to chase monsters out from under the bed.

…you are, know, love, or want to get to know a single parent. Here are 101 ways to dig deep into the challenges and the joys of single parenting. The following questions are sometimes fun, sometimes thought-provoking, and always enlightening.

101 Questions for Single Parents

Now available.

Twenty One Questions for Humanity

July 20, 2018 | Links!, Tessera Guild! | Permalink

21 Questions for Humanity

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Regarding Music Lyrics

Is there anything that hasn’t already been said? Any topic at all?

The Secrets of the Universe

If revealed to you, and if they challenged everything you thought you knew, could you discard all of your previous beliefs?

 In the Struggle Between Happiness and Meaningfulness

Is it better to participate in the grand human social machine or seek contentment alone?

Immortality

If and when scientists perfect a method to extend life indefinitely, would you take the plunge?

In the Realm of Current Events

Beyond money, why do people choose to be Police Officers? Attorneys? Politicians?

That Thing Called Love

Purely bio-chemical? A genuine spiritual event? Or a survival mechanism to overcome the perils of being utterly alone?

All About That Bass

Do boys really want a little more booty to hold at night?

Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads

If, long from now, the world is completely mechanized, thus eliminating the need for most people to work, what will we do with our lives?

Everyone Has One

Which one rules the roost: Opinions? Or facts?

 Think Hard on This One

Does every single human life…have value?

A Moment of Omniscience

If you could ask ONE question of the universe and have it answered utterly and completely, what would it be?

This One’s Rhetorical

Why do so many people get so angry about politics?

No Judgments, I Promise

From the following, choose the worst thing you could possibly be addicted to: Alcohol, Drugs, Sex, Gambling…or TV…

 UFC 666: Jesus versus Superman

If you could lock any two historical figures (dead or alive) in a cage for a fight to the death, which two would you pick?

 That Song by The Clash

A fascinating new planet is discovered far from Earth. You can journey there safely and live out your life, but it’s a one-way ticket for you and whomever you take. Do you stay or go?

Stepford Wives (And Husbands)

Let’s say science perfects an absolutely lifelike robot for use as a spouse. And let’s say this beautiful, intelligent, customized-to-you robot will do anything and everything you ask. You buying one?

Continuing the Shallow Theme

Perfect body? Perfect face? Or perfect intellect?

Crimes Against Ourselves

Considering everything, does humanity deserve to exist?

In the Battle Between

Is there any such thing as absolute good or evil?

Back to the Future

You’ve built a time machine. It only goes one direction in time. Do you want to see how it all began? Or how it all will end?

And a Bonus Question (When Someone asks you if you’re a god, you say ____)

Pretend you’re a deity for a day. What’s the first thing you do to the world?

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Get more questions. Right. Here.

Cradle of Magic – Custom Made Art – Now Available to Buy!

July 19, 2018 | Art! | Permalink

Welcome to the Cradle of Magic series.

I’m now offering custom canvas paintings created in the color you desire. Each painting will look like one of the fantastical forests seen in the photos below.

How it works:
You pick your color, and I paint your dark, magical tree using iridescent acrylics to match your order. The process takes approx 3-5 days, after which I’ll varnish with a fine matte protective spray and ship immediately. Due to these being custom, each canvas will vary slightly. (But will match the style and flow seen in the photos.)

Color choices are:
Purple
Scarlet Red
Cobalt Blue
Green
Gold

A few of the color choices available.

These paintings are 12″ x 24″ on heavyweight (1″ thick) gallery-wrapped canvas. I create them individually with acrylic paint and iridescent watercolors. To make the backgrounds, I use a heavy watercolor drip, and after the drip dries I paint them with intense, bright colors and deep blacks for the trees. I’m happy to provide more photos by request. Reach me on Facebook right HERE.

I also offer a premium option, which includes bigger, deep-edge gallery style canvasses (12″ x 30″). The premium option is for the serious collectors out there. Check it out HERE.

Your custom painting will look like:

This…

…or maybe this.

…or maybe even this.

It all depends on the color you choose!

To get started, go HERE. 

Happy art-ing!

 

Hollow Empire – A Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy Series

June 20, 2018 | Books! | Permalink

Eight episodes of rich, dark fiction…

Hollow Empire


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In the aftermath of a horrific plague, the nation of Vhur teeters on utter annihilation. Its cities lie in ruin. Its king hides in his tower. Its people rot in their graves. Surrounded by death and suffering, four survivors struggle to live their separate lives. But the lords of Vhur have different plans in mind for them. For soon must come the Night of Knives. (Complete Season One – Episodes 1-6)
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Lys & the Heart Stopper (Episode 7) – Imprisoned as a little girl, Lys awakens in the world’s lowest prison. She’s to become a concubine to a faceless noble in a land far from her native home. But when fate intervenes, she seizes her only chance at freedom. She means to cross the wasteland of Vhur, in which the diseased Iritul have hunted humanity near to extinction.
No distance is too great.
She’ll do anything to rescue her friend.
Even if it means a confrontation with the deadliest man alive – The Heart Stopper.

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Nadya the Deathless (Episode 8) She’s mother to a slain child. She’s hunted across the wasteland. She’s feared, beloved, and she’s immortal. When the red & black armies come for Nadya, they have no idea what awaits them…

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Post-DragonCon Art Sale

June 4, 2018 | Art! | Permalink

Whew…

What a ride.

This year’s DragonCon Art Show was epic. A ton of great artists, a TON of great art.

To celebrate, I’m restocking my store with everything I didn’t sell.

AND I’m offering this coupon, which is good for 25% off everything.

YES.

EVERYTHING.

Let’s start with the prints and original paintings I featured at the Art Show. Through the end of this month, use coupon code DRAGONCON to get 25% off the listed prices!

Just click the art you’re interested in and go nuts. 🙂


Where Dreams Die (Print) – $15

Horned Queen (Print) – $15

Hither the Wind (Print) – $15

Season of Shadows (Print) – $20

Worship (Print) – $15

Underworld King (Print) – $10

Be Silent (Print) – $15

Furiosa (Print) – $15

Summoning Tree (Print) – $20


Also, the coupon (code: DRAGONCON) applies to each of the following original canvasses:

Visit my shop to learn more.

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Three Dark Fantasy Epics…in One

May 17, 2018 | Books!, Dark Moon Daughter, Down the Dark Path, Nether Kingdom, Tyrants of the Dead | Permalink

Deep readers, consumers of dark fantasy, lovers of epic tales…

My massive trilogy, Tyrants of the Dead, is now available as a three-book Kindle set.

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The Tyrants series contains three epic stories. Each can be read on its own or as part of a larger, darker adventure.

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Of course, the individual books are available on their own:

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Down the Dark Path is book I in J Edward Neill’s Tyrants of the Dead trilogy. When a young woman leaves home in search of a better life, she plunges into a world-ending war. The deeper she falls, the more she senses dark powers rising within her, and the more she realizes she is not so different than the enemy.

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Dark Moon Daughter – Book II in the series. Three years have passed since the Furyon war, but the memories of her time in Malog haunt Andelusia every night. When an emissary from a distant land arrives in Graehelm to beg her aid, she sees a chance to uncover the meaning of her inner darkness…and learn the source of her unnatural powers.

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Nether Kingdom –  Book III. At the world’s edge, Andelusia awakens to the terrible realization that all her dreams have come to nothing. When the shadows in her heart cause the seasons to change and deadly storms to sweep across Thillria, she knows what will come. The Black Moon will descend. Grimwain will return. The Ur will rebuild their haunted civilization atop humanity’s graveyard. Unless she alone wages war against the nether kingdom, the world will burn.

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Tyrants of the Dead

Darkest of ALL dark fantasy trilogies.

J Edward Neill

 

The Darkest Towers

May 2, 2018 | Art! | Permalink

Creepy gothic cathedrals.

Ancient dark towers.

Fantastical sky-piecing minarets.

Some of these are among my older (and therefore cruder) works.

Others are more recent.

Quality notwithstanding, painting dark towers is among my favorite things to do, second only to drawing attractive women.

Here…

The Last Tower – J Edward Neill

Ocean of Knives – J Edward Neill

Grave Towers – J Edward Neill

Gateway to the Moon – J Edward Neill

Black Light – J Edward Neill

Fortress of the Elder – J Edward Neill

City of Nowhere – J Edward Neill

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For more, go here.

Why I Won’t Do Commissioned Art

April 25, 2018 | Art!, humor, Life | Permalink

“Can you paint a portrait of me, but as a sexy, armor-wearing warrior queen? And thirty lbs. lighter?”

No. And you mean forty-five lbs.

“Can you paint my dog? He’s really cute. Look how his tongue hangs out the left side of his mouth. I really want to capture him in a painting.”

No. Your dog isn’t cute. Also, you have no money.

“Can you paint a lovely little orange barn with a giant Florida Gators logo on the side?”

Instead of that, can I paint a giant dark tower with a logo of a massive alligator demon devouring the souls of the innocent?

“Can I wait until you finish painting my commission to pay you anything?”

No. Go download something free off the web.

Ashes for Ande – A commissioned piece. Never got paid, so I kept it.

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I know why artists do commissions.

At least…I think I do.

For artists who have a strong foothold in the industry, who sell every single painting they create, and who can demand a high commission fee, doing custom-to-client work can be lucrative.

For everyone else, not so much.

In the past, I’ve entertained commission work. The orange barn with the Gators logo? Yeah, that was a real commission I did. I spent a ton of time and materials in an effort to make it perfect. I delivered, and the buyer paid me as promised. Only trouble was – I lost money on the sale. I invested far more time than I could ever hope to recoup. And more than the money, I lost self-respect.

I paint demons. Towers. Dark trees. Mysterious women.

Not college football logos on cheesy barns.

In my humble experience, I find more reasons to turn down work than to accept it.

Oh, you want examples?

Last year I painted a huge wood panel piece for a buddy of mine. I quoted him my fee, spent most of two full nights sharpening the image, and delivered earlier than promised. Now, I love this guy like a brother. But here we sit, six months later, and he still hasn’t paid. I’m not willing to lose a friend over the issue, and so I don’t mention the money anymore. Though I do feel a little pain whenever I see the panel hanging on his living room wall.

No, I’m not bitter.

If anything, he helped me.

I’ll explain.

When I sit down late at night, a fresh canvas before me, a glass of scotch in hand, and my paintbrush whirling, I’m in my element. I’m right where I want to be. Whatever I’m about to create will bring me great enjoyment. It could be something grand – a giant mural of skulls. Or something simple – a swirly drip-painted tree. It doesn’t matter. I’ll love it because it’s mine. No one told me to do it. No one cares whether or not I succeed.

But…

If I’m creating the piece for a commission sale, none of this is true.

I’ll feel pressure to make it ‘perfect’ as if perfection is something that exists in art. I’ll feel hurried. I won’t feel like a creator anymore, but rather like a business. It’ll become work instead of pleasure. Rather than savor every moment, I’ll want the process to end as quickly as possible.

I’ll hate it.

I want to paint this…

…not this.

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What’s weird is..

Even though I’ll strive to make the commission look fantastic, I won’t do my absolute best work. My creative engine will go idle, and my brush won’t move with the kind of freedom to which I’m accustomed. That’s just the way it goes. With freedom comes passion. With rigid expectation comes pain.

Not a week goes by without at least one person requesting some kind of work from me. “Draw me a tattoo?” they’ll ask. “Paint a forest scene for my wife’s bathroom.” “Paint my portrait, only not exactly like me. Make me look better.”

Some people want me to do this work for free. Or at rock bottom cost. Or they want to wait until I’m done to decide whether or not they’ll pay.

To a degree, I understand these approaches. Art is a luxury to most people. More important things exist, like utility bills, car payments, and food on the table.

The solution feels simple.

Don’t do it. No commissions…ever. No worrying about other people’s ideas, needs, and wants. Make art a meditative, peaceful thing, a creative avalanche instead of a business goal. Separation from commission angst means not worrying about whether or not I’ll get paid. It means growing my skill organically, not forcing myself into styles I either haven’t yet mastered or have little interest in studying. It means painting at a self-chosen pace, not hustling to push something out the door I never wanted to do in the first place. And it means a friendly but firm “No” to everyone who asks the question, and then peace of mind afterward.

Commissioned J Edward art

 

Non-commissioned J Edward art

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Is it a bad idea to say, “No commissions! Ever!” Yeah. Maybe. I’m probably eliminating a segment of the population who might otherwise be interested in my style.

Am I going to lose sleep over it? No.

I’d rather be broke and free than wealthy and enslaved.

This philosophy applies to much more than art.

It’s life, man.

J Edward Neill

This article is a mirror of my original Tessera Guild piece.