Ned Neely is having his first art show.
The retired engineer is no stranger to having a pencil or pen in his hand. He recalls drawing animals in grade school in Galion for PTA presentations. But over the years other activities supplanted his artistic endeavors.
But now he’s back to art and on fire.
In his first-ever show, Neely’s work will be on display in April at the Gallery on High, 5 E. High St., London. The show’s first day will be today with a reception at 5 p.m. on Friday.
He’s displaying some 40 works of art from his collection of more than 70 works. He picked up his art pencils, pen and occasionally, paintbrushes to render numerous small pieces, which reflect his eye for detail.
The collection on display exhibits his fondness for older structures, from the dilapidated barn to the Victorian home to small town architecture in business district and houses of worship. But he also turns his artist’s hand to the gentle side of nature, flowers and birds.
Neely said his parents could draw and he and his twin brother, Ted, genetically inherited the gift. Ned said outside of a few classes and reading books on art, he’s self-taught.
During his career as an engineer, he was required to render project drawings so he learned to draw with perspective. It has helped him give his freehand drawings a more realistic look.
Using a drawing board, Neely sketches his subject in pencil, often from photographs, which he has taken on his travels or received from other sources. Then he chooses another medium, charcoal, pen and ink, pastel or graphite pencil to fill in the details.
He’s considered trying his hand at other media, but hesitates.
“I’m having too much fun with what I’m doing,” he said.
The show features quite a number of work displaying local sites of interest, including a number of downtown London buildings. But there are also art works from Iowa, the Atlantic Coast, Europe and elsewhere in Ohio. Some of the structures Neely has captured no longer exist.
His art has brought him much joy in his retirement and he’s pleased to have his first show. He thanks fellow artist/guild member Marjorie Foulk for believing his work was worthy of a show. He submitted samples to the guild’s committee last year and was accepted.
“It’s a very fun pastime,” he said.
He and his wife, Barb, reside at Choctaw Lake.
Dean Shipley can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617, on Facebook at Dean Shipley or via Twitter @DeanAShipley.