Neil Buchwalter
About Me

Neil Buchwalter

In 1995 a good friend of mine lent me his wood carving kit. This kind act transformed me from being an observer to an active participant in the art world. I attended a wood carving exhibition and was impressed with the beauty of the bird carvings. Being a dentist and enjoying working with my hands, I decided to try my hand in this process. This new hobby led me to numerous wood carving classes given by some of the best carvers in New England. Over the next 12 years I learned to carve a variety of beautiful birds, learned how to burn in feathers, and use multiple layers of paint to create depth and softness in the wood. This artistic journey gave me great inner satisfaction and the confidence in knowing that I can create.

When unable to find any carving groups in the Palm Beach area I looked for other options. Discovering The Armory Art Center was a God sent. There I started stone sculpting classes. Working in stone is very satisfying and very frustrating since your mistakes are so unforgiving. Carving classes at the Armory were outdoors, under a roof and as you chiseled at the stone you appreciated the artistic talents that the great sculptors had. There is something about working with a piece of wood or stone and creating an image that takes you back to our primitive time as well as propel you to the future to what could be. Working in stone lasted about five years as arthritic changes in my hands forced me to look for a less traumatic hobby.

My introduction to Light Painting was at the Convention Center in Palm Beach FL. Stephen Knappā€™s work was something I never saw before. How was he able to create these wonderful images? It was at that moment I decided to explore light painting. Little did I know what I was getting into. My previous art experience was using the take away method. You remove material to create form. Here you add material to build an image. I know of no schools, no teachers, that teach Light Painting. This has been a solo journey. Learning about light fixtures, halogen bulbs, light divergence, was just the start. Next came the glass. Dichroic glass which has the ability to transmit one color and reflect a different color was developed by NASA during our space program days in the 1970's. The stainless steel hardware needed machine shops help to create the size and provide the polish needed. The process was one step forward and two steps back.

This journey like the light beam has no end.

Neil Buchwalter