Since beginning a full time career as an artist at the age of 21, Michael Shane Neal (b. 1968) has completed more than 500 commissioned portraits on display around the world. His public, private, and institutional portraits include Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, five Presidential Cabinet members, former President George H.W. Bush, 9th Baronet and Laird of Luss, Scotland Sir Malcolm Colquhoun, three former U.S. Ambassadors to France, seven U.S. Senators including Majority Leaders Robert C. Byrd and Bill Frist, more than a dozen Federal Judges including Chief Judge Anthony Scirica, actor Morgan Freeman, numerous heads of Universities, and four U.S. Governors. In 2020 his portrait of Congressman John Lewis was acquired by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. His current commissions include former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Mr. and Mrs. Ross Perot, Jr., and former U.S. Ambassador to France Jane Hartley.
Receiving his B.A. from Lipscomb University, Neal also studied at the Santa Fe Institute of Fine Arts, The Scottsdale Artist School, Lyme Academy of Art, and was a protégé of America’s most celebrated figurative and portrait painter, Everett Raymond Kinstler. Neal’s studio in the historic National Arts Club in Gramercy Park, just off Park Avenue in Manhattan, was formerly occupied by Kinstler and his teacher before him, Frank Vincent DuMond. DuMond not only taught Kinstler, but also Georgia O’Keeffe, Norman Rockwell, and James Montgomery Flagg. Neal is only the third artist to occupy the space in over 100 years.
Neal’s work has been featured in publications such as American Artist, International Artist, The Artist’s Magazine, Art News, and Fine Art Connoisseur. He has received numerous awards for landscape and figurative paintings as well as the Grand Prize Award from the Portrait Society of America.
Neal is the chairman of the board of the Portrait Society of America. He also serves on the board of directors of the Norman Rockwell Museum’s National Council and the Andrew Jackson Foundation. He previously served on the board of the American Patrons for the National Library and Galleries of Scotland (APNLGS) and the Executive Board of Trustees for Cheekwood Museum of Art. He is a member of the Allied Artists of New York, the Artist Fellowship of New York, the Salmagundi Club of New York, the Lotos Club of New York, the Century Association of New York, the Players Club of New York, the Sloane Club of London, and an Exhibiting Artist member of the National Arts Club in New York, among others.
Neal, the father of two daughters, also enjoys church and community outreach, golf, plein-air painting, travel, and reading with a particular interest in history.
Fees starting at $50,000. Travel, lodging, framing, crating and shipping expenses are additional. Portraits delivered in approximately 6-9 months from initial sitting.
Michael Shane Neal will travel to the client’s location to obtain information needed to complete a commissioned portrait. Normal time would include one to two days at the client’s location. During his visit, the artist will spend time getting to know the subject, discussion of the details of the portrait including pose, clothing setting and complete a digital photo shoot. At the conclusion of the photo shoot (approximately 2 hours), the artist and client will discuss the session and review concepts for the portrait.
Once in the studio, the artist will begin the portrait from photographs. After approximately 1/2 of the portrait is complete, the artist enjoys a live sitting in his Nashville studio. This not only provides invaluable insight for the artist but an opportunity for the client to view the portrait in progress. A frame is also selected during this visit to ensure the portrait is delivered framed once completed. Whenever possible, the artist will deliver the portrait in person for final approval.