Neil J. Kienitz



Neil is one of the premier artists in the Great Lakes region of the United States.  His studio gallery and home are located in "dune country" along the southern shore of Lake Michigan.

Through watercolor art he thoughtfully depicts the joys of music, childhood, and human kindness — and the windswept dunes where he finds them. 

Neil is an acclaimed portrait artist and illustrator who is well known for the subtle timelessness of emotions he captures in his paintings, posters, and illustrations for children's literature.


My interest in art began at a very early age.  In fact, I was serious about it at the age of six and within the next few years had decided that I would be an artist when I grew up.

That early passion has never faded.

However, I had several other jobs along the way—working in the construction department at Bethlehem Steel, teaching guitar, doing display work at Sears, and doing free-lance cartooning.  I was also painting, primarily in watercolor, during all this time, but finally made the decision to do fine art full-time.

Being virtually self taught, I have exhibited in many art fairs, juried exhibitions, galleries, and one-man and group shows.  Teaching art has also been a major involvement for me.

Recently, my interests have expanded to include children’s book illustration and other fantasy work for children.  I am also one of eight artists producing posters relating to the South Shore, the last electric interurban railroad in the U.S.  It runs between South Bend, Indiana and Chicago.  These posters are a great mix of commercial and fine art.

It is a tremendous blessing for me to be doing work that I love.  I thank God for that constantly.  I am also very thankful for my wife and other family and friends who have been so supportive all these years.

I fervently believe that my work and the work of all artists should  reflect his or her beliefs, values, ideals, and concepts of beauty…that art ideally should relate more to the spirit than to the eye.  Integrity must be the cornerstone of our work.

Further, good artwork must be competent.  That is, it must embody the highest standards of technique, composition and design.  When any of these areas suffer, a wall is built between the viewer and the work, excluding all possibility of any meaningful communication.  When they are done well, however, the viewer is invited into the artist’s world and is impacted by a caring attitude.  An artist must really care.

My greatest desire for my work, and my life, is that they will bring glory to the God of my creation and my salvation.  Jesus Christ is my reason for being.

Thank you for visiting my website.


Over 90 national and regional awards including:

  • Award of Excellence (top award, twice), Midwest Watercolor Society’s Annual National Exhibition

  • Special Merit Award (twice), Midwest Watercolor Society’s Annual National Exhibition

  • Over 30 Best of Show or First Place Awards

  • Signature Membership in the Midwest Watercolor Society



  • Wausau Insurance Co. Corporate Collection, Wausau, Wisconsin

  • Marshall Field Co., Chicago, Illinois

  • Amoco Oil Co. Corporate Collection

  • Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana

  • Mr. and Mrs. Arthur G. Hansen, (former president, Purdue University)

  • Oak Brook Bank, Oak Brook, Illinois

  • Jaymar Ruby, Inc.

  • Mercantile National Bank, Hammond, Indiana

  • Michigan City High School

  • Macomb County Bank, East Detroit, Michigan

  • Tippecanoe County Courthouse, Lafayette, Indiana

  • Borg-Warner Corporation, Chicago, Illinois

  • Michigan City Chamber of Commerce

  • Alliance Bank, Michigan City, Indiana