Mark O’Neill’s work is consistently enriched and inspired by contact with the surrounding elements of nature. His landscapes, still life, interior and out door scenes are succinct in their style through his understanding of light and of the tonal qualities of colour. O’Neill has formed almost a hermetic attachment to nature built up through translucent layers of paint.
Born to Irish parents in 1963 in Lancashire, it was due to his father’s position that O’Neill had a nomadic childhood travelling to South Africa, Mauritius, Nigeria and Malta. His father was also an amateur painter of considerable skill and deftness, specialising in still life paintings, and encouraging him as a child. The family’s sporadic existence concluded upon their return to Liverpool. Mark’s early artistic training was provided by his secondary school art teacher, Colin Wilkinson, an inspirational man, who advocated a return to classical, realist painting and had and enthusiasm for figurative and still life painting.
With acceptance to Kingston Art College, London, O’Neill work took on a more graphic edge, where upon graduation, with first class honours, he excelled in the field of illustration. Vied by prestigious clients such as Harrods and Warner Brothers for his distinctive style, Mark’s work also featured on a number of book covers by renowned authors such as Catherine Cookson and James Herriot.
Since his arrival in Ireland in the late nineteen eighties Mark O’Neill progressively broke from the graphic tradition, becoming self aware as a professional artist. This development has been closely observed. His varied subject matter of robustly constructed still life provides a profound sense of realism echoing the works of Vermeer and Chardin. His sure observations of nature have
produced out door compositions which are full of a quite naturalism. His simple, unadorned interior scenes are infused with an intrinsic understanding of light.