Susan O’Neill is a Fine Artist. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan and post-graduate studies with internationally recognized instructors at the University of Michigan, the Rhode Island School of Design, the Corcoran School of Art, Studio Incaminati in Philadelphia, and The Art League in Alexandria, and the Art Students' League in New York City. Susan’s many years of diverse experience have honed her artist’s eye and provided varied opportunities to exhibit her work. She has received multiple “Best in Show” awards and honors, in watercolor, oil painting, and figure drawing. Currently, she is on the faculty at The Art League in Alexandria, VA, and the University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Susan is known for her enthusiastic and informative teaching style, where she emphasizes the importance of a strong foundation in the principles of art and design to achieve inspired and expressive works of art. She is represented at Principle Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia.
The dance of light and complexity of rhythms within a landscape or the human figure is an essential spark that inspires my artwork. Sometimes these inspirations are experienced only in a flash, and the nature of these impressions translates to paint on paper. Preferring to work from life, I explore the harmony that is present between the subject and the space it occupies to create the illusion of movement, form, and dynamic composition as a whole. I am captivated by the subtle relationships between the rhythm of line, the dance of color or value, and the fleeting path of light, striving to combine a balance between the uniqueness of my subject and my inspiration. The result is an interpretation that is somewhere between realism and abstraction, a selection of the significance and suppression of the non-essentials in the scene. I find tremendous inspiration from how these elements intertwine and influence one's perception of art. I intently observe my subject, staying true to the inherent rhythms and structure, but allow spontaneity in my process, by celebrating the unexpected delights that occur between the interplay of the materials and the finish of the paper. The white of the paper is an element of the process that I highly value both in drawing and watercolor. The remaining whites of the paper become elements of the scene, not merely left-over shapes, but a positive force, implying the multiplicity of the composition. The white of the paper reinforces the inherent rhythms and atmosphere of the scene. It gives breath and life to the artwork.
Ultimately, through the interplay of materials and my interpretation of the scene, I hope to convey the passion and excitement experienced in the timelessness of nature's rhythms and magnificence. My goal is to capture a fleeting moment and inspiration in time and how it exists within the essence of the scene. I endeavor to inspire the viewer to experience these moments and inspirations of life, to interpret the artwork on many levels, and to evoke an aesthetic awareness in every subject.