Carolyn O’Neill is a painter and mixed media artist currently living in Whyalla, South Australia.
After seeing a mural painted by other parents at her son's kindergarten, Carolyn was inspired to take art classes and learnt how to conceive artworks herself.
Stemming from her experience as a psychiatric nurse, Carolyn's paintings frequently explore deeper emotional and spiritual themes; often inspired by the inspiration of music and biblical references.
With each work Carolyn paints, she forms a link between how each object connects to another. The timeless designs of the mid century modernist aesthetic subconsciously guide her work; not the latest trends.
Her main medium is oil on canvas on which she creates paintings that inspire rest, contemplation and interpretation.
Carolyn considers her paintings to be autobiographical, a visual representation of her inner life. Rather than articulate her work with words, Carolyn prefers her paintings to express the rich layers and aspects of her emotions and life experiences.
Carolyn is also founder of Modrevival, a collection of modern greeting cards and prints produced in Victoria.
Photo credits: Nixz Kerr, Joseph Kanaan, John Walters and Zoe Lyon.
The act of self-expression inspires and motivates me. The ’action’ or the physical outpouring of one’s inner self becomes a connective force. This raw but intangible energy is what I attempt to convey onto canvas.
I’m inspired by the early abstract expressionists from the 1950’s such as De Kooning, Pollock, Motherwell and Kline. Like them I feel that I am unable to express myself through representation. I desire to move beyond the recognisable ‘surface’; evoking a deeper emotional response.
Much of this work is autobiographical; depicting my inner world and emotions. They are similar to journal entries that are painted rather than written with references to biblical themes and the inspiration of music.
My work is generally unplanned; it is spontaneous and intuitive. I tend to work at a frenetic pace which I find both exhausting and energizing. It expresses a rollercoaster of emotions in varying degrees. The exploration of colour, line and form are a continuum in my creative process.
The physical and emotional tension in this work is evident in every brushstroke and drip of paint. It is this visual dialogue that allows me the freedom to express not what is seen; but what is felt.
I once read somewhere that “Abstract art is similar to a piece of music which may not describe anything tangible or tell a story; yet may stir emotions. An abstract painting depends on colour and design to do the same."