“You must study the masters but guard the original style that beats within your soul.”
These words of Domenikos Theotokopoulos, better known as El Greco, resonate strongly with me. He was considered to be a painter of the spirit, and this expression of spirit is what compels me to paint.
I paint predominately with oils on canvas, often incorporating line drawn with charcoal or china marker. Most recently I’ve been building upon the remnants of this mark making with geometric blocks and shapes of color. There is a strong emphasis on design and composition within my pieces, a result of my formal education and career in graphic design.
I love to portray narratives through a cast of characters in unexpected contexts, and utilize color and expressive brushstrokes to convey their emotion. I also find delight in turning the mundane into the extraordinary- like mighty cheeseburgers and big bowling shoes. Even the humblest of objects have a story behind them.
Painting as a form of storytelling is my passion, and ultimately what inspires me to continue studying the masters while guarding the original style that beats within my soul.
Nina O’Neil is a contemporary painter best known for her large scale figurative work.
She received her BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Washington, followed by a 26-year career as visual and user experience designer in the tech industry. She recently resigned from her position at Microsoft to pursue her true passion, painting.
She currently resides in Kirkland, Washington and has a major crush on Bigfoot.