Chromatic displays of the human form bathed in emotional landscapes of dark shadow and startling fields of filtered light define the paintings of artist Peter O'Neill. O'Neill exhibits a fondness for the contemplative female in unexpected and enigmatic poses and views of intimate situations with bathers, sleepers, and those who are lost in a poignant moment of reflection. As an observer, O'Neill watches his models and their natural movements so that his paintings do not look staged or photographic. "The work comes from everyday life," he says. He begins by talking to his models about their lives, and then he relates their stories in oil.
Though O'Neill's work is consistent in style, his subject matter varies widely, from figure studies, to beach scenes and fields of flowers, to ballet dancers and exotic masks, to portrayals of his travels to Italy. By combining the subject matter with his rich surface textures, he captures the ephemeral moments of life.