Kate O'Neil

Kate O'Neil

Seattle, United States


I am a classically trained artist whose work has been shown at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Rental Gallery, The American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in NYC as part of an Allied Artists of America exhibit, and Windsor Gallery in Miami, Florida. I used to paint for for the San Francisco Opera, ACT, The San Francisco Ballet, and movies that came to town.

I studied Art at UCSC, Architecture at Cal Berkeley, and scene painting at The Studio and Forum of Stage Design in New York City.

My work is large and dramatic. My theatrical background and training is evident in each piece. Early in my career, I was successful in garnering shows and mural work but mid-career I moved to digital media and work in tech to support my children as a single parent. Now that the children are adults, I can re-emerge and I’ve already had a solo show which garnered a commission.

Artist Statement

When I was younger, I was very conscious of how people would perceive my work. My mother would laugh at my work if I departed from something classical. I’ve always had an affinity to flowers, but when I was younger, the art world considered flowers as decorative and feminine — two bad words. Well guess what, I am feminine, and if my work is considered feminine, so much the better. Through life’s trials, I have learned to let go of alot of things, and control over the paint is one of them. I now work in partnership with the medium and let the paint do what paint does. Of course I encourage it to move for a better composition, but it lands where it lands. I then listen to the composition. Whereas I may have had an idea of what I wanted to paint in the foreground, the background may tell me that that isn’t going to work. So I listen for the proper subject to be revealed to me.

When I'm working, I’m thinking about chaos, structure, intentional and unintentional outcomes, “organic” and the various definitions of that word, the beauty in imperfection and chance, climate change, and the tenacity of life. The work and I are having a conversation.

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