Reconnect You to Nature
Landscape Paintings by Kristen O’Neill
Standing in front of a waterfall you breathe in the mist, smell the damp forest, and something inside of you unkinks and finally releases. Exhaling a breath you didn’t realize you were holding in, you relax in a way that you don’t seem able to do while in your living room and certainly not at the office. You wish for this moment to last longer.
My paintings capture the emotional release, the beauty of the place, and allow you to reconnect to nature and experience your special place on a daily basis. Celebrate your love of nature! Stay close to it. Be able to show other people what you love, and perhaps inspire them to come on that next hike with you. Empower yourself and others.
I inspire you to look longer, and really appreciate a place by showing you its personality. I capture the essence of a landscape using a painterly approach to portray it in a way that demands attention, yet is still inviting. Landscapes are not submissive even when relaxing. They are not delicate when detailed. Landscapes are alive.
While I prefer to visit the place I paint, sometimes this is not possible with commissions of distant places. When on site I take hundreds of photos and do site sketches. And when time (and children) allow I paint plein air (on location). In the studio I use these sources to create my paintings. I am greatly influenced by the Asian perspective of looking into a landscape instead of across one. Often my work has an up close and personal feel to it. I do vista paintings as well, but only when they really speak to me about a place and a connection to a moment.
Choosing Landscape Painting
It was only while I was in college in Chicago that I realized that I needed nature around me. Without feeling the earth beneath my feet, breathing in clean air, smelling the trees, I start to feel out of balance and tense. Only when living in a big city did I realize I am a landscape painter! I started painting trees like crazy and haven’t stopped yet.
Growing up I played often in a forest near my house. My best friend and I would run as fast as we could down to a mountain creek. We’d hike up to the nearby waterfall. We’d dare each other to cross fallen logs and we’d try to catch newts and skip rocks. When that forest was logged I learned that places can change beyond recognition. During a class field trip to replant native plants I realized I could make a difference.
My Mission: Reconnect You to Nature
When you treasure a moment or a place you feel that you should preserve it. How? It’s easy to get overwhelmed and to just turn away from what feels like insurmountable problems; pollution, deforestation, habitat destruction, and melting ice to name a few. But, just as no one owns all of the earth, you, by yourself, are not going to solve all the problems. Take that weight off your shoulders and join with me in solving a few problems in a joyful way.
I am here to inspire you. To show you examples of people making differences where they are and educate you on issues and possibilities. And, more than that – to celebrate successes!
We protect what we love. We take action when inspired and uplifted. Join me on our revolution to do something as crazy as saving the world. One seed bomb, salmon run, and forest at a time.
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