Monday, August 24, 2009

Mariah O'Neill

'The Visit' watercolor and gouache, 9 1/8 in by 8 5/8 in.

"What meaning does doing art have for you?"

Painting has evolved for me, so there are many answers
to this question. It is a nonverbal thing - about feelings
and processes more than meanings...about being present
and connecting. In 2002 I began drawing, just animals ,
because I felt connected to them. This was after a long
chronic illness, which persists, in order to salvage something
from the wreckage. For many years it was forced , I drew
and painted very rarely, because of a really brutal inner
critic. Finally,about two years ago,the critic got the boot.

I' d say that painting began as a way to defy death, which
was in fact on my shoulder. For me art defines a moment,
it is a meditation on the present moment.... it is a celebration
of life in the face of loss, as well as daily insults. As in Galway
Kinnell's poem , The Flower of Five Blossoms, it matters
that we go on singing. I agree with Billy Elliot, in the movie,
when he said of dancing that it helps him to disappear...
what a relief.

I do a lot of self portraits, for lack of any other models...
they have become a sort of inquiry into my various selves,
masks...asking "who am I?" It may seem narcissistic, but,
far from it for at fifty seven , it's really no picnic looking into
the mirror.....Each portrait is a process asking that question,
and bringing forth one of the many selves.. hopefully so
others can see parts of themselves also. I enter into it not
knowing what will happen, each time new, open, often scared,
I paint to find out what gives and am often surprised .

I love paint and color... I am curious and love to find out
what if I put this mark here, this color /shape there. In the
moment of painting, it simply makes me feel better, even

I love beauty, and I wanted to leave behind something

Visit more of Mariah's work at:


Unknown said...

Mariah is not only a very gifted artist, she is a beautiful soul... an old soul. She is so very wise well beyond her young 57 years. With each portrait; with each painting she touches something within us that brings about a healing for the viewer as well. She sings in the language of visuals and the melodies are like Mozart in color. My life has been enriched just by her presence. Love the paintings, and love the lady.

RK said...

Well said Zappha. Of all the work I view on flickr Mariah, your colors and brush work are the most alive in my memeory. I enjoyed reading what you wrote because I have more understanding with which to appreciate you. Thanks ~RK

Anonymous said...

"In the moment of painting, it simply makes me feel better" ...I relate totally . Often I forget how therapeutic making art is and then once I'm into it I think, of course, this is why I do it. It makes me feel better about everything.

Poetic Artist said...

Mariah works is so beautiful that touches so deep within. Thank you for sharing her work and her story.

Katherine said...

Zappha I hope that is going on her Flickr testimonials if it isn't there already! You certainly can write about someone you believe in. Thank you. Mariah I totally agree with Zappha.

Katherine said...

Rachel I knew you would enjoy Mariah's post! Very revealing isn't it? I am learning so much about the people I feel are my internet friends through this project, Mariah being one.

Katherine said...

Robyn I think the process of creating puts us exactly in the place where all healing is present....the now.

Katherine said...

Katelen I couldn't agree with you more. Thank you!

Katherine said...

Mariah thank you so much for participating in this project. Your imagery and words are a rich addition. You are a very brave artist allowing all that is you to shine through your work. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Mariah, is a dear friend and as we all agree an outstanding artist! I always enjoy her soulful works and connect to both the human and animal vibrations in both spirit and essence.
thank our lucky stars for artists such as Mariah!!

she wolf
diane m kramer