Off The Wall Magazine Q&A with Christopher O'Connor
View Christopher O'Connor's latest work
Maine. Originally from a small fishing town in the south west of Ireland, I arrived in Maine eleven years ago. Thankfully I did not have too much of an adjustment to make when landing in Portland. The salty air, the screeching seagulls overhead, the timeless bellow of a distant foghorn are just a few of the distinctive qualities that play out in both places. Maine has become my home away from home.
Inspiration. It's everywhere! A walk in the woods in the quiet of Winter, lying beneath a blossom tree in Spring, meandering along a rocky coastline on a balmy Summers evening, inspiration is always at the tips of our imagination. Creativity thrives in between happy accidents.
Medium. I work predominantly in acrylics. I am very particular about color and mix the shades I will use for each painting by hand. I love the lightfast quality of artist acrylic paint as well as the predictable and stable colors which allow me to repeat color formulas across paintings. Acrylics' fast drying time is a quality I’ve grown to love. And painting over something that I’m not happy with as soon as it’s dry is a wonderful feeling
Artist Hero. Too many to mention. Over the years I’ve been inspired, influenced and enthralled by all kinds of artists. Some influences subside over time, while others deepen the well. I am receptive to a variety of styles and mediums, I connect to art that explores an idea in a novel and exciting way.
Studio. My studio is at my home in Windham. Everything in the studio is painted white which allows me to focus more clearly on what is in front of me. I see my space as a laboratory of creativity, designed to make the act of making paintings as fluid as possible.
Where in Maine. In 2020 my family and I moved to Windham in search of a house that could incorporate a studio space. Three years later the whole house has been turned into a creative, dynamic studio space.
Fun Fact. When I was sixteen I drew a full copy of Raphael's fresco ‘The School Of Athens’ on my bedroom wall. Some years later my mom painted over it and turned it back into a bedroom wall.
Education. I am an artist who has leveraged travel and experience to inform my work and hone my craft. I am self-taught, spending most of my early years as a painter exploring cities around the world and painting as I traveled. I established my first long-term studio in the Gap of Dunloe, near Killarney, Ireland. It was from this studio where I developed my technique, unencumbered by external influences and distraction. I began synthesizing the inspirations I took from my travels with a deep passion for representing the ephemeral, ancient, and sacred beauty of the natural world. I continue to build up on this process of art making with curiosity, discipline and gratitude.
Learn more about this artist:
Radio Maine podcast interview
Art Matters blog article
Off The Wall magazine Q&A