Beyond the Bend

Gerry O’Neill

March 12th – April 16th, 2022



As a kid my family made regular trips to West Virginia. The three-hour car ride transported us from the suburbs of Maryland through stretches of mountains and small county towns on rural roads. I passed the time mostly looking out the car window at passing countryside. I didn’t know it at the time, but that scenery still informs my explorations into my surrounding landscape. It might be a glimpse of a line of trees, or the way light hits the side of a shed that compels me to engage with that place in paint.

Painting on location is almost a sport. It requires a meditative focus, capturing the essence of a place before the light shifts or fades. Refinements are left for later in the studio.

In the field, I often experience a profound sense of wonder. I hope the viewer can share in that same experience.



Gerry O’Neill began drawing as a child and never stopped. The youngest of six kids, he always had someone to outdraw, outwit or outrun. Armed with a degree in commercial art, O’Neill worked in advertising in Washington, DC, before striking out on his own as a freelance illustrator. He now lives in Durham, a place he loves. “I am taken with the city’s character and the rural landscapes that surround it. I love driving the backroads and looking at the open spaces.”

Painters John Poon, Donald Jurney and John Beerman are important teachers who profoundly influenced O’Neill’s method and style of plein air painting.

O’Neill seeks to capture the poetry and atmosphere—the soul—of a place. This is his first show at Craven Allen.