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Artist Statement

"The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other, who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood."

The writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson have had an enormous influence on me in recent years and my work is a direct reflection of this.  His essay on nature changed the way in which I look at the outside world.  Our environment, and our relationship to it, is so intricate and complex.  I seek to illustrate this connection through both abstraction and realism.  My subject matter vacillates between detailed renderings and studies of wildlife, abstracted representations of nature, and the human body placed in natural settings.  Much of my work is "controlled abstraction," which I believe can be said of nature as well.  There is chaos and uncertainty in our environment but it is also subtle, beautiful, raw and untouched.  Through my paintings I bring the viewer beyond what is tangible, aligning soul with the cosmos.  To make connections to nature in all of its forms that go deeper than the eye can behold.

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"The stars awaken a certain reverance,because though always present, they are inaccessible; but all natural objects make a kindred impression, when the mind is open to their influence.  Nature never wears a mean appearance.  Neither does the wisest man extort her secret, and lose his curiosity by finding out all her perfection.  Nature never became a toy to a wise spirit.  The flowers, the animals, the mountains, reflected the wisdom of his best hour, as much as they had delighted the simplicity of his childhood."  Ralph Waldo Emerson  1836

© 2021 Meredith O'Neal Art, All rights reserved.