October 27 - November 19, 2022
Close to Home
Jeanne O'Neil, Erin O'Neil
& Martha Keifenheim
Artists reception; Thursday October 27th,
5 - 7 pm
Jeanne Griffin O'Neil
intaglio, linocut, silkscreen
The newest prints in this show are etchings which come from a series of sketches made over the past summers on our land. Walking the fields and pathways every day, year after year, the colors, contrasts, textures and lines of trees, grasses, sky, river are impressed on my mind, creating an accumulated knowledge of these places. The making of each print creates a deeper knowing and a stronger connection to that knowing.
Transferred to a copper plate coated with a protective ground, the marks made by the etching needle reveal the shining copper underneath. Hundreds of tiny lines transform the outlines of a space into a special, almost magical place. The plate is etched, cleaned and inked in black. After wiping the black from the surface, layers of color are added. Areas wiped out after each roll to allow for pure colors. It never happens quite the same way. Each pull is a revelation, each print is unique.
The prints inspired by nearby farms arise from drawings made along the rural roads of Huntsville Township. I know these farms only from a distance. They stand on the flat horizon like words on a page, sharing a common language. In some of the prints, as with the linocuts, the buildings and trees become runes or characters. In others, they take on an almost storybook quality, telling their familiar stories using the same words in different order; windrow, woodlot, qounset, barn, grain bins, house, home.
Erin Jeanne O'Neil
It all started with a love of socks, a passion for recycling and reducing waste, and a desire to connect with others. The first of the Rag Folk was made of recycled socks and an old winter glove. It was stuffed partially with dried split peas, coining its name as a Pea Buddy. This original Pea Buddy was intended as a gift for a friend, but the product turned out to be not quite the right style for that particular friend. That same Pea Buddy is still a priceless keepsake and companion at home. No longer stuffed with split peas, the products evolved to be called Rag Sock Critters, and by now have simplified themselves to fit the broader category of Rag Folk. The Rag Folk are now made of a variety of materials, not restricted to old socks.
The Rag Folk represent:
Preservation of what has been used in every day life
Creating new lives out of old scraps and rags
The Rag Folk contain:
Memories and essences of what has past
The joy of childhood carried forward and honored in adulthood
On the Rag Folk process:
Each creation ends up in its own way as the process progresses.
The making is a comfort, the product is a comfort-the manual process is a part of the whole.
Instructions for use:
The Rag Folk can be buddies, muses, household spirits, guardians, guides...they are for sitting on shelves, gracing home spaces, and for inspiring creativity in workshops. Take them on your travels, change their location when need be. Always to be handled with care, the Rag Folk are always there.
The scenes in these paintings are local to Grand Forks and Polk counties- my family farmhouse, the ND Mill and Elevator, the Red River of the North, views from across the streets and parking lots of town.
I think of these as paint sketches- expressive brushwork, somewhat recognizable images, explorations of colors and shapes in composition.
I continue to explore both medium and imagery in my paintings. I began painting in oils, switched to acrylic and now have watercolor supplies in my home studio.
Landscapes and still life is a favorite image though figurative work (paintings of people) are a challenge I like.
I studied art at UND, and U of M Minneapolis and at San Jose State in California.
I received my BFA degree in printmaking from UND at the same time I began my family. My growing family is almost a metaphor for my art: expanding, experiencing the glitches and occasional pain of life, and finding humor along the way. That’s what I want you to see in my art.