Monday , August 31 2015
Home » Lifestyle » Artful Life

Artful Life

Not so secret of success

BabeRuthQuote

ARTFUL LIFE Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com Several years ago my husband and I were visiting the outer banks of North Carolina. In the lovely town of Duck we found a gift shop that specialized in quaint, erudite, and whimsical hand painted signs on driftwood. It was a bottomless well of humor and pithy insights in all sizes. As charming as it was, my first thought was: How the heck do these people make money? Then a certain sign caught my eye, and although I didn’t buy it (how do these people make money?) it stayed with me, like a tune one can’t ... Read More »

TECH NOT

A28-CBN-7-24-4

ARTFUL LIFE Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com I have always believed, from tiniest totdom, that what one person can do, anyone can do. It’s just a matter of instructions. And I have always been very good at reading instructions. I have read instructions on everything from toy assembly to plumbing and wiring, to death and dying. There’s a wealth of information out there that is ours for the taking. In my teens I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, a work of philosophical fiction by Robert Persig. I’m afraid that, at the time, most of Mr. Persig’s ... Read More »

The American Dream is Alive and Well

Flag

ARTFUL LIFE Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com In the artful world, there are a lot of talented people who refuse creative careers because they’re afraid they won’t reach The Top. “You’re either Elton John or some hack playing in a Holiday Inn,” a young, exmusician once told me (the “ex” is his description, not mine.) For him, to dedicate his life to music and not reach big stage SuperStardom was to set himself up for failure. In the same vein, many’s the painter who gave up their brushes because they realized were never going to be the hottest ticket on the New York ... Read More »

Don’t Fish for What You Can’t Swallow

B19-CBN-6-12-6

ARTFUL LIFE Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com We’ve all done it. Maybe in a moment of insecurity, maybe just needing a little attention, but, at one time or another, we’ve all fished for compliments. Does this dress make me look fat? How’s your dinner (that I slaved over)? Do you like my haircut? Pretty harmless stuff, right? No one really expects a negative answer, what would be the point? You look beautiful. This is delicious. Yes, it’s very attractive. It’s just a matter of kindness – until it isn’t. I have a friend, an imaginative composer and true piano virtuoso, who publishes a ... Read More »

Reflections from the Artist of the Year

Tara

ARTFUL LIFE Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com On May 23, I attended an annual luncheon held by the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts (MIFA). Besides fine food from Stonewall’s Kitchen, and grand camaraderie, MIFA used the occasion to present scholarships to four extraordinary students to further their arts education, and to acknowledge MIFA’s designated 2015 Artist of the Year – yours truly. From my heart, I thank the board members of MIFA for this kind recognition. I’m honored, and I was honored, and excited, to share the day with those bright and creative young stars…and with everyone that came to celebrate with ... Read More »

You Are Stars!

B11-CBN-5-15-14

Artful Life Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com Today’s column is an open letter to high school art students who submitted to the recent Marco Island Center for the Arts scholarship exhibit. I am one of three jurors whose agonizing task is to select the award winners.   Dear Artists, You came from Barron Collier, the Community School of Naples, Gulf Coast High School, Lely, Marco Island Academy, Naples High, and Palmetto Ridge. Your talent and dedication are inspiring, as is your courage. And since I never get the opportunity to meet you, I am using this forum to congratulate each and every one ... Read More »

Bo Really Does Know

A32-CBN-5-1-13

Artful Life Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com Today’s rain has left the sweet smell of summer in the air and my mind once again turns to the promise of long lazy days ready to fill however I see fit. My calendar is nearly empty and my ideas are many. Mmmm, delicious. For many artists, season is a rapid juggling act of shows and festivals, press-releases and newsletters, business, business, business, with precious little time for the creative process. But summer, summer I could paint with one slow continuous brush stroke. I love summer. For the past few summers, as the barometer begins to ... Read More »

It’s All Good

B8-CBN-4-17-15-8

By Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com   Painting outside can be an unparalleled pleasure for an artist, but it can also present some unexpected challenges. I usually enjoy besting the forces that endanger my mission – though sometimes I’m not so successful. It seems when the troubles are nature-made, I am usually prepared and able to rise above…but when they’re man-made, well, sometimes the buckle just breaks and patience snaps. In my plein aire experiences I’ve dealt with the surprise of sprinklers, swarms of mosquitoes, the rise of fierce winds and the fall of rain. I’ve been nipped by dogs and ‘saluted’ ... Read More »

Somewhere Between Duty and Distraction

Seriously.... 
Photo by Tara O’neill

Artful Life By Tara O’Neill Here’s one that definitely doesn’t apply to just artists, but certainly requires some artful adjustments: The Home Office. You know, the one that modern technology promised would help us shed the scales of The Work Place and allow us the freedom and flexibility to work from our own nests? May I just say, it ain’t that easy. In fact, it can be really hard. How, for example, is one to stay focused (yes, the f-word) when the kittens need feeding – and then play-time, dang they’re cute – and there’s that laundry to do, the ... Read More »

Pride Through Association

Historically significant fishing cottages at MarGood Harbor Park, Goodland. PHOTO BY TARA O’NEILL

Artful Life Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com I’m so proud to be part of the Goodland Arts Alliance, a tiny, yet phenomenally effective, organization that is dedicated to its mission to “preserve, promote, and advance, the cultural presence in the Village of Goodland through art, history, and education.” I am proud and honored – my fellow GAA members are dedicated, focused, and hard-working souls with a tenacity that exceeds rationale. Sunday, March 8, 10:00 – 4:00, the GAA, a 501(c)3 cultural non-profit, along with Collier County Parks and Recreation, is sponsoring the 3rd annual outdoor Harbor Arts & Music Festival at picturesque MarGood ... Read More »

The Art of Forgiveness

B9-CBN-2-20-15-15

Artful Life Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com I have an artist friend, Sally, who not only is a very supportive friend, but also is one of the most grounded people I know; sure of who she is and confident in her art. During a recent conversation she assured me she had not always been this way. “Let me show you something I keep around as sort of a touchstone.” She bounced out of the room and returned with a self-portrait as a young girl in pencil. It was a life-sized head shot and was really good…if it hadn’t been torn in places and ... Read More »

The Art of Spontaneity: Wet Paint Live!

Enjoying visitors during Wet Paint Live! 2011 at Goodland's Boat Park. PHOTO BY GEORGE VELLIS

Artful Life Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com One of my favorite events, “Wet Paint Live!,” is coming up on Wednesday, Feb. 11. I enjoy all my art events, or I wouldn’t do them, but my particular fondness for this event is owed to the impact “Wet Paint Live!” has had on my artful life. Spontaneity — straight up or on the rocks — that’s the drink that refreshes! The day of “Wet Paint Live!” dawns with local artists painting at various outdoor venues and finishes the same day with a generous reception and guaranteed lively live-auction at Rose Auditorium (Marco Island History Museum). ... Read More »

Conversational Drifts

B11-CBN-1-23-15-2

Artful Life Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com Some of my favorite conversations — whether I’m actively involved or just eavesdropping — consist of one bright topic setting off a circuit of others. There are times when linear conversations — those that start with one topic and finish with it before moving to another — have their proper place, but it’s exhilarating to listen as creative ideas spark like electric arcs from one to another freeform. A recent article by David Pitt of the Associated Press on the spate of piano store closings around the country has ignited an impressive nationwide debate as to ... Read More »

Keeping the Faith

happy new year

Artful Life Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com I am writing this just a few days before the beginning of another New Year. Of course, by the time you are reading it, the Big Day shall have passed, the confetti cleared, the headaches healed, and the resolutions well underway. It’s now a time for soulful reflections and forward thinking. A time of promise and promises. As I look about my artful community I see a great flurry of optimistic activities: Cultural organizations are gearing up for a spate of new activities and events to delight and enrich the public. The newest kid on that ... Read More »

I’ve Looked at Clouds From Multiple Sides Now

Cloud 6, oil on canvas by Tara O'Neill

Artful Life Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com A dear friend and fellow artist was visiting from Europe last week, and it was delicious to fill so many conversations with artful topics. After visiting my home gallery, she was moved by a collection of cloud paintings of mine and shared her thoughts about the rising popularity of clouds as subject matter in western art. Was it a rising trend? I had not heard. (Growing up in flat-as-the-ocean Florida, clouds have always seemed a natural obsession.) Tell me more. She named several European artists, well-known and obscure, who are now dedicating yards and yards of ... Read More »

The Accidental Speaker

B7-CBN-12-12-14-5Feature

Artful Life Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com I am an artist. I am not a public speaker. I can talk about my art to any group, but beyond that I’d rather chew glass. I am actively involved in several cultural non-profit organizations. I am not an organizer. If you’re wondering about my organizational skills just ask my husband. (Hint: He does the bookkeeping in our home, and for good reason.) So, how is it I recently found myself standing at a podium with about 70 or so Goodland residents seated in neat rows before me and three highly-respected Collier County representatives on ... Read More »

No Problems, Just Solutions

Young Artists Acadamy students  drawing in the gallery of Marco Islands Center for teh Arts. photo by Tara O'Neill

Artful Life Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com I am so fortunate. Despite the days that close in utter weariness due to facing a multitude of challenges, most mornings dawn with the waking certainty of how fortunate I am. For one thing, I now use the word challenges, where once I would have used the word problems. One recent shine of fortune was to be invited to instruct at the Young Artists Academy at Marco Islands Center for the Arts. The Center’s executive director, Hyla Crane, was challenged with resurrecting a bygone program that instructs dedicated 12-18 year old artists Saturday mornings for ... Read More »

The Art of Seeing

B5-CBN-11-14-14-4

ARTFUL LIFE Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com “What I have not drawn, I have never really seen.” — Frederick Franck, “The Zen Of Seeing”   I recently visited my dear friend, Barbara Sills, who lives in the Orlando area. There’s lots going on in Orlando — all the time — and Barbara is never at a loss when it comes to trying new and interesting things. In fact, she’s downright intrepid. I’ve known Barbara nearly 40 years, and she still never ceases to surprise me. Although I try to expect the unexpected, my friend managed to thoroughly gob-smack me on this last ... Read More »

Would You Like Mustard with Your Monet?

water-lilies-40

Artful Life Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com Nothing like starting your day with a good laugh. Last week, I heard a joke on National Public Radio. I agree with you: NPR isn’t famous for it’s hahahas. What does the artist say while working? “Would you like fries with that?” I just laughed and laughed, especially because at the time I was just parking my truck at the restaurant where I hostess part-time, and I’m an artist. They say the trick to good joke-telling is timing. You betcha. Another time, I might have reacted differently. But, I love my hostess job. I work ... Read More »

Flat Out Gorgeous

B7-CBN-9-5-14-4

ARtful Life Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com Chances are that if you’re reading this in the paper, you live here year-round, or you are someone revolutionary enough to visit Florida in summer — when the really exotic stuff happens. Yes, it’s hot; it’s buggy; it rains alot. But, the number one complaint among Floridaphiles is that it’s so darn humid. Some days are like breathing through a wet army blanket, but it’s easily worth it to experience the extravagant theater of summer skies. Are you on Facebook? Facebook is flush with South Florida sky photographs, and not just sunrises and sunsets but ... Read More »