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. I live and work in North Carolina. The variety in the landscape continue to inspire my work and I can’t wait to discover my next painting down the next back road.

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