2017-11-30 / Life in Leelanau

Cedar artist to sell paintings, donate to local non-profits

By Amy Hubbell
Of The Enterprise staff


O’NEILL PAINTED this view from Inspiration Point on 21,000 nail heads. O’NEILL PAINTED this view from Inspiration Point on 21,000 nail heads. John O’Neill sees things from a different point of view.

The Cedar artist is hosting a PoP Up Show of his oil paintings at his home this weekend with a portion of sales going to local charities.

“I’ve focused on the landscapes and lakescapes,” said O’Neill, who has always drawn but took to painting in 1992. “This series shows the waters in their many guises, from violent storms to utter calm.”

Many of his works use pointillism, a technique in which small, distinct dots of color are applied in patterns to form an image.

One of the oil paintings featuring the shoreline from Sleeping Bear Point to The Homestead, an honorable mention at a Glen Arbor Art Association Paint Out, was purchased by Diana Oberschulte of Glen Arbor.

“I love the image of the island (South Manitou) where I was married,” she said. “It was such a different approach, so original and inventive.”


JOHN O’NEILL of Cedar displays his 360-degree painting entitled ‘Good Harbor, Inside and Out. JOHN O’NEILL of Cedar displays his 360-degree painting entitled ‘Good Harbor, Inside and Out. O’Neill’s paintings are often large scale, measuring four or five feet across.

He combined the large format with pointillism and came out with a one-of-a-kind piece featuring the iconic view from Inspiration Point.

It is painted on the heads of 21,000 aluminum nails.

“Some of the pigment from the paint transfers and others don’t,” O’Neill explained. “Light passes through the pigment and reflects the aluminum of the nails.”

Inspiration Point on nails was part of ArtPrize and displayed in the Michigan Fine Arts Competition at the Birmingham Bloomfield Arts Center.

Six of O’Neill’s works have been shown at the Dennos Museum in Traverse City and eight of his paintings have been included in the Michigan Fine Arts Competition at the Birmingham Bloomfield Arts Center.

O’Neill’s show is from 5 to 8 p.m. tonight through Saturday evening at his home, 8944 Kasson St. in Cedar.

Five local non-profits will benefit as 10 percent of the sales will go to Leelanau Christian Neighbors, the Empire Area Food Pantry, Buckets of Rain, the Glen Arbor Art Association and the Leelanau Habitat for Humanity Task Force.

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