Artist’s statement -
I have been asked what my philosophy as a painter is - a thorny question - which I will answer by stating my motive. Being retired after a lifetime of mechanical pursuits I sought escapism, firstly in wood cutting, in relief carvings. Satisfactory, but the subsequent mess in cramped space proved too much of a chore. I was forced to teach myself to paint in oils.
I found that I could indulge in nostalgia and imagination and some people enjoyed it, whereas if I tried to write about it most people would find it boring. Painting gave me the opportunity of describing human achievements, my interpretation of landscapes and seascapes, and the opportunity of indulging in the mythology of Celtic ancestors and, of course, my somewhat queer sense of humour.
In this materialistic age which I never anticipated, I found myself a social outcast, a third class citizen and, in fact, a bloody nuisance, a charge on the state. Painting gives me access to young people and the opportunity to talk to the young in terms of equality.
I am not keen on labels and asked what I describe myself in that respect I usually reply that I wish to be known as Dave O’Neill - someone who paints what he wants to paint.
→ Dave O'Neill: The Bard's Vision, 1992, publication