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Rowayton Artist Dabs Local Color in Farewell Show

Rowayton artist Susan O'Neill may be leaving for Key West soon, but she is leaving pieces of herself here in Connecticut. Her paintings are on view now at Atria Darien .

"I've been doing some tropical paintings lately, sort of as a way to ease in," she said. She is moving to be closer to her mother, as well as to paint the tropical landscape. "It's a great place to be an artist. It's beautiful, very colorful."

O'Neill paints a lot of local scenes, such as the Five Mile River and spots around Darien and Rowayton. She's done some paintings of cityscapes in New York City, and a couple of large paintings of the Central Park Carousel. She’s also done portraits, pictures of candies and a couple of abstract paintings.

"I'm really attracted to color and light," she said. Even if a subject is not especially colorful, she will accentuate what color is there to make the picture come to life. "I like adding color that isn't even there, it makes it more vibrant."

O’Neill started painting in 2007. After graduating from Rhode Island School of Design , she worked in the architectural field for 20 years. "Between raising a son and working, I had no time," she said. "But I always knew I wanted to be an artist and start painting in my 50s, so I was right on track."

O'Neill works with acrylic paints because they add a lot of color and dry quickly. "I paint a lot faster now than I used to. I don't want to spend a year on a painting. I do a lot in less than week, some of the smaller ones in a day."

O'Neill's exhibit will be up until the end of the month. The gallery at Atria Darien is free and open to the public during the day.

Have you checked out O'Neill's paintings? Recognize any scenes from around town? Let us know what your favorites are in the comments below.

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