Clare O'Neill is a Minnesota based artist specializing in encaustic photographs. She began her photographic career taking images of the people and places of Ireland during nearly two decades of traveling to Ireland. After a career change in 2008, she showed her first body of photographic work in 2009.
Clare O'Neill's photography has evolved over time. She began as a traditional black & white film photographer, yet her desire to bring depth and texture to her images currently guides her work. Inspired by traditional oil painters, she uses her images as a starting point to manipulate and create works with a three-dimensional quality. The images are spontaneous. They begin as high resolution digital images; O'Neill then applies and re-applies multiple layers and textures, both digitally and with encaustic wax, until her interpretation of the image feels right. Rendered with a dream-like haze, O'Neill's work suggests an imaginative, sensual, and provocative style. The wax adds a sense of mystery and intrigue. Each exquisite work becomes timeless, allowing the image and composition to suggest a unique quality that speaks to the viewer. Her photos etch a place in our memory with much more detail than the original out-of-the-camera image.
Her one-of-a-kind encaustic photographs are held in private and public collections across the United States and Ireland.