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Meet Gwen & Tommy O’Neil

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gwen & Tommy O’Neil.

Hi Gwen & Tommy, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
We moved to LA about four years ago from Savannah where we studied Photography at The Savannah College of Art and Design. While living in Savannah, we opened Lee O’Neil Gallery, where we showcased local and national artists. We landed a studio in the arts district of DTLA and decided to make it a gallery as well. We organized exhibitions for artists and found it was a great way to meet people and have them in our space. After about a year downtown, we found our current studio in Whitley Heights, a neighborhood in Hollywood. In the midst of lockdown, we decided to exhibit our paintings outdoors in front of the studio. We continue to paint and show the work outside!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
We have definitely encountered challenges and obstacles along the way. Due to Covid, our first exhibition set to open last March did not open. That was a real blow. This however did give us the idea/ opportunity to show the work ourselves in front of the studio garage doors. This led to more intimate conversations within the art community. After several exhibitions in front of our space, we branded ourselves as Blue Door Garage.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
We are both painters and photographers. Our work is mostly abstract, influenced by the lush and colorful landscape of California. Tommy’s current body of work is inspired by the Jacaranda bloom. The vibrant purples and blues of the trees swept across LA last spring creating an almost cartoon like feeling. The delicate woven brushstrokes mimic the branches and leaves of the tree. Gwen’s paintings emulate Neo-Impressionism in its most abstract form. Rather than creating a scene, Gwen uses the pointillist technique to fill the canvas with color and movement. They feel like landscapes, specifically the hills and canyons of Los Angeles.

Can you share something surprising about yourself?
Gwen loves to cook a meal and entertain her friends and family. Tommy collects lucky pennies. If he sees one tails side up, he will flip it for someone else to receive the luck.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

For the personal image, the photographer is Kelia Anne.

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