Mark O’Neil was born in Birkenhead in 1963 to Irish parents. The family travelled a great deal due to his father’s work, spending time in Malta, Peru, Nigeria, Mauritius, South Africa,and Drogheda! When he was 12 they returned to England and Mark went to school in Liverpool where he was encouraged into the arts by a ‘Brilliant, teacher – Colin Wilkinson. He went on to study graphic design in College and pursued that line of work for some time.
In 1988 looking for a change of direction he returned to live in Ireland where he taught art while working on finding his own niche.
His first real break came when he submitted a painting to the Royal Hibernian Academy’s Summer exhibition where he won a prize, and was taken on by Dublin’s Frederick Gallery where he had sell out exhibitions.
In June 2006 he became the first living Artist to sell an entire collection at auction when Adams sold all 65 lots of his paintings for a total of €475,000. Mark O’Neil became an overnight phenomenon.
In 2008 Mark bought his current home – a converted Mill house nestled into the foothills of the Blackstairs Mountains on the Carlo-Wexford Border. His kitchen window looks out over rolling lawns that run down to the River Slaney and a Mill wheel that continues to turn. He shares his home with 40 chickens, guinea fowl, Horses, Cows, and his beloved dogs – all of whom inspire his work.
He is greatly influenced by his favourite artist John Singer Seargent – you can see the similarities in his use of Light to lift the subject off the canvas. In some works the subject is secondary to the light play.
He is one of Irelands most successful living painters.