Lou O’Keefe

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My goal as an artist is to bring my paintings from a one-dimensional surface to a three dimensional experience. The combination of bold colors, contrasting values, and unique subject matter elicits emotion from the viewer. Therefore, allowing them to step into the painting instead of simply viewing it. My paintings are not just a duplication of what my eyes see but rather a visual of what my soul feels.

Biography

Lou’s journey as an artist began in an unconventional way, through golf.   At a very young age he started competing as a golfer, which led to his attending Clemson University where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1992. Since graduation he has earned a living as a professional golfer, both as a player and teacher, and as an artist.   At first, painting served as an escape from golf, but quickly his passion for art has become his main focus.

Lou has found painting and golf to be very similar at their core. A golf club and golf course to a golfer are what a brush and canvas are to a painter.   The more he can connect with nature, the greater feel and energy he has.   This adaptation allows him to portray an internal fulfillment onto an external surface.

Lou has taken many workshops and has studied at the School of The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, but mainly, he is self-taught. He is a signature member of The International Society of Acrylic Painters and his paintings have won awards in regional and national juried art competitions. His use of vibrant color has attracted collectors to hang his work in their homes and businesses throughout the United States.

Process and Concept

Lou’s inspiration comes from his interpretation of nature’s large and small shapes with light and dark colors in landscapes and seascapes.   He paints in the acrylic medium because of its versatility. Acrylic’s quick drying time allows him to glaze some areas of the painting to achieve a transparent wash like watercolors whereas other areas of the canvas the paint is layered thickly for an oil effect.

First he sketches his subject with black gesso and then he glazes the canvas with vivid transparent colors to help create an overall emotional tone.   From there, colors are layered over the glaze, thus creating the color vibrancy he is looking for.