Billyo O'Donnell is active/lives in Missouri. Billyo ODonnell is known for plein-air landscape painting.
Landscape painter, William Michael O'Donnell, of Eureka, Missouri goes by the name Billyo and that is the only name he uses when he signs his paintings. O'Donnell was raised in a large Irish Catholic family outside of St. Louis. He attended Southwest Missouri State University studying painting, sculpture and illustration. He earned a degree in art in 1980.
O'Donnell worked for 13 years in the field of illustration before turning full time to painting landscapes of his beloved Missouri. O'Donnell worked with the St. Louis Artist Guild to develop the Forest Park Paint Out which encourages artists to paint scenes of the St. Louis Area and then offer their work for sale.
O'Donnell has also recently taken on figure painting. He painted 11 images of the St. Louis Symphony as they rehearsed for a concert. O'Donnell's paintings of the musicians were done plein air style-each completed in one sitting.
Source: Art of the West, September 2002
Billyo O'Donnell thrives on his passion for creating paintings en plein air
that mark the exact point in time at which his inspiration
happens. He thinks of his paintings as a diary of his artwork
telling a story of himself at that moment. When he paints, it
reminds him of how he must react spontaneously to inspiration in life
or chance losing that significant experience. And, it is his easy
nature in his style of living, synchronizing with the ease he feels
when creating his works of art, that make those moments unique.
asked about the greatest pleasure in his profession, Billyo answered,
"It's the experience of painting outside. The snow, strong wind,
cold, muggy heat, mosquitoes, they all remind me of life and how we
must stay focused and keep pushing on. As I think about masses,
color, relationships, the harmony of the piece, value, strokes and
textures and combine them with the energy of the land and the
environment around me, it transcends the quality of staying focused and
persevering in life."
Perseverance and nature have always been
a part of Billyo's life. Perhaps the natural part of him began in
his early days when he grew up west of St. Louis in an area where the
prairie transforms into hills as it approaches the Missouri River.
He explored the country then, as a child, making the connection
with nature that has continued on to today and into his landscape
"The doorway to self expression in painting is built upon mastering the
fundamentals and establishing an understanding of the visual language
of paint. I think of my paintings as a diary, my work telling of
myself. Painting in plein air continually reminds me to react
spontaneously to inspiration in life or risk losing the moment that's
before me. The experience of painting outside, the snow, strong wind,
cold, muggy heat, mosquitoes - they all remind me of life and how we
must stay focused and keep pushing on. As I think about masses, color,
relationships, the harmony of the piece, value, strokes and textures,
and combine them with the energy of the land and the environment around
me, it transcends the quality of staying focused and persevering in