TAO is an intuitive landscape alcohol ink artist who calls Ginkgo Arts in West Chester, Pennsylvania her home. She creates and maintains a small gallery at Ginkgo Arts, where she is heavily influenced by the renaissance of Chester County. She states, “My art is a conversation with a higher self. I love the medium of alcohol inks because there is no control; you let go and succumb to the flow. If a mistake happens, that mistake was put there to learn and grow. I know when I am done a painting when my intuition indicates there is nothing more I can learn from this ‘conversation’.”
Growing up in the Brandywine Valley, TAO was initially drawn to plein air and painting using acrylics and oils in the Brandywine Tradition. She took classes with Karl J. Kuerner through the Brandywine River Museum painting at the renowned Kuerner Farm Andrew Wyeth made famous. After a few years of plein air classes, Theresa pursued private study with Mr. Kuerner. Under his tutelage she developed the confidence to try new mediums and subjects. It was only after discovering alcohol inks that TAO hit her stride.
TAO’s first show was in 2017 at the Art Spirit and Beyond exhibit, with Karl Kuerner and fellow art colleagues, held at the John Baker Gallery at West Chester University. Subsequent shows ensued, but the thrill of that first show made TAO realize she needed to share her work with others.
Recently selected for permanent installation at the Center for Hope in Baltimore, Maryland, three paintings were chosen for their new building. In the spirit of giving back, TAO also teaches both at Chester County Art Association and private study in her studio at Ginkgo Arts.
“I don’t believe in coincidences. The universe provides messages all the time and if we are listening intuitively, we will hear those messages. It’s no coincidence that my initials are TAO (Theresa Anne O’Neill). I trust The Way and hope my art genuinely reflects that journey to discovery and maybe one day enlightenment.”
I like things that are cute, macabre, clever, and odd. I draw inspiration from nature and all of its creatures. I strive to capture the beauty, personalities, and uniqueness of plants and animals in my paintings because it is so often overlooked. Life is precious and deserves protection, which is why I donate 10% of my sales to charity, namely: Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Oceana, WildAid, Humane Society International (HSI), and Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).
Art should be affordable to everyone. I offer custom pet portraits, commissions, originals, prints, note cards, and stickers with a wide range of pricing.
I was born and raised in Chester County, Pennsylvania and graduated with a BFA in Illustration from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
I began painting traditionally in oil and gouache and have recently moved into digital illustration and hand-lettering.
I specialize in animals, especially pets! My style is playful, modern and colorful. Most of my art can be found on greeting cards, but I’ve also illustrated children’s books, wall art, toys, and pretty much anything you put in front of me!