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Michael P. O'Connor
50 Casita Flats Road, Near Silver City Gila, NM NM

For Michael, the challenge in oil painting is to capture the special "Look at that!" moments we all experience every day. The play of light on a subject is the key element in each of these moments. His painting is inspired by the area in Southwest New Mexico where he has lived since 1998. Michael's background and professional training are in geology and the natural sciences, so much of his work focuses on nature, or at least contains aspects of nature. In most cases, though, it is the way light illuminates a subject or a scene, invoking a certain response, emotion or connection to that special moment, that inspires him to begin a painting. While Michael has painted off and on since high school, it was not until he and his wife, Becky, spent seven years living and working in Southwest Ireland that he became serious about pursuing his art. The beauty of coastal Ireland is, of course, legendary and in his case worked its magic well, for it was there that he began painting in earnest. When he and Becky returned to the United States in 1998 and moved to New Mexico to open Casitas de Gila Guesthouses on Bear Creek in Gila, he found that the incredible light of New Mexico intensified his urge to paint. Today he finds himself painting more than ever, and enjoying it immensely. Michael's paintings are currently hanging at the Art Gallery at Casitas de Gila Guesthouses in Gila, New Mexico.