Artist Spotlight: Elaine O’Neil

Elaine O’Neil is a unique and talented artist who has always loved sewing and working with fabric. O’Neil obtained her art education from the Philadelphia College of Textiles & Science. Her major was Textile Design.

After starting out in apparel, O’Neil transitioned into art about 30 years ago when a friend in Maine asked her to create a few pieces for an art gallery show. O’Neil agreed, and she created 5 or 6 pieces of textiles for the show. Her art pieces centered around happy memories from growing up in Maine, such as catching lobsters, exploring a lighthouse, and raking blueberries in the summertime. Every single art piece she created sold on opening night! This is what started O’Neil’s career in textile art.

O’Neil’s art is unique as it’s not the typical painting or drawing we see commonly with artists. She is a textile designer who uses textile, or fabric cloth. Usually, this is done on a cotton canvas base. Before she begins, O’Neil will often sketch a draft on paper as a guide for her composition. Through layering, each and every piece is stitched down to create the works of art. She uses a satin stitching with a tight zig zag. She layers different fabrics and stitches each piece down. Using cottons, wools, old clothing, recycled fabrics and more, Elaine brings to life colorful works of art. O’Neil also does dying and printing herself, as she will paint on the fabrics, do surface design, etc. She also uses fabrics she buys or that people gift to her.

O’Neil’s inspiration comes from the places she’s visited and the happy associations they bring. She loves creating art inspired by places where good things happened, such as where you fell in love at your college town, or sitting around in your grandmother’s kitchen, or enjoying the simple pleasures like a Mt. Olive Pickle!
O’Neil loves all Mt. Olive Pickles, but her top favorite product is our Bread & Butter Chips! You can find her munching on them in her art studio, which is conveniently located in her guest house on her property. She feels very lucky to have a studio filled with all of the fabrics, paints and dyes she needs just steps outside of her back door!

O’Neil’s piece that features Mt. Olive was a very special one. She actually made the fabrics that represent he greens and golds in the pepperoncini jar. She picked the color palette, choosing each color carefully, to come together in a fun, bright and aesthetically pleasing way. The bright greens and other bold colors in this piece are very uplifting and positive.

As a resident of North Carolina for the past 25 years, these nostalgic memories are what inspired her to create her calendar. The 2022 Luv This Place® North Carolina Calendar features amazing things in North Carolina that we all love so much, with a focus on the beach, mountains, culture, food, and unique things that make North Carolina great.

Another special reason to buy this gorgeous calendar is that a share of the proceeds from calendar sales will benefit the NC Cancer Hospital, so you can be proud of the contribution you make with this purchase.