Artist Autobiography of John O'Keefe Jr.Share on Social Media
My name is John O'Keefe Jr. I was born and raised in Wallingford, Connecticut, USA and this is where I raised my family with my wife, Jennifer. While I am comfortable working in most mediums, I specialize in landscape oil painting done in a similar style to the famous Hudson River School and Victorian-era artists.
ART IN MY EARLY LIFE
Like every other artist, I have loved viewing and creating art for as long as I can remember. Growing up I was always drawing with pencils, colored pencils, watercolors, and just about every other medium I could get my hands on. I received formal art training during my primary school years. When attending elementary school, I received specialized training at the Paier College of Art in New Haven, Connecticut. The first formal recognition of my artistic ability happened in elementary school when I won an award, placing in the top five of a statewide student art competition. During my middle school years, I was invited to attend college-level art classes one day a week at the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Also during this time, I had studied watercolor painting with Connecticut artist, Kathy Singer. However, my most beloved art teacher was my Aunt Ann Fucich who instilled in me a love of art when I was a small child.
It was my love for art that led me to seek a career in mechanical drafting. As new technologies emerged I advanced to more sophisticated 3D CAD modeling systems, new product development, and eventually project management. Throughout the years I completed many university courses and job-specific training to advance my mechanical design/engineering career. Even though my work was very technical in nature, there was an artistic element involved in the designing of new products and the associated documentation processes.
My love for creating art did not stop at drawing and painting. As a teenager I started pursuing musical skills, my first love is the guitar. For a time I ran a small recording studio out of my home, while also playing guitar in a few bands.
The computer soon became another outlet for creating art. With my computer skills and 3D modeling experience, I began to develop a sophisticated DC-9-41 add-on cockpit package for Microsoft Flight Simulator. The project focused on the Scandinavian Airline Service (SAS) DC-9 airplane OY-KGR. There was extensive programming, and a large number of computer-generated renderings and image files that were assembled in real-time when the game is running, giving the person that is playing the experience of sitting in a real DC-9 cockpit.
A RE-NEWED LOVE OF ART
In 2007 my wife, Jennifer, rekindled my zeal for drawing and painting. It was her encouragement and support that motivated me to create O'Keefe Arts and take up oil painting as a professional artist. Jennifer also enjoys creating art and its because of our shared love of art that we are working together to promote the business and my paintings.
I sell original works, accept commission work to create custom landscape paintings, and I offer a variety of high-quality pigment print, i.e., Giclee, reproductions of my artwork. (Websites: www.okeefe-arts.com and www.johnokeefe.net)
My paintings have been well received in the art community, which has allowed my works to be displayed in prestigious exhibitions and art shows. In my home state of Connecticut, the Lyme Art Gallery, Mystic Arts Center, Cate Charles Gallery, and the Mill House Gallery have exhibited my artwork. My paintings have won awards, and I have had the honor of being a featured artist in a group exhibition at the Lyme Art Associations '17th Annual Associate Artists Exhibit'. In April of 2009, I was elected onto the board of directors of the Cheshire Art League in Cheshire, Connecticut, and I created and managed the league's website until the fall of 2011. Organizations that I belong to are Oil Painters of America, Lyme Art Association, The Salmagundi Club of New York City, Mystic Arts Association, Cheshire Art League (until 2011), and Landscape Artists International.
In 2012, Jennifer and I created Painting Frames Plus where people can purchase high-quality reproduction painting frames. (Website: www.paintingframesplus.com)
In closing, I have created this site to share my story and love of art with others. I have documented my entire body of oil paintings, along with some interesting facts about each piece, in the Paintings and Works-In-Progress sections.