Themes in the Paintings of Frank O'Meara

Frank O'Meara was an exponent of plein-air painting. Unlike some of his contemporaries Lavery or Larsson. O'Meara painted relatively few paintings in his lifetime. Indeed he sometimes did not paint at all and chose to be idle and inactive.

His works often depicted solitary female figures in autumnal landscapes. His paintings are frequently set in twilight and feature bare trees and silver gray cloudy skies. His female subjects are simply dressed in sober colours and shown either standing silently in the landscape or tending to golden brown autumn leaves scattered about their feet.

O'Meara reflected intensely on his subjects and worked slowly in sombre mood. The artist frequently captured a rather melancholic solitariness which probably reflected his own failing energy and increasingly poor health. While Frank O'Meara was recognised as someone who had "early set out in the new movement" he nevertheless remains relatively unknown in his native country.

The short catalogue of exhibited and recorded paintings by O'Meara compiled by Julian Campbell lists twenty four of his works. Of these the whereabouts of thirteen of them remains unknown. Some are privately owned while others hang in galleries in Belfast and London. His paintings entitled "Towards Night and Winter" (1885) and "Old Woman Burning Leaves" can be seen at the Dublin City Gallery - The Hugh Lane.

previousPrevious - Plein Air Painting
Next - John Singer Sargent and his O'Meara Portraitnext