Emily Vance photo - Owen O’Carroll’s ink-works inspired by his career as a professional musician are on display at Qualicum Art Supply & Gallery.

Parksville artist displays works inspired by a career in music

Owen O’Carroll’s ink works on display at Qualicum Art Supply & Gallery

Owen O’Carroll spent the better part of two decades touring the world as an ensemble musician for some of the world’s biggest pop stars. Now he’s transitioned into a less taxing art form – but he still draws inspiration from music and the people he’s met along the way.

His ink works are one of the latest exhibits on display at the Qualicum Art Supply & Gallery on First Ave in Qualicum Beach.

O’Carroll first transitioned into figurative portraits following his music career (he worked with Bette Midler, Tom Waits, Kenny Rogers and more). He drew portraits for about a decade before getting a bit frustrated with that style.

“I was in my studio, just looking at it and getting a little frustrated and some little voice said – ‘why don’t you learn how to draw? Why don’t you look into that?’ And that’s as simple as it was,” said O’Carroll.

That burst of intuition has lead him into a new passion for lines and angles.

Despite being drawn using predominately straight lines, his works somehow manage to be quite gentle and emotive.

READ MORE: From fishing to florals: Qualicum Beach artist serves up realistic acrylics

“Some of these pictures I’ve been told people would look at them, and the longer they look, they come away feeling peaceful. Which is really nice,” said O’Carroll.

“There’s whimsy there, there’s some bittersweet… The more I did of these the more I said ‘they do look soft, they look gentle.’”

The pieces verge on the abstract, and O’Carroll says he’s drawn some inspiration from Picasso’s cubism phase.

However, he mostly just createsoriginals from his own mind to try and create a different type of art from the norm.

He starts with pencil and eraser, then moves to ink.

Precision matters in pieces like this, that rely so heavily on angles for their form and feel.

“If I make any kind of an obvious mistake, it’s going to be damn hard to cover up. And usually it means starting again,” said O’Carroll.

He’s primarily inspired by music and people, but he also does boats and abstracts.

Though he loved his career as a musician, the constant touring wore him down and caused him to give it up after almost 18 years on the road. The beat of the songs still remain, though, and inspire his work.

“Musicians and music is always in my head. No matter – I’ve given it up for years now but it’s there. It’s there. I’m just glad I have an outlet to carry on and do something,” said O’Carroll.

“It’s working. For me, and my mental health, and my enjoyment – it really does work.”

His pieces will be on display at Qualicum Art Supply & Gallery through the rest of November and into December.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: Dashwood fire department offers birthday parades for kids and seniors

‘Let people know the world is still turning despite the isolation and the quarantine’

COVID-19: ER nurse from Qualicum Beach self-isolates in travel trailer, apart from family

Marcia Kent says situation is difficult but worth it to keep twin boys safe

Errington Farmers Market to go ahead with planned May opening

Strict safety measures to be put in place

COVID-19: Qualicum school district to start at home learning initiatives April 15

Last week, teachers reached out to families to discuss individual needs

COVID-19 death toll reaches 50 in B.C., while daily case count steadies

B.C. records 34 new cases in the province, bringing total active confirmed cases to 462

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

VIDEO: Community rallies around Campbell River fire victims

Emergency Social Services volunteers logged over 100 hours in first day after fire

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

Reality TV show about bodybuilders still filming in Okanagan, amid COVID-19

Five bodybuilders from across the country flew to Kelowna to move into a house for a reality TV show

B.C.’s top doctor details prescription for safe long weekend

Yes, it includes hosting an online cooking show

BC SPCA seeks help for abandoned German shepherd puppies

Donations have ‘petered out’ as doors are closed due to COVID-19

COVID-19 PQB business update: looking for takeout food?

Email messages to editor@pqbnews.com

Most Read