Conor approaches traditional genres of painting in a contemporary manner as an autodidactic artist. He primarily works "alla prima", a painting technique in which wet paint is applied to previously administered layers of wet paint. This energetic way of painting gives his work an immediacy that imbues his subject with life and movement.
Conor has been a finalist in the Lethbridge 20000 Small Scale Art Award (2021 and 2023), Clayton Utz Art Award (2021), National Emerging Art Prize (2021), Tony White Memorial Art Prize (2022), Lethbridge Landscape Prize (2023), Brisbane Portrait Prize (2023) and was awarded second place in the figurative category of the Doyles Art Award 2023
- Solo shows, Michael Reid Northern Beaches
- National Emerging Art Prize Finalist
- Works held in private collections both nationally and internationally
What medium do you work with, and why have you chosen them?
Oil paint is my medium of choice. Through the process of making my own paint, I've really come to appreciate the unique quality oil as the binding agent in paint. Oil paint is able to hold light within it, when light hits the surface of an oil painting some of that light will pass through the surface of the paint and reflect within the oil. Unlike other mediums that when dry, would be mostly opaque, oil paint retains a degree of translucency. This is what can give oil paint such a luminous quality. As a representational painter, who is particularly interested in understanding light and how is can be represented and depicted, oil paint seems like the obvious choice for me.
How does your artwork get from initial concept to exhibition stage?
When I've chosen a subject I will often paint and sketch studies at a small scale before attempting a painting. These studies help guide me to a composition and palette that will be appropriate for the final painting. However, its a tricky balance because sometimes the first attempt at a subject has a spontaneity that is very hard to recreate.
Can you tell us a little more about your creative working environment/studio?
I have a fantastic studio located in the inner city suburb of West End in Brisbane/Meaanjin. It's a hive of artistic activity and I'm surrounded by fellow artists as well as galleries. There's a great feeling of community and support which only adds to the joy I get from my work.