Peter J. O'Halloran

Peter J. O'Halloran was born in Milwaukee, WI, in 1964. He currently lives in Marietta GA. In addition to painting, he teaches at Chastain Art Center in Buckhead.

Like many fine artists, his creative direction was influenced by strong and effective teachers. "My life in fine art began at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh where I learned what art was from Ron Weaver. He received his MFA at Yale and was a classmate of Chuck Close (another artist I greatly admire). Ron was an extremely passionate teacher, and could be a harsh critic. He taught me to not fool myself into thinking that what I had done was good enough," says O'Halloran.

As usual, O'Halloran excelled in his efforts, and in 1989 he received his MFA, summa cum laude.

After graduating from college he moved to New York and took on a job with Merrill Lynch to support himself. "I left for New York to study specifically with Lennert Anderson: a figurative painter at Brooklyn College whose work I had seen in Wisconsin. While there I soaked in many lessons from other world-class artists and historians on the faculty, but the diversity of ideas in the museums and galleries of the city are what left the greatest impact on me," he continues.

He married and moved back to Wisconsin where he began showing at galleries in the region. "During that time, I embarked on a large series of geometric abstractions.  These paintings were based on aerial photographs of crops I took while flying over the western states where circle-pivot irrigation produces patterns of circles and wedges amidst the expected stripes and rectangles.  I had a few of these accepted to exhibitions."

After his children were born, he devoted himself to being a parent as well as a painter. "While I was caring for babies, I suspended my use of oil paint for safety reasons," he says." Instead, I made pointillist portraits using a wide variety of materials:  Indian seed beads woven on a hand-made loom, melted plastic beads, colored possible sticks, painted pin heads, latch-hook rugs, etc.  It was typical for each portrait to contain about 10,000 units of whatever material I chose and produced a photo-realistic result." 


Callahan and Painting

In 1996 he moved his family to Atlanta where he has pursued his career as a painter and a parent. His wife is an executive with Coca Cola and his children are now in college. He has shown at Reinike Gallery since 2003.

Today, O'Halloran works with oil on canvas. His paintings exemplify the definition of High Realism - "objectivity of vision, sharpness of definition, precision of technique, and accuracy of detail." The artist also carefully crafts the frames for his paintings. His works are masterful renderings of ordinary objects and scenes created with an artist's eye and executed with an experienced artist's mastery of technique.