Having been a practicing architect has much to do with the way O'Neill perceived his world. His choice of subject matter, principles of structure, light, mass and pattern in all visual arrangements continue to fascinate art lovers throughout the world. Through his career, he discovered that fine art painting is "Fine Art" when done for its own sake, which is to create a beautiful piece of paper or canvas. Watercolor painting started in 1968, when as an architect, he felt the need to enhance his rendering skills. An opportunity to enter into the world of art came about through the tutelage of Milford Zornes, N.A. Witnessing something far more monumental and meaningful than architectural rendering, was the beginning of another way for him to view the world. This discovery of what "fine art" could mean to the human spirit took him on a new path. Throughout his career he was a member of Watercolor West, National Watercolor Society and Signature Member of the prestigious American Watercolor Society. For over 15 years, until his passing in early 2007, he has presented 30 workshops or demonstrations each year throughout California and the Southwest.
1985 -2007: Operates personal watercolor gallery, THE STOREROOM
1985 - 2007: Conducted watercolor workshops and demonstrations throughout California and Southwest.
1964 - 1990: Practicing Architect in Riverside
1954 - 1961: Practicing Architect in Washington D.C.
1948 - 1953: Catholic University of America, Study of Architecture and Fine Arts. Bachelor of Architecture Degree
2007 Elizabeth Callan Award from the American Watercolor Society
2005 Elizabeth Callan Award from the American Watercolor Society
1999 Work accepted into the 132nd Annual Exhibition of the American Watercolor Society.
1997 Second Place Award, Multi Media Exhibit XXVIII
1995 Best of Show Award, Riverside Art Museum Membership Exhibit
1994 Award of Excellence, Multi Media Mini XXV
1992 Accepted into 125th Annual Exhibit of the American Watercolor Society and granted Signature Membership
1990 Harrison-Cady Award American Watercolor Society 123rd Annual Exhibition
1989 Artist-in-residence, Na Bolom, San Cristobal Las Casas, Mexico
1988 Purchase Award for Permanent Collection, Palos Verde Community Art Exhibit 1987 Accepted into 120th
Annual Exhibit of American Watercolor Society. and received the Edgar Whitney Award
1985 Acquisition Award for Permanent Collection, Mt San Jacinto College
1983 First Award, 8th Annual Heritage Awards exhibit, Inland
1982 First Award, Inland Exhibition XVIII, San Bernadino Co. Museum
1982 Acquisition Award for Permanent Collection, Chaffey Community Art Association
2007 Don O'Neill Watercolors
1997-98 Painting Light and Shadow, Painting Color, Rockport Publishers
1996 National Geographic Traveler, pp. 112, 113 & 114, Mar.-Apr. Edition
1996 Place in Watercolor, Betty Lou Schlemm, Rockport Publishers
1995 Best of Watercolor, Ibid. p. 14
1991 Splash I, North Light Books p. 28 & 70