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Chief O'Neill's Favorite by Alice McMahon

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SOLD! Captain Francis O’Neill, Graphite with coffee wash, 14 × 11″

Francis O’Neill was born in 1848 in Cork Ireland and came to Chicago as a young man, where he became chief of police. He played the Irish wooden flute and while chief he recruited many traditional Irish musicians into the police force. He also collected tunes from a wide variety of printed sources.

O’Neill retired from the police force in 1905. After that, he devoted much of his energy to publishing the music he had collected.


music, coffee, chief, francis, irish, oneill, alice mcmahon white

I specialize in figurative charcoal drawing. My work was recently shown and sold at the Saatchi Gallery in London. Current works delve into the realm of symbolism and magic realism.
All of my drawings are meant to be noble representations of individual subjects, and also bring together a wealth of influences, recognition of art history and myth and a contemporary attitude to create images that are of the moment, but hopefully will also remain relevant in the future.

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  • Varry
    Varryabout 5 years ago

    Fantastic portrait of an interesting man,and i love the coffee wash,the sepia tone is lovely.

  • O’Neill is buried in the same cemetery as my father, mostly graves of those of Irish or Italian descent. It’s just a short walk from my house so I visit both great men often. Thank you Varry!

    – Alice McMahon

  • thepaintedsoul
    thepaintedsoulabout 5 years ago

    You have such a freshness to your work, Alice. I always enjoy dropping by to view your artwork. Cheers!

  • Rowan  Lewgalon
    Rowan Lewgalonabout 5 years ago

    Impressive and fantastic portrait, Alice.

  • WonderlandGlass
    WonderlandGlassabout 5 years ago

    Wonderful character study and an interesting treatment… better coffee than Guinness. He has a firmly determined look about him with piecing eyes. I’ll wager he was an excellent investigative policeman.

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