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Natural Motifs: Art by David Keane

A painting of a deer blending into a pale backgroundHidden trace, oil and pen on wood

David Keane is a mixed media artist based in Conamara on the west coast of Ireland. David’s paintings and illustrations overwhelmingly feature woodland animals, trees, and other natural motifs.

A small painting of a silhouetted deer with earthy tonesNight Flight, oil on wood


David’s recent series, Tales from phantom forest is very aptly named. The images almost all feature silhouetted or slightly blurred trees and animal figures, sometimes rendered in loose oil paint and sometimes cut out of newspaper or other mixed media. I really enjoy the way David uses a mostly earthy color palette and this slightly ethereal imagery to create a really strong sense of narrative both in the individual images and throughout the entire series.

A painting gallery on David Keane's art websiteDavid's Tales from phantom forest painting gallery


I also rather enjoy David’s most recent oil paintings. These works depart from the artist’s usual neutral-leaning color palette and instead take a more saturated, almost psychedelic approach. Still using the visual language of trees and forest animals, David draws out an entirely different interpretation, creating an alien reflection of a familiar world. 

A painting of a deer in bright green and pink huesThe clearing, oil on panel

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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