Attorney finds creative outlet in art

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 September 2013 at 12:00 am

Michael O’Keefe paints with brush and the computer

Mike O’Keefe created this artwork of the tower at Mount Albion Cemetery. He sketched the scene on location and then used a computer to fill in the colors.

ALBION – Michael O’Keefe admits his art work is “different.” He favors abstract paintings, where the image isn’t so obvious.

And he likes to take familiar scenes and give them a different look, sometimes experimenting with new colors or jagged lines for the objects.

O’Keefe, a Medina attorney, has been spending more time developing his artistic passion the past five years. He does some paintings, but he prefers digitial art, where he will sketch a scene by pen, and then scan that into his computer. He will then paint or fill in the colors using a computer mouse.

Some of O’Keefe’s work will be on exhibit at the Marti’s on Main Art Gallery in Albion. There is an opening reception today from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at 229 North Main St. O’Keefe will be working on a painting during the opening reception.

“Art doesn’t have to be what you expect it to be,” said gallery owner Kim Martillotta Muscarella. “It doesn’t have to be realistic. Mike puts his heart and soul into a painting. That’s what you should see.”

Mike O’Keefe holds one of the abstract paintings on exhibit at Marti’s on Main Art Gallery in Albion.

O’Keefe grew up in an artistic house. His father Don O’Keefe worked 37 years as an art director for a Rochester television station.

Mike grew up exposed to the arts but it wasn’t until five years ago he decided to pursue it more seriously. He had his first show in his Medina law office. Muscarella and other artists in the county welcomed him into their community.

The artists encourage each other, and spur one another to be creative, O’Keefe said.

“It’s a great outlet because of the people I meet,” O’Keefe said. “That keeps the fire burning to create more art. Art also gives me more energy to focus in my legal career.”

Today’s opening reception will also include members of the Skoog Farm Artists, a group of retired residents in the Brockport area who take classes from Lori Skoog.