Carol earned a BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and studied Fine Art at the University of Colorado in Boulder. In 1971, after years of migrating across the United States, O’Neill and her family settled in New Jersey because her husband was hired as a Professor of American History at Rutgers University. For the next twenty years, O’Neill held several nonprofit jobs and did not dedicate much time to her artwork. In 2000, O’Neill retired from her role as the Middlesex County Administrative Director of the Arts High School and the Middle School of the Arts. At this time, she rekindled her love of creation and began taking classes at Rutgers University, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, the Newark Art Museum, and Middlesex County College. Since then she has exhibited at venues throughout the state and has won prizes at several juried shows. She is currently a member of the Highland Park Arts Collective and lives in Highland Park, NJ.
For the last 10 years, she has continued to be challenged by the art form of collage. Creating a collage is like solving a puzzle; pieces of the puzzle – line shape, color, and materials – ideas and feelings are expressed in a blend of abstraction, realism, and fantasy.
The materials used in collage are important to the success of each piece. She is always searching for both new and recycled materials. In choosing materials, she looks for intense colors, the ability to layer, and patterns that can be juxtaposed in interesting ways. Most of her collages have a smooth quality, which comes from her painstaking process. She now has 10 large bags of potential collage materials. Her motivation to make another collage comes from remembering the pleasures when finishing the last one.