Mothers Day Garden
Yesterday we caught up on garden tasks, after an abundance of rain. I wanted to appreciate my Mothers Day garden without toil. Since we started planting the biodynamic seeds from Turtle Tree Seed, and husbands’ kindly addition of extreme deep beds to avoid bending, we are amazed at the nurturing our Mother Earth is capable of. I am so grateful to Her and my children who asked to see what we are seeing at this glorious May morn. So, here’s a little tour of Sunwise Farm and Sanctuary kitchen gardens. (more…)
Art Lovers Spring into Art
Spring Into Art exceeded all expectations. I’m still floating with good feelings remembering some of the highlights of art lovers flocking to the event. It is a major joy to witness 34 artworks leaving with happy collectors. I wish I had taken a picture of the free art table before the event started. That was the secondary surprise, you sort of had to be there! (more…)
Celebrating Mid-Spring Studio Update
Here we are at the light half of the year again – Beltane, May Day! I’m celebrating with a grand Spring Into Art Event, a Sunwise Open Studios Celebration. Join in the fun on April 29, from 1-4 pm. I have a big surprise for you, that you won’t want to miss. (more…)
Spring Into Art and the Garden
Spring at the gardens of Sunwise Farm and Sanctuary means, you know, weeding, planting, weeding, mowing, did I mention weeding? It is a welcome time to work on art outside on the porch, as well. It helps to go back and forth between art and garden activities, pacing the physical output, by balancing with the more sedentary focus of art making. (more…)
“The Illustrated Word” schedule
“The Illustrated Word”, schedule is listed below. (next; Kentucky Crafted: The Market, April 21-23) The Kentucky Arts Council exhibit connects visual art and literature. The 29 artists in the exhibit (more…)
“225: Artists Celebrate Kentucky’s History” Reception
We thoroughly enjoyed the “225: Artists Celebrate Kentucky’s History” reception thanks to warm hosting from Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, curator Gwen Heffner and Executive Director, Todd Finley. Thank you all artists who made this a stellar exhibition, which fortunately goes until September 23. (more…)
The Reception for “Gridworks Revisited” Was Grand
Frankie York, owner of New Editions Gallery said “We’ve done this show before but not like this! Imagine 60 plus artists, over 120 paintings, any subject matter, all 12×12 and you have GRIDWORKS REVISITED! Join us for this fun show featuring some of Kentucky’s finest.” Many people showed up for the reception despite the poor weather. It continues until May 12, so treat yourself to an uplifting show with much variety, something for everyone! (more…)
Celebrating this mid-winter time of Imbolc I’m amazed at how busy January has been. More than ever I am beginning this New Year firmly committed to the pursuit of happiness and connection through love and creativity. This is my wish for you as well. When I think of the time that has passed since Samhuin, the journey through the dark time of the year, it is one of art and life coming and going. (more…)
2016 Year Review
Even though we still have a few weeks of the year left, I have finished my review. It’s a grounding process that I enjoy, and hope you find inspiration in reading it. I’ve included a few photos of the pages below. The PDF takes a few seconds to download: 2016 Review Kathleen O’Brien
Cover of the 2016 Review by Kathleen O’Brien
Page 1 of the 2016 Review by Kathleen O’Brien
Page 9 of the 2016 Review by Kathleen O’Brien
At this Thanksgiving season I want to say Thank You to each of you for blessing my studio, in person or online, with your presence and interest. I am full of gratitude for our abundant harvest of figs, tomatoes, morning glories and oh so many flowers for the butterflies. I send wishes to all in the world that they have their heart’s desires and that the holiday season is Always Merry and Bright.
Daily Fig thank you card by Kathleen O’Brien
Best ARTTOUR yet!
Thank you to everyone who made this year’s Annual Open Studios ARTTOUR the best one yet! The weather cooperated immensely, it was sunny and bright, so much so that our morning glories were still in full glory. This is a first, we always have had to take down our beloved shade wall due to frost. (more…)
My Guests for ARTTOUR
I’m so happy to share special guests with visitors who come soon to the Annual Open Studios ARTTOUR. Encaustic sculpture artist, Michelle Hayden and Abiding Grace Farm Artisan Foods owner Sherman Fracher, will be here as well as Greg’s Antique Corner. (more…)
Beloved apricot blush zinnia, 5th generation from Sunwise Farm & Sanctuary
Celebrating Mid-Autumn, Studio Update
Welcome to mid-season studio update with news since mid-summer; Annual Open Studios ARTTOUR, Horizon exhibit and talk, new art, and more. We are grateful that the hard work of summer is behind us, our gardens fed us well, our milkweed has attracted many Monarchs who are still sipping nectar from the zinnias. This is a favorite time of year, when we can slow down and count our blessings, Samhuin, the night of the Ancestors, is in five days. (more…)
Summer Atlas Part 4
This is the last in the series Summer Atlas. It’s only been four weeks since the Equinox when we said goodby to summer. Do you notice time accelerating at this time of year? Summer now lives on in these paintings. I intended to extend some summer spaciousness to you in this art. (more…)
Art Talk at Community Arts Center
Brandon Long, Program Director at Community Art Center the host for “Horizon: Contemporary Landscape”, invited me to talk about my piece in the exhibit, “Let us do our best, even if it gets us nowhere.” I always say yes because (more…)
One Simple Question
As an artist, how can I serve you?
There is no right or wrong answer, but it will help my curiosity.
Anyone who contacts me with their answer will be eligible to win this collage, “Love Letter to Henry Miler, 6”, a $120 value.
The random drawing will be during ARTTOUR!
“Love Letter to Henry Miller, 6”. watercolor, drawing, stamp, forsythia, collage by Kathleen O’Brien, 8×8″
I look forward to hearing from you!
Summer Atlas Part 3
In July I had a vivid dream about the frescoes we saw from Pompeii at the National Gallery of Art in 2008, especially Garden Scene, at the House of the Golden Bracelet. Just the fact that they were able to transport whole walls of the fragile ancient artwork was impressive. What stayed with my memory (more…)
Summer Atlas, Part 2
Our summer was mild, not so humid and not so hot. That meant I could paint outside on the north porch more often. My knees were bothering me, so it was more comfortable to sit rather than stand as I usually do. I was out of ideas, so I began these three pieces by moving the brush in a continuous line until there was no more paint. Then like a child (more…)
Summer Atlas, Part 1
On this last day of summer I write about the “Summer Atlas” series of 29 artworks, which began in early June with the purchase of a new brush. I decided to challenge myself to use only that one brush, and my Holbein “Irodori” Antique Watercolors (does anyone know why a Japanese company would use a Dutch name, Holbein?). First I made squares, like pixel marks. Then I swerved the brush moving it until no paint was left in the brush. While painting this outside I heard a Wood Thrush sing for the first time in our lower forest. (more…)
Things That Fly, Like Summer
Summer is almost over, we’ll be celebrating the Equinox in a few days. I start this blog series of “Summer Atlas” with the last of the 29 artworks completed this summer, “Things That Fly, Like Summer”. This is the only collage of the series that is a Golden Rectangle, (more…)
“Lux Aeternum”, from Mozart Requiem for 9/11, collage by Kathleen O’Brien, 2002
Just In Time
In keeping with my original idea for Open Studios here at Sunwise Farm and Sanctuary, to share the four seasons literally and through indigenous teachings, the 5th version of the special edition card set was finished, just in time for Saturday’s event. (more…)
Celebrating Mid-Summer, Studio Update
Abundance at Sunwise Farm and Sanctuary July 2016
Welcome to mid-season studio update with news since mid-spring; Sunwise Open Studios Celebrations, shows, art, mound hacking, good trades, sanctuary upgrades. This is another favorite time of year, when we take shade behind the Morning Glory wall, (more…)
Art of the Farm
Besides being an artist who creates with paint and paper, everything I do I approach as an art form. My calling is to integrate all facets of my life creatively. So I regard Sunwise Farm and Sanctuary as The Art Farm and practice the art of the farm. It is part tending and caring for the earth, the plants and critters who visit and part aesthetic. I should be saying “we”, because my husband does all of the heavy lifting. My joke is “I’ll make the lemonade”. Luckily, some of my ideas are taken into account. (more…)
For several years, artist Nona Orbach has been creating an online artwork called Blog as Artwork, dealing with the revival of the ancient library of Alexandria, using all of the possibilities offered by the internet as the ultimate archive. Mound Hacker is a global art intervention (more…)
Most artists I know are regular traders, swapping their work for pieces from other creative types. Such trades typically have very little to do with money — they’re mostly about trading ideas & inspirations. That’s what makes them so valuable.
All month I’ve been allowing myself to explore new directions using new materials. Sometimes I judge myself for having scattered imagery. The analyzer in me likes to know what I’m doing, like, why choose these shapes, these colors, does it follow the track I’ve been on, should it follow? When I see a consistency, even if subtle and might not have an overall appearance of being related, I confirm to myself that I in fact do know what I’m doing. I need visual proof.
I was rather stunned to see right before my eyes this triptych oil from 1990 that has what I call ribbons coming down from above. It is a recurring image that is freighted with meaning, and so almost automatic in my mark scribing that I take it for granted. They represent a celebratory sense of opportunity, of party, of constant available energy, of prayers answered.
Boulder Valley From Haystack Mt.,, oil Triptych 1990, ribbon detail by Kathleen O’Brien
After finding this small detail of the triptych mate, “Long Path to Peace”, I sectioned off areas of my latest watercolor landscapes that illustrate this point.
Preparing for the Open Studio the other day my husband said that guests can take home art that could only be created in a sanctuary, and experience the Sanctuary. That was quite a realization for me. It put many things into perspective. I take for granted how imbued this land and studio is with all the treasures our senses can hold. It is all translated into art. “Live Sunwise” is about art in an expanded definition. It is Transformative Art, one that strives for beauty in all areas with an unquenchable desire to create. It is Celebratory Art, one that supports slowing down enough to hear the small prompts within. (more…)
Celebrating Mid-Spring, Studio Update
In this mid-season studio update I share what’s new since mid-winter. This is another favorite time of year, when we see the joyful return of spring perennials, and with hope plant seeds and welcome the light half of the year – Beltane, May Day!
I am excited to announce Kathleen O’Brien Studio is now open four times a year, at mid-season. Preparations for the next Sunwise Open Studio Celebrations on May 14 are underway, I look forward to seeing many of you here again, 1-4 pm. Opening the studio keeps me focused on sharing new works in progress, new art, new products like the ones seen below, and the best – a chance to showcase the grounds and gardens. This time I’m sharing milkweed seeds and information about becoming a Monarch Waystation.
Still on the drawing board, “Lilac Enchantment”, watercolor, drawing, lilacs combined into collage by Kathleen O’Brien, 22x30″
Geobotanicals, lumbar pillow
Founded in Mystery, carry all pouch
Entry to Kathleen O’Brien Studio
Drawn to the Earth
Drawn to the Earth, has just closed. Seeing a year’s worth of art displayed in a gallery is a reward for hard work. I was please to have it during Earth Month. It was such an honor and pleasure to collaborate with Stan Brunn and his geopoetry. We were happy to have so many friends, new and old, attend the opening, and the enjoyed discussing art and poetry with the visitors on the two Saturday events. Very soon those who wrote, drew or collaged in the community journal “Where on earth are you from?” will be receiving their PDF copy.
Gallery view 1 of “Drawn to the Earth”, photo credit Mary Rezny
Gallery view 2 of “Drawn to the Earth”, photo credit Mary Rezny
Gallery view 3 of “Drawn to the Earth”, photo credit Mary Rezny
Juxtapose was a huge exhibit at Community Arts Center, Danville, with over a thousand examples of collage and assemblage. Long time art friend, John Dixon, wrote a great post about many of the pieces and artists. In addition to showing Pollinators 1 and 2, for the first time I showed all 365 postcards from 2006’s Each Day in the Year of the Fire Dog. The messages relate to events and celebration of that day. This example is from May 6. In 2006 it was Derby Day, when dear Barbaro won.
#98, May 6, Each Day in the Year of the Fire Dog, front, by Kathleen O’Brien
Juxtapose Reception with John Dixon, Mary Beth Touchstone, Nick Lacy, Brandon Long and me with some of the postcards
This is 50, was installed at the Kentucky Crafted: the Market, in Lexington. Artists were invited to interpret “50” in any way they chose to celebrate Kentucky Arts Council’s 50th Anniversary. Artists from all parts of the state chimed in with broad renderings of the theme. Mine was 50 Colors. Starting with the support, I painted dabs of 50 colors, wet it, which created a perfect grey. Then I collaged 50 painted color samples, scripts and Clary Sage petals. I was honored by Bobbie Curd’s review about it, with a catchy title; 50 Shades of Sage, playing on my 50 years as an artist.
“50 Colors” at “This is 50” exhibit with Kathleen O’Brien
For the first time at the May 14 Open Studio I will have my first silk scarf, in addition to the new carry all pouches, skins, pillows and tote bags. I’ll be developing more items this summer. There are more new greeting cards as well. I must get these on the web pages soon.
Outer World silk scarf by Kathleen O’Brien
We had the privilege of meeting Grand Slam Champion American Pharoah at Coolmore Stud. It’s difficult to describe the feeling of being so close to such a majestic creature, the only horse in history to win the Triple Crown (last winner was 1977) and the Breeder’s Cup. He is so sweet and creates a desire in me to aspire to my highest potential as an artist and as a person. It makes me happy to think that he lives only minutes away from us. Even more thrilling was that we were able to also meet and pet Thunder Gulch and Fusaichi Pegasus, both grand sires and Derby champions.
American Pharoah, Triple Crown Champion at Coolmore Stud
Friday’s reception for “Drawn to the Earth” was a coming together of about 100 art and poetry lovers. Stan Brunn and I were both pleased with the turn-out, and how well received the concept of geopoetry and art flowing together. He read several poems, including “Rivers and Roots”, which you may read in an earlier post – last year’s Earth Day, as a matter of fact. Please join us Saturday, April 16 from 12:30-2 pm at MS Rezny Studio/Gallery when Stan will talk about his forthcoming book, “The Changing World Language Map”. Thanks to Melissa Hall for the beautiful photographs she took during the reception.
Monday, it was time to install “Drawn to the Earth” at MS Rezny Studio/Gallery. Honestly, I like things that are well hung, but it’s not my favorite thing to hang an exhibit. Fortunately, I had expert help from my husband and Mary Rezny. It became simpler when we learned to mark a line at 60″ with a string, which became the midpoint for all the pieces, no matter their size. It also helps to have a scale model as a starting point. (more…)
Drawn to the Earth, Like a Bird
All 30 pieces of my art for the Drawn to the Earth exhibit are ready to hang. As these visionary maps unfolded in my mind, I came to see them as a bird would. My longtime love of drawing and painting birds truly gave me a bird’s-eye perspective of the series. And yesterday, for the Equinox, we embedded tiny seeds in the freshly amended soil outside the studio, hoping the birds would spare them, even though the insects probably won’t. (By the way, we spread diatomaceous earth in the planting zones to handle insect pests.) (more…)