Building a home requires so much beyond what I have in me to be adept at construction, let alone cleaning up after the wreckage. So when I found the brush that I was too tired to clean, justification came into play with one of the first of many talismans to follow. The collector who bought this treasures it and I’m happy for her, but darn, I wish I still had this!
© Kathleen O’Brien, “Talisman for Painters”, front and back, brush, copper leaf, beadwork, acrylic, fossil, turquoise, string, collage, 2009
Some examples of Talismans on paper featured birds. If memory serves, the 2D ones began with observing a house finch with a tuft of my Corgi’s fur in its beak, diving into its yew bush nest off the front porch. I pressed a sprig of yew and added a little bundle of fur. Next there was a Talisman for the mockingbird who nested in the lilac bush close by.
© Kathleen O’Brien, “Talisman for Lark Buntings”, watercolor, drawing, petals, feathers, collage, 2009
© Kathleen O’Brien, “Talisman for Chickadee”, watercolor, drawing, petals, feathers, collage, 2009
An exciting moment for a paper artist happens when a new paper is explored for the first time, obviously! Spanish Capellades Abaca paper is extraordinary for several reasons. It takes watercolor so well and it is ultra thin but strong. Handmade with four deckle edges, it just feels good to touch and watch as colors interact with the fibers. I did a big series with this paper that I used to apply for the Al Smith Fellowship, see the next post…
© Kathleen O’Brien, “Song Sparrow Song”, watercolor, drawing, petals, collage, 2009
Some from the series featured a bird, and it’s pencil tracing. Details from these became the subject of condolence cards.
© Kathleen O’Brien, “I’ll Miss You, Little Wren”, watercolor, drawing, petals, collage, 2010
© Kathleen O’Brien, “Blackbird Fly into the Light of the Dark Black Night, for J. Lennon”, watercolor, drawing, petals, collage, 2010
“26” was a loose-leaf book project. Using odd-shaped scrapes of Arches Cover paper, each two page spread has images and information about the 26 safety energy locks of Jin Shin Jyutsu and various correspondences to that number. I’m including images of these in the Atlas of the Year program.
© Kathleen O’Brien, “26, page 3”, watercolor, drawing, petals, collage, 2010
My best artwork began with writing one hundred times, “Always Merry and Bright” on the papers from the triptych of the same name. Those words are my mantra, taken from Henry Miller. We had just returned from a pilgrimage to the Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur, and I was floating with joy.
© Kathleen O’Brien, “Always Merry and Bright”, watercolor, drawing, mica, petals, collage, 2010
I added writing to subsequent collages more often, usually constructing the border.
© Kathleen O’Brien, “Big Cloud Silver Lining”, watercolor, drawing, petals, collage, 2010
Below is a booth photo of one of the seven Kentucky Crafted; the Markets I participated with. I notice on the back wall the Mockingbird and House Finch Talismans I mentioned earlier. “Always Merry and Bright” is on the far left. I was always proud of my booth setup, wrote about the Best New Exhibitor Award in 2004. It was quite a lot of work to set up. We were always among the last to be set up and the last to break down. I miss being a part of that community. Recently my friend Laverne urged me to display again with a not so over the top setup. If I can figure that one out, I might!
© Kathleen O’Brien, Exhibitors Choice Award Booth at Kentucky Crafted; the Market, 2010
The 10th Annual Autumn Open Studio took place on a brilliantly bright day. One year we had snow, but still art tourists came. This time everyone smiled all day because of the warmth and beauty. I’m always too busy talking to visitors, and Greg is busy with parking, so I don’t think to take photos during the event. Here are some taken before, everything is prepared.
© Kathleen O’Brien, Dad’s Chairs, light from the east
© Kathleen O’Brien, Last figs
© Kathleen O’Brien, Morning glory blooming inside on a November day
© Kathleen O’Brien, Atlas of the Year Area
© Kathleen O’Brien, Collage Wall and jewelry Area
© Kathleen O’Brien, Mugs and Mums
Celebrating Mid-Autumn 2018, Studio Update
How can it be mid-autumn? Try as I might to keep up with the speed of it all, I seem to become exponentially slower.
I announce the culminating event of my 50th Year as an Artist, my 10th Annual Autumn Open Studio on November 3, which will include an architectural feature as well as an array of new products, art and bead necklaces. (more…)
New Paper and Bead Artifacts
This week I finished some paper and bead artifacts that have been in process for a while. One reason I like opening my studio four times a year, is for the deadline effect. I love creating the work, the creative challenge, for myself because I know I’ll always be accountable to myself to finish what is started. (more…)
2007 and 2008 were busy with national exhibits. The themes inspired new directions with media. For Exploring Multiple Dimensions at Albuquerque Museum of Art I created a series of collages, each art work comprised of two drawings with botanicals fused together with bees wax. We were keeping bees at the time and had a large supply. (more…)
Celebrating my 50th year as an artist, I left out a big series that I started in 2002; Book of Light, pages has more than 200 mixed media collages.Book of Light, page 24 is one of my favorites, composed on paper I made. (more…)
Celebrating my 50th year as an artist brings me to this century. As we were building our home I painted my last oil painting of Cosmic Nest series. The scene depicts a cosmic celebration of the millennium for my ancestors. The Grail featured in the painting is a wedding glass of my parent’s seated on a bardic table of remembrance that overlooks fireworks and galaxies. (more…)
Jennifer Gleason is the farmer and creator of Sunflower Sundries and the passion behind the products produced on her small farm. Her whole life has been dedicated to learning about homestead arts and loves making things by hand from local ingredients. We are so proud to know her and her husband, poet Jim Lally. Recently we visited their inspiring enterprise. (more…)
I’m celebrating my 50th year as an artist now looking at 1998-1999, a big turning point time. It was a time of experiencing the empty nest as my kids fledged and simultaneously engaging with a large body of oil paintings that Greg titled “Cosmic Nest.” This period culminated with designing our home, moving to Kentucky and building our new nest. (more…)
Where Three Rivers Meet: An Eyewitness Retrospective
by Frank LaRue Owen
The past is never dead. It’s not even past.
–William Faulkner (more…)