It’s been a time of quiet progress since the last studio update, when I was focused on writing. That brought me to the finish line for Atlas of the Year, at least the writing and artwork. Next, it will take on several forms. For starters, the first installment of a print version is Atlas of the Year, Spring, East, Journal which I’m excited to premier at Spring Into Art, the next open studio April 28. In the works: a class, Atlas of the Year: mapping the path of our true being.

At Spring Into Art you'll find a big surprise, new art, jewelry, cards and products by Kathleen O'Brien

At Spring Into Art you’ll find a big surprise, 32 new artworks, jewelry, cards and products by Kathleen O’Brien

This April 28 Open Studio is special for several reasons. I’m celebrating my 50th year as an artist! To this end, I am writing a blog series on a look back on each of those years. Read about 1968-1970 in this post.

​I believe each artwork I create is destined for a certain person. I want to make that connection happen, so…Last year’s surprise free original art giveaway (with a $100 purchase) was so popular, I’m offering that again! I am displaying some works from my own collection at half their original price.

There are 32 new watercolors and collages for Mothers & Fathers Day, graduation, to enliven your spring-cleaned environment or reward yourself for the hard work you do every day. Also, eight new Mothers Day cards, and new bead jewelry.

​If you are interested but cannot come or there is a specific artwork you have been longing for please contact me. You know it will be a beautiful time to stroll the trails, forest bathe, bird watch from the renovated solarium or porch sit, so come on out. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Big Fig Dig

being herded into the solarium at the Big Fig Dig, photo by Nick Lacy

Being herded into the solarium at the Big Fig Dig, photo by Nick Lacy

Greg had the solarium nicely renovated in time for the event in early March. We had coffee and banana bread in the warm outdoor room near the fig nursery. A good crowd of people come and dig their trees, leaving us with only a few. We were pleased that some of our art farmer friends took plenty to start their own orchard. I am looking forward to future posts by Phillip Gilbert of Clear Creek Community and Jennifer Gleason of Sunflower Sundries. The day was gorgeously blue and crisp, immortalized by the outstanding photography of Nick Lacy.

PhillipPhillip Gilbert digging a fig tree, photo by Nick Lacy

Phillip Gilbert digging a fig tree, photo by Nick Lacy

KPAN Consultancy

It was an honor to present an art marketing consultancy through Kentucky Art Council’s Kentucky Peer Advisory Network (KPAN) for the Arts Commission of Danville Boyle County. The seven artists and I met twice for three hour sessions.

KPAN has arts professionals available to provide six-hour consultancies to assist eligible organizations and individual artists with board development, grant writing, marketing and promotions, strategic planning, festival planning and other activities. Consultancy fees are paid by the Kentucky Arts Council.

KPAN is a supportive program that encourages Kentucky arts organizations, community groups incorporating arts programming, as well as individual artists participating in Kentucky Arts Council programs to apply.


Feeling Blue is a curated show by Becky Neal Ochenkoski (tribeca trunk). It opens at the LexArts Gallery Hop May 18 at The Community Gallery at the Pam Miller Downtown Arts Center, Lexington, Kentucky. As Becky noted:

“This show speaks to the other side of BLUE. The Blue that makes you feel fabulous, gives you energy and calmness; all at the same time. This show is all about the beauty that Blue gives to each of us everyday!

Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, and truth . Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect. So, the next time you’re Feeling Blue, surround yourself with with some Blue Beauty!”

I am honored to have Bouquet 10 and three Blue Planet Closeups a part of this exhibit.

"Bouquet 10", watercolor collage by Kathleen O'Brien, 8x8"

© Kathleen O’Brien, “Bouquet 10″, watercolor collage, 8×8”

Recently the Illustrated Word traveling exhibit had its eighth showing at The Taylor County Public Library in Campbellsville. Next it travels to Boyle County Public Library, 307 West Broadway, in Danville, May 3 – June 22. Please feel welcome to attend the reception May 10 at 5 pm. To see the full schedule click here.

" Choice of Words" and "Magic Square of Words"by Kathleen O'Brien for "Illustrated Word" traveling exhibit

© Kathleen O’Brien, ” Choice of Words” and “Magic Square of Words” for “Illustrated Word” traveling exhibit

Put a Bird on It will show at Beria Arts council, 139 north Broadway Suite B, Berea, KY from May 25 – June 30 with a reception June 1, 5:30 – 7 pm.

Orange Bellied Parrot and Rainbow Parrot details of watercolor collage by ©Kathleen O'Brien

© Kathleen O’Brien, “Orange Bellied Parrot” and “Rainbow Parrot” details of watercolor collage

I am pleased that St. Joseph Hospital has purchased Bouquet 1. I hope it brings a feeling of nature and peace to the patients there.

"Bouquet 01", watercolor by Kathleen O'Brien, 12x9"

© Kathleen O’Brien, “Bouquet 1″, watercolor, 12×9”

Spring is the time for exhibit entries and proposals. I’m waiting about a proposal for a solo show of Atlas of the Year.