Happy Lughnasa, in the Celtic tradition it’s the time of the first harvest beginning on sundown July 31. We have been eating high off the hog, like my grandpa used to say. Except, no tomatoes yet, despite the many plants we have. We had an abundance of rain this spring. Summer is the opposite, with the need to water from the cistern. Thanks to Greg’s efforts at soil building, composting and mulching we are loaded with zucchinis, herbs, beans. It is a pleasure to celebrate this.

It is exciting that for the first time Blackberry Lily, ‘Chinese Ixia’, that came from Monticello via a friend has bloomed as a Mid_Summer flower. there’s more information about it and a video at the end of this post.


Journey is a keyword for the summer season. In writing, painting, thinking, planning and dreaming maps and things travel related are in the forefront. Not that I’ve gone anywhere except to the studio, the computer, to the past and to dreamland.

Journey Bag Stuff

Journey Bag Stuff, unpacked for now

The desire is strong to break out. This is what drives me to create the realities of my imagination on paper with paint. The is how the words are formed as I write From Inner Realms to Outer Worlds; an Artist’s Time Journey. It is a chapter for TIME JOURNEYS, Stanley D. Brunn’s seventh mega book with Springer publishing company. I am on the third draft of the 6000-word chapter. The challenge is to make it interesting and not resume-like. Stan wanted about six images to illustrate the text. Six, to represent fifty-four years?  Muse was working overtime when she suggested to assemble grids of artwork details chronologically by decades, magic squares of 25! I couldn’t wait to publish them before I finished with the journey through time, see them all on this blog.

1978-1987, 25 details of a few artworks by Kathleen O'Brien

1978-1987, 25 details of a few artworks by Kathleen O’Brien

In my dreams I travel to Colorado, Ireland, Italy…you know, the world.

New Art

To keep things mysterious, I have not been posting my new art on social media. This makes it seem like I’m producing nothing until I start to tally up in the inventory book. New art is not even on Artwork Archive yet, except for the new books in the Alexander’s Library collection; Dark Half – Light Half, Treasure Maps and Travel Journal.

"Treasure Maps", artist book by Kathleen O'Brien

“Treasure Maps”, artist book by Kathleen O’Brien

Again, the theme of new work is journeys, traveling, expanding. In May I did a twelve-part series, Colorado Journey. In June I painted Archipelago 1-4. I just finished a large one with botanicals from the garden, Ojo de Dios. I am waiting to publish them until the next Open Studio (November 5) and autumn and holiday specials. In between, I made many small two-sided paintings and laminated them into “wallet art”. These will be collector gifts for upcoming art releases. It’s hard not to share, though, so below are some details.

"Colorado Journey 5", detail of watercolor painting by Kathleen O'Brien

“Colorado Journey 5”, detail of watercolor painting by Kathleen O’Brien


"Archipelago 4", detail of watercolor painting by Kathleen O'Brien

“Archipelago 4”, detail of watercolor painting by Kathleen O’Brien


"Ojo de Dios", detail of watercolor painting by Kathleen O'Brien

“Ojo de Dios”, detail of watercolor painting by Kathleen O’Brien


"A Little Cheer, Side 2", detail. More descriptions to follow!

“A Little Cheer, Side 2”, detail. More descriptions to follow!


Also, there are new items on the jewelry counter; Talisman for Snakes, Talisman for Possums, Healing Necklace for Russian Blues, Talisman for Levity. They are not on the website yet, but the cuffs from the spring are, check it out!

details of "Talisman for Snakes" and "Talisman for Possums"by Kathleen O'Brien

details of “Talisman for Snakes” and “Talisman for Possums”by Kathleen O’Brien


Women in Art, 2022

The State of Grace 1, was displayed in the online show Women in Art, 2022, Las Laguna Art Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA for the month of July.

"State of Grace, December 1", detail of watercolor painting by Kathleen O'Brien

“State of Grace, December 1”, detail of watercolor painting by Kathleen O’Brien


Some Music to enjoy for the summer

La Conga Blicoti, performed by Joséphine Baker

Dancing in the Street, written by William Stevenson, Ivy Joe Hunter and Marvin Gaye, performed by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas

You’re the Top, written by Cole Porter, performed by Cole Porter, The Nighthawks, Vince Giordano

In Love with Ipanema, performed by French Café 24 x 7

For your pleasure

In June I sent an email about “making archiving sexy” and mentioned 50 collages composed in a Golden Rectangle proportion. I created a slide show, uploaded it to Vimeo, downloaded to Artwork Archive, so I could send it easily to my valued collectors for their viewing and not for sale. I sent that to subscribers who OPENED the email. Hey, if you missed that, you can subscribe. When you do, add a note to send you the “Soul Cards”.

detail, 50 collages by Kathleen O’Brien

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Blackberry Lily, 'Chinese Ixia' , flower

Blackberry Lily, ‘Chinese Ixia’ , flower

Blackberry Lily, 'Chinese Ixia' , buds

Blackberry Lily, ‘Chinese Ixia’ , buds

Blackberry Lily

A friend gave me bulbs a few years ago, a Mid-Summer flower now blooming. Click here to see the video. This is what she shared about them; from the Monticello Garden shop:

“Harvested from the gardens at Monticello.  Thomas Jefferson planted ‘Chinese Ixia’ in an oval flower bed at Monticello in 1807.  This hardy and robust perennial, now known as Blackberry Lily, is naturalized at Monticello, perhaps from an earlier Jefferson planting.  A member of the Iris tribe, Blackberry Lily bears showy orange flowers (spotted with red) in mid-summer.  Ornamental, blackberry-like seeds, which appear in fall, are not edible. Jefferson-documented: This plant was documented by Thomas Jefferson in his Garden Book, Notes on the State of Virginia, or other writings.”