Colorado Journeys explores the long-distance essence of a beloved place I travel to in my imagination.

In this series of twelve 7.5×7.5-inch works on paper, I revisit what feels familiar and almost eternal to me, land that grounds my soul. Collaged on to the abstract watercolor paintings reminiscent of Aspen groves are fragments of maps to mysterious Mesa Verde also mica and sage found on the mesa. When I painted them in the spring, I wanted to journey to Colorado to visit family but one thing after another prevented it. Our imagination blesses us at times like this.

"Colorado Journey 1", detail, by Kathleen O'Brien

“Colorado Journey 1”, detail, by Kathleen O’Brien

The first time being at Mesa Verde was a life changing event, in that the energy of the land engulfed me in a feeling of being home. The land itself guided my sense of direction. I traveled there because of the focus with petroglyphs in my art. That year, 1986, I created over 100 oil paintings depicting them realistically on abstract backgrounds. Seeing the petroglyphs at Far View Point, and other sites at the Four Corners area, imbued me with an understanding of the essential purpose of art, at least from my perspective; to connect with the Divine, to communicate prayer and to show gratitude for the ability to express identity.

In Colorado Journeys, rather than petroglyphs, the underlying layer contains written word and my invented script to suggest the energy of experiencing the land and times past and to come.

"Colorado Journey 12",  by Kathleen O'Brien

“Colorado Journey 12”, by Kathleen O’Brien

"Colorado Journey 12", detail, by Kathleen O'Brien

“Colorado Journey 12”, detail, by Kathleen O’Brien

"Colorado Journey 10", by Kathleen O'Brien

“Colorado Journey 10”, by Kathleen O’Brien

"Colorado Journey 10", detail, by Kathleen O'Brien

“Colorado Journey 10”, detail, by Kathleen O’Brien

For the Open Studio this year I am offering a Buy One Get One at half price.

"Colorado Journey 5",  by Kathleen O'Brien

“Colorado Journey 5”, by Kathleen O’Brien