My Story

My Story

Recently an artist I admire said “you have given your life to your art”. It is an obvious statement to me, but it resonated with a simple clarity I’d been searching for to describe my life. It began by growing up surrounded by aesthetic influences; the sounds of dad playing the piano, the sight of grandfather’s paintings, the smell of nourishment from mother and grandmother’s kitchens, the feel of the clothing they made.

From an early age my senses were imbued with the splendors of the places we were stationed by the Army, starting out in Japan. Italy will always stand out as high art culture. I remember hearing opera everywhere, and the translucent red records dad played of Puccini. During high school in Germany, I traveled early in the morning by train to Mannheim to open the Kunstshule Rodël Printmaking Studio. The experience of that hooked me. In a tiny top floor studio room at home, I pretended to be an artist, wondering how to proceed.

I have always been motivated to learn and know. A two-year attendance at college gave me a hint how to start; drawing, oil painting and calligraphy. In 1968 I sold an oil painting of Beethoven, and have been a professional artist ever since.

Creating art has been the one consistent thing in my life, through all the life stages, technique and media changes, changing roles – most appreciatively as a mother.  Also, the values of cycles of the seasons and life, communication, soul exploration, transparency, meaning and symbolism are all still perceivable whether a drawing, painting, mixed media collage, or artifact.

After changing domiciles many times growing up, I chose to settle in Colorado for many years, with time in Washington in between. These were the mothering years and times of much collaboration with artists and exhibits. For example, I was a founding member of Boulder Arts & Crafts COOP, which is still in business today.

At the millennium we fulfilled a dream of designing and building a home on a small farm in Kentucky. New surroundings and not having a studio while we built resulted in a change of medium to watercolor, and combining drawings and botanicals into collages that appear dimensional. The inventory covering 50+ years is in the thousands.

My artwork reflects personal experiences towards understanding the cycles of life and recording the spiritual realization throughout that journey. This has been my lifelong exploration, to express the subtle relationships with the seen and unseen worlds of wonder, above, below, the center and all around. If these ideas resonate with your own life pursuit, I trust you will connect with my work.

I invite you to visit the links on my website and discover my life in art. Would you like to be part of my journey by becoming one of my art collectors? Do not believe the myth that art is exclusively available for wealthy individuals. If you would like to learn more about my art, please CLICK HERE to receive information. Living with art is one of the most insightful and culturally enriching gifts to humanity.

Sincerely yours,



Kathleen O'Brien's Values Magic Square
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