When I turned 50, I was unsure about my path forward as an artist. After living in Boulder for 28 years, I was faced with a decision to move. I was questioning if I, through my art, had enough recognition to be supported as an artist and healer. My personal healing journey revealed awareness that my art was not recognized because in some ways I had been hiding. I was ready to be seen and my art to be recognized.

At that time, I organized a big birthday party event. In the invitation I explained my quest for recognition. I asked for help to make right choices, meaning to be in the right place at the right time. I asked them to write on an enclosed tag HOW YOU RECOGNIZE ME and return it with the RSVP. The tags decorated my Tree of Life at the party. The results were supportive beyond my imagination.

The next year we moved to Kentucky. Even though I had been painting, drawing and crafting since 1968 in some ways my career just began. I thought that the support of well-wishers and career accomplishments (awards, gallery representation, exhibitions, press coverage, skill development) would follow me. Going to a place where no one knew me, changing media and having no time or studio for a year because of building our house, were factors that have shaped the artist I am today.

As the new century began it dawned on me that I would have to promote myself in entirely different ways. No longer did I have the comfortable nest of familiarity and an artful community nearby. Having switched to water media and collage I had to establish a new identity. Being willing to be seen meant developing a website and reaching out intentionally by email and social media.

Today, the factors that are added to the mix are ageing, legacy and the best use of my time and energy. I will continue to create from the here and now, while improving my skills and using the best materials and methods.

I practice healing through art, intentionally creating art that reaches people at the soul level. I want to share my art so it is seen and recognized as a benefit to the people and location it goes to. It may or may not involve sales. When the connection between the art and the audience is made, my mission is validated with positive feedback and/or money, and in this way receive energy back for my efforts and the circle is complete.

Here is a twenty-five-year collection of some art that has fulfilled this mission on my creative journey since my 50th birthday, now in honor of my Platinum birthday.

Platinum Birthday Collection by Kathleen O’Brien PDF

Platinum Birthday Collection by Kathleen O'Brien

Platinum Birthday Collection by Kathleen O’Brien