Friday, February 21, 2014

First Look at a New Drawing

Even though I have been working steadily in the studio "all year" I have not put any new work on my website. There are many drawings stacking up for my shows this year.

The subject of these are sacred objects that I don't display, but enjoy drawing. Wholeness features a swan prayer feather and tiny lion wrapped in fabric. A small child dreams peacefully of his wholeness.
©Kathleen O'Brien, Wholeness, drawing on Twinrocker Linen paper, 24x19" framed

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

New Botanical Drawings for Pleasant Hill

©Kathleen O'Brien, Catmint, drawing, 7x5"
©Kathleen O'Brien, Catmint, drawing, 7x5"
So far this year I have been feeding my passion for drawing. I was thrilled when Lorin Ingerson, buyer for Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill commissioned me to draw some botanicals specific to the village for greeting cards. She is inspired to expand on the theme of shaker herbs in her 3 shops at the village. It makes sense, as the current Shakers at Sabbath Day Lake still grow and sell their herbs. It must be the oldest ongoing herb market in America. You can buy them at the Craft store, and see the greeting card sets there soon.
©Kathleen O'Brien, Mulberry, drawing, 7x5"
©Kathleen O'Brien, Rose, drawing, 7x5"
©Kathleen O'Brien, Apple, drawing, 7x5"

©Kathleen O'Brien, Horehound, drawing, 7x5"

©Kathleen O'Brien, Elder, drawing, 7x5"

©Kathleen O'Brien, Flax, drawing, 7x5"

©Kathleen O'Brien, Tansy, drawing, 7x5"

Monday, February 17, 2014

Re: Rethink Recycling

The Community Arts Center's 2014 blockbuster exhibit, "RE," encourages our community to rethink recycling. The exhibit explores art made from recycled or repurposed materials and the impact its creation has on the artist, the arts world, our community and our environment. It runs through Sunday, March 30. Check their site for workshops and activities.

In the upstairs gallery there are samples of artist's works using recycled objects. I have about 6 objects there, some dating back to 1971 when I was doing bead-work combined with found objects. I love bringing out some oldies but goodies, like the ones below.
©Kathleen O'Brien, Perspective, 1978, drawings, run-over glasses frame, lenses, mallard feathers, chain, phone wire

©Jerry Downs photo, Window Seat, 1986, oil painting, painted box, mirrors, porcelain doll, marble, lucite spacer, feathers

©Jerry Downs photo, Kiva, 1987, oil paintings, cedar box, ant hill pebbles, tiny figures

Friday, February 14, 2014

Cheers from the heart to you on Valentines Day

If you are reading this, know that I made this valentine for you. May your year from this day forward be filled with love, affection and care.
©Kathleen O'Brien, V is for valentine, 4x3", drawing on paint chip, collaged

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Floral Freeway Project

What an exciting project for us 25 artists, a real challenge, and for such a good cause. Join us form Lexington gallery hop February 21, and read on...
©Becky Ochenkoski, Floral Freeway announcement
I'm going backwards, here, showing my pre-wrapping. Transporting it was a challenge but I had the perfect box. I added the Give into the Groove label that came in the mail.
©Kathleen O'Brien, surprise art inside
©Kathleen O'Brien, Bees Nest , 12x5x5"
This is the finished Bees Nest. You can't see all the jewels hanging down. The fun part was chooseing vintage beads, some 200 years old and semi-precious stones and charms. That's a giclee print of Bee's Eye View collage. When unfolded it reveals a lovely Yeats poem, “The Stare's Nest by my Window”.
©Kathleen O'Brien, 3 cuffs woven into a nest seen from underneath
I used 3 of the cuffs weaving them together with cord and strips of paper. It is lined with an abandoned bird nest.
©Kathleen O'Brien, the package from tribeca trunk opened
It was a nice surprise to get this in the mail with an invitation to participate in the project.  Link to the 25 artists and read more about the project here, and do join us. It will be fun to see what everybody has designed from the cuffs.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

H'Artful of Fun, Nightfall, this Friday

The Living Arts & Science Center’s 24th Annual H’Artful of Fun, Nightfall, will set the stage for an elegant and unique evening of fabulous entertainment, delicious appetizers and desserts, wine, beer and bourbon tastings, and, as always, incredible art. 
©LASC, Nightfall Poster
Building on the excitement and energy of last year’s event, the 2014 H’Artful of Fun will be held again at the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park on Friday, February 7 at 7 p.m. It's my favorite art party of the year. Many artists have donated art in support of Living Arts & Science Center.
©Kathleen O'Brien, Hermit Thrush Song, 12x9"
One thing you have a chance to buy is Hermit Thrush Song. This artwork was chosen to hang in First Lady, Jane Beshear’s office for the Kentucky Treasures exhibit, June 1 – October 28, 2013. I was fascinated one day to discover several bird songs that had been transcribed into musical notation. This inspired a series that included  drawings of a bird, its notes and egg, and local botanicals. Two separate drawings were then fused together with beeswax.

Monday, February 3, 2014

5 things I am grateful for

Happy birthday, Alyson Stanfield. and thank you for posing a challenge to us on your day. You know, I always like to play. So here goes, with challenge #5, my gratitudes.
©Joe King, A & B in 1982
1. My 2 children, shown here years ago at the Washington zoo. And added to this, my wonderful son in law and grandchild.
©Kathleen O'Brien, Greg with our first Corgi pup
©Kathleen O'Brien, Greg doing his favorite thing, driving in Big Sur
2. My wonderful husband, who is unconditionally loving and kind, supportive of all things positive. 
©Kathleen O'Brien, various papers I use in art making

©Kathleen O'Brien, Studio storage and inspiration shelf
3. An abundance of art supplies that reside in a perfect studio.
©Greg Orth, Alyson & I at Art Sale Soiree last June 
4. For Alyson Stanfield coming to my Art Sale Soiree while in Boulder last summer.
©Greg Orth, me cooking on the wood stove during a power outage
5. For our trusty wood stove keeping us warm in Arctic Vortexes. And for the security of knowing we can cook and heat water for watering can showers during power outages.

So I hope your day is full of surprises, Alyson. Thank you for all you have taught me.

Artists; if you need help with your business, Alyson's site is the place to start.  

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Year of the Pencil

When I asked myself what I really want to do this year, art wise, it is to draw. When I count up my colored pencils it comes to 694. This doesn't count the graphite ones. I almost HAVE to draw.
©Kathleen O'Brien, a bunch of pencils & a waterbrush
Then my dear spouse disobeyed me and got me the Cadillac of the pencil world, Caran d'Ache Luminance for Christmas. The direction was cinched. In large part that was the impetus behind going to Twinrocker Hand Made Paper to get the best paper available in the USA.
©Kathleen O'Brien, Caran d'Ache Luminance colored pencils
I want to say a few words about my experience with different pencils. Each brand mentioned has a link back to Colored Pencil Studio site, which gives extensive reports and charts. 

For years my favored choice was Prismacolor. They still are in many regards except for the pesky tendency for the points to break upon sharpening. They are soft, waxy and blend easily. The Art Stix are great for covering large areas quickly.

I like to use Faber-Castell Polychromos when I need to keep a sharp line, as they are harder. One nice consistency between the 2 is the shaft is round. This helps to differentiate between them and the watercolor pencils, which are hexagonal. The Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils are very vibrant. It is exciting to activate them with a water brush. 

These new Caran d'Ache Luminance are really wonderful to use, even over other colored pencils. They have the highest rating on the market for light fastness. I also recommend Caran d'Ache Supracolor II Soft Water-soluble pencils and their Neo-Color II Water-soluble Crayons. You can find info about these on the same link. Be sure to scroll down that page to see color charts. 

Please tell me about what favorite pencils you like to use. Must go draw now....