Artist talk at Spike Island Associates Space

Looking forward to my 'Open Sandwich' talk at Spike Island on Thurs. 15th Nov. in the Assoc. Space 12-1pm. I'll be discussing new work for my MA Fine Art at Bath Spa Uni, a recent pop-up residency at The Cells in Trowbridge with Angel Greenham, and how this all fits into my commercial practice for the international designed interiors market. Details here: http://ow.ly/l8na30mupPk

October Studio Update

October Studio Update

It's been a packed October with lots happening with on all fronts, including two exhibitions, new art sales and rentals, a new term at school, and Affordable Art Fair Battersea London. Plus I managed to squeeze in a quick trip to the US to see loved ones!  

September Studio Update

September Studio Update

It's been a month of school-focused commitments, an exhibition to mark the half-way point in my MFA, plus a bit of jail cell magic sprinkled into the mix (no, I didn't commit a crime).

August Studio Update: Wrapping Up

August Studio Update: Wrapping Up

August has been a nice balance between head-down work at my school studio in the thick of research and gearing up for some great opportunities and client work in the autumn.

December Studio Update: A Year to Remember

As 2017 winds down, I am grateful. While it has been the hardest year of my life (one reason I am thankful it is over), it has also been one of unexpected opportunity, growth, and new beginnings.

MA Fine Art Open Studios at Bath Spa University

This coming Wednesday evening and most of Thursday, the 6th-7th November, we're having Open Studios for my MA Fine Art program at Bath Spa University. There's all kinds of interesting things happening in our studios - if you have a moment, pop in! I'd love to see you there. Details below.

Holiday Cards 2017 in Partnership with Compassion in World Farming

Back in 2015, my studio practice took a one-year exploratory detour into overpainted photographs of farm animals. We had recently relocated to the English countryside from Germany and I was captivated by rural living. 

Initially, the farm animals grounded me to a new normal, and then the focus shifted to the animals themselves. They gaze at the viewer with undeniable presence and personality. My interest grew in acknowledging their existence as living beings, in the midst of large-scale farming.

The series of paintings born from this period, New Country, is no longer work that I actively pursue. The original paintings continue to be collected and I love to find ways to keep the series active, even if I'm not still painting.

 Kelly M. O'Brien,  Bossy Ones for CIWF Holiday 2017 . ©2017

Kelly M. O'Brien, Bossy Ones for CIWF Holiday 2017. ©2017

Which is why I'm thrilled to share that two pieces from New Country have been selected for Compassion in World Farming's 2017 Holiday Card boxed set. All proceeds from card sales go to support this UK-based non-profit that works effortlessly in service of farm animal welfare. There will also be an auction for one fine art print each of the two images that were selected for the cards.

There's still time to order cards for the holidays, but you should hurry - the first printing sold out weeks ago but the online shop has been restocked with more! 

 Kelly M. O'Brien,  You're New Around Here, Aren't You? for CIWF Holiday 2017 . ©2017

Kelly M. O'Brien, You're New Around Here, Aren't You? for CIWF Holiday 2017. ©2017

Learn more about CIWF's mission, purchase cards and spread the word about a good cause!

Hand-embellished Prints

I am very excited about a new project underway—and while I can't reveal many details (yet), I can start to share the process of creating something brand new. The challenge is to come up with a solution to use a large amount of my work in a cost-effective way. Original artwork is beyond the scope of the budget, yet we want to create something more unique and special than limited edition prints of the same piece.

Enter hand-embellished prints. They sit between original artwork and a straightforward reproduction, such as giclées (fine art digital prints). Using a reproduction print as the base, the work is then added-to or worked-into with techniques such as touches or washes of paint, spots of clear acrylic to create highlights or other mark-making on top of the print.

 Laser cut tests at Bristol Design Forge. Kelly M. O'Brien ©2017

Laser cut tests at Bristol Design Forge. Kelly M. O'Brien ©2017

In the case of my burnt paper series, I have been testing ways to efficiently burn back into the paper print of an original, as well as create satisfying gilding effects that are cost-effective. Bristol Design Forge has been helping figure out how to use laser cutting to create a range of effects, from clean cuts that barely appear to be touched by heat, to heavier edges with a crispy effect (the latter being much to the owner's dismay, I think, as they pride themselves on getting as clean a cut as possible!).

Testing the possible range of laser cut effects for my burnt paper series, "Playing With Fire" at Bristol Design Forge, Bristol, UK. Kelly M. O'Brien ©2017

The samples are off to the client next week, and with a little luck, I'll be sharing more on this project in the near future.