Hard Tryer at ArtTeaZen

Breakfast with Ian Lowe at ArtTeaZen in Langport , after installing Hard Tryer small works on paper. ©2016 Kelly M. O'Brien.

Breakfast with Ian Lowe at ArtTeaZen in Langport , after installing Hard Tryer small works on paper. ©2016 Kelly M. O'Brien.

Several years into my journey as a working artist, I'm learning that you can happily revisit earlier work and it can still feel fresh. Without experience and perspective, I didn't realize this was possible. When my watercolor series, Hard Tryer, was put to bed after its debut at Galerie Uhn in early 2014, I moved on to other ideas.

Kelly M. O'Brien, No Fear. Watercolor, coffee and pencil on paper. 20 x 15 cm. ©2013.

Kelly M. O'Brien, No Fear. Watercolor, coffee and pencil on paper. 20 x 15 cm. ©2013.

I recently installed 17 small works from this series at ArtTeaZen in Langport. Owners Andy and Clare Waller have created a welcoming, pleasant café with just enough funk to make it interesting, and happen to be steady supporters of local artists through the venue's rotating exhibitions.

Hard Tryer small works on paper at ArtTeaZen, Langport. ©2016 Kelly M. O'Brien.

Hard Tryer small works on paper at ArtTeaZen, Langport. ©2016 Kelly M. O'Brien.

While most of the pieces are upbeat and light (It's Okay, Good Enough, Way Easier, Yay!), there's a row of darker pieces (Judgey, Consequences, Denial is Easier) that might garner some interesting comments, if people do indeed take a closer look.

Kelly M. O'Brien, Judgey. Watercolor, coffee and pencil on paper. 40 x 30 cm. ©2013.

Kelly M. O'Brien, Judgey. Watercolor, coffee and pencil on paper. 40 x 30 cm. ©2013.

It wasn't until this past November, when I showed four pieces from this series in 44AD ArtSpace's Art+Text exhibition, that I was reminded of how fond I am of the work - both the soft, minimalist aesthetic, and the message. At a time when I'm starting to put my work out there in new ways, Hard Tryer's simple reminders are perfect timing.

Kelly M. O'Brien, She Decides to Show Up. Watercolor, coffee and pencil on paper. 20 x 15 cm. ©2013.

Kelly M. O'Brien, She Decides to Show Up. Watercolor, coffee and pencil on paper. 20 x 15 cm. ©2013.

If you're near Langport before the end of May, stop in! Details here.