December Studio Update: A Year to Remember

Best Nine of 2017, Instagram.

Best Nine of 2017, Instagram.

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.
 
Year after year, this artist journey brings surprises that challenge and delight. I recently re-read some of my very first blog posts from back in 2008, when I started taking art classes to coax what felt like an old friend back to the surface. Stepping back to look at the longer view helps me acknowledge that dreams really can come true with clear intention and steady effort.
 
Turning the corner into 2018, the gratitude continues for what’s to come: commissions already on the books, the expansion of my Hand-Embellished Print series, exhibitions, new work, and the inspiration and support of clients, collectors, grad school, artist colleagues, and mentors.
 
As your year winds down, I wish you the same – good surprises, opportunity, growth and new beginnings. And thank you for continuing to support my art by following along here.

New Commission for Norwegian Cruise Line Bliss

Norwegian Bliss is being built now in Germany and will launch Summer 2018 to sail Alaska and the Caribbean. Playing With Fire, No. 71 (Phases 7) is part of my reflected-color series and was custom made for the onboard Mandara Spa.

Kelly M. O'Brien, Playing With Fire No. 71 (Phases 7). Paper, spray paint, flame. 60 x 35 inches ©2017. Commission for Norwegian Cruise Line Bliss. Image: Zed Al-Gafoor, Image Centre.

Kelly M. O'Brien, Playing With Fire No. 71 (Phases 7). Paper, spray paint, flame. 60 x 35 inches ©2017. Commission for Norwegian Cruise Line Bliss. Image: Zed Al-Gafoor, Image Centre.

Kelly M. O'Brien, work in progress for Playing With Fire, No. 71 (Phases 7) ©2017

Kelly M. O'Brien, work in progress for Playing With Fire, No. 71 (Phases 7) ©2017

Kelly M. O'Brien, Playing With Fire No. 71 (Phases 7), detail. Paper, spray paint, flame. 60 x 35 inches ©2017. Commission for Norwegian Cruise Line Bliss. Image: Zed Al-Gafoor, Image Centre.

Kelly M. O'Brien, Playing With Fire No. 71 (Phases 7), detail. Paper, spray paint, flame. 60 x 35 inches ©2017. Commission for Norwegian Cruise Line Bliss. Image: Zed Al-Gafoor, Image Centre.

Open Studios for Bath Spa University MFA

Bath Spa University MFA Open Studios, December 6-7, 2017. Image: Fiona Campbell @fionacampbellartist

Bath Spa University MFA Open Studios, December 6-7, 2017. Image: Fiona Campbell @fionacampbellartist

This first term of grad school has flown by! While we First-Years haven’t spent a lot of time in our on-campus studios (it’s been all about the research this first term), we did manage to participate in Open Studios in early December. It was a good catalyst to get us into the studio and break the ice on starting new work!

After spending 3+ months doing intensive research, I am eager to re-enter my studio practice in the new year to pursue ideas inspired by what I’ve learned so far. Watch this space.

Website refresh

In anticipation of a new year, I’ve recently refreshed my website. With the help of web and branding Jedi Kelly Severns-Curtis, the site is streamlined and focused on my current work. Kelly helps a lot of artists and is a breeze to work with!