April Studio Update

Kelly M O'Brien,  Playing With Fire No. 93  detail. Paper, gold leaf, flame. 36 x 14 x 2 inches | 91 x 36 x 5 cm unframed. ©2019

Kelly M O'Brien, Playing With Fire No. 93 detail. Paper, gold leaf, flame. 36 x 14 x 2 inches | 91 x 36 x 5 cm unframed. ©2019

Sweet April

The easterly winds from Siberia have finally stopped blowing here and sweet Spring is for real, it seems. All the more reason to embrace good things happening in the studio, including new work and a minor studio accident! Read on for all the details.


Commission: Norwegian Cruise Line Getaway

Kelly M O'Brien,  Playing With Fire No. 90-93 . Paper, gold leaf, flame. 36 x 14 x 2 inches | 91 x 36 x 5 cm each unframed. ©2019

Kelly M O'Brien, Playing With Fire No. 90-93. Paper, gold leaf, flame. 36 x 14 x 2 inches | 91 x 36 x 5 cm each unframed. ©2019

This month we finished these four pieces from my Playing With Fire series for the newly refurbished Norwegian Cruiseline Getaway. They will be set into niches in Haven Restaurant, floated and framed in contemporary brushed gold wooden frames for a finished size of 40 x 18 x 2.5 inches each.

We love doing bespoke commissions! You can learn more about the range of ways clients work with us here and see more images of these pieces here.


Fine Art Print: Four Seasons Jackson Hole

Kelly M O'Brien, Playing With Fire No. 37 (Phases 3) detail. Paper, spray paint, flame. 28 x 28 x .5 inches. 71.12 x 71.12 x 1.27 cm. ©2016

Kelly M O'Brien, Playing With Fire No. 37 (Phases 3) detail. Paper, spray paint, flame. 28 x 28 x .5 inches. 71.12 x 71.12 x 1.27 cm. ©2016

One of the benefits of having my work professionally photographed by the talented Zed Al-Gafoor of Image Centre here in Bath is that the images can be used as limited edition fine art prints when original work is not called for.

This piece will be installed as a fine art print at the Four Seasons Jackson Hole. The original is available for purchase, the only way to really enjoy the lovely glow of reflected color!

Kelly M O'Brien, Playing With Fire No. 37 (Phases 3) detail. Paper, spray paint, flame. 28 x 28 x .5 inches. 71.12 x 71.12 x 1.27 cm. ©2016

Kelly M O'Brien, Playing With Fire No. 37 (Phases 3) detail. Paper, spray paint, flame. 28 x 28 x .5 inches. 71.12 x 71.12 x 1.27 cm. ©2016


Introducing: Stitch

Kelly M O’Brien,  Stitch No. 1  Paper, cotton thread. 12 x 12 in | 30 x 30 cm. ©2019

Kelly M O’Brien, Stitch No. 1 Paper, cotton thread. 12 x 12 in | 30 x 30 cm. ©2019

Last month I introduced Stitch, No. 1, the first of a new series that celebrates the beauty of stitching into paper. As with Playing With Fire, this work will explore form, line, texture, and pattern using simple materials that transform in surprising ways.

The response has been very positive to Stitch with lots of interest in the process of how the work is created. 

Several people have asked how large can Stitch go, given the limits of a sewing machine? So far, I don't forsee size limitations for two reasons: the material becomes quite malleable as it is worked, allowing a large amount of material to pass through the machine. Also, additional hand-stitching can attach elements together to scale up as large as is needed. 

You can gain insight here into how the work is created, including additional images.


MFA Studio Research

Kelly M O'Brien, work in progress, MFA research Bath Spa University ©2019

Kelly M O'Brien, work in progress, MFA research Bath Spa University ©2019

In my MFA research into themes including power/powerlessness, precariousness, and resilience I'm happily mashing up all kinds of contrasting materials to create mixed media sculpture. I'm particularly interested in how far I can push things before they topple, fall apart, collapse or otherwise fail, using materials that are impractical or seemingly unsuitable for the job.

There have been no major disasters so far, although as the work gets larger the odds are not in my favor. Last week there was an incident involving a handblown glass orb that burst in my hands as I was working on it, which luckily did not end in tears.

Follow along as I persevere via highlights that I post under STUDIO on Instagram and on a brand new website for my emerging practice.