Playing With Fire Now Showing at Galerie Uhn

My exhibition at Galerie Uhn in Königstein, near Frankfurt, Germany opened with an enthusiastic gathering, highlighted by a classical music trio, reunions with dear friends, and a great response to my new work.

I also gave an artist talk on September 2nd, when I had an opportunity to discuss this work in public for the first time, using a Q&A format led by gallery owner Jimin Leyrer.

A very big thank you to Jimin and her family for lots of generous support and hard work to make this a great show, and to Ann-Katrin Sura for hosting a delightful gathering after the Vernissage.

There's also a brief article about the exhibition here (open the link with Chrome and it can translate for you).

The exhibition runs until 28 September.

exhibition: "to be continued | Fortsetzung folgt"

One of the best things about our time living in Germany has been the friends I've made who also happen to be artists. It's with great pleasure that I invite you to join me and three such friends to our first (and we hope, of many) small group exhibition, to be continued | Fortsetzung folgt.

The exhibition at grassgrün opens on Friday, October 24 at 19:00, and runs through Sunday, October 26. We are also taking appointments outside of the gallery hours below - if you can't make it over the weekend, just contact me and let's see what we can work out.

If you can stop by for a visit, I'd love to share the work with you personally. It will also be a chance to say our goodbyes...Ian has already relocated to our new home in England, and movers arrive shortly after this event to move our household, Astro, and me to join him.

Exhibition details and opening hours, below. I hope to see you on the 24th or sometime during the weekend!


Exhibition details:

to be continued | Fortsetzung folgt   October 24 – 26, 2014 | Vernissage: Friday, 24 October at 19:00 | grassgrün, Vogelsbergstrasse 38, 60316 Frankfurt am Main | Tel: 0179/4 57 93 96 | Opening hours: 12:00 to 20:00 Uhr und nach Vereinbarung

studio update: late summer 2014

Kelly O'Brien,  Home is Where You Are  (detail). Acrylic on paper on canvas. 2014

Kelly O'Brien, Home is Where You Are (detail). Acrylic on paper on canvas. 2014

Here in chilly gray Frankfurt, change is in the air already. Where did summer go? This is our fourth one in Germany, and I'm still not used to August days in the 60s and nights that dip into the 40s.

Which means I've been in the studio, making new work! My current focus is on acrylic painting, with some mixed media sculpture to keep things interesting. It feels like acrylics are opening up a whole new level of freedom. I've only scratched the surface and am eager to see where this goes.

Kelly O'Brien,  You Can't Run From Yourself . Acrylic on paper on canvas. 2014

Kelly O'Brien, You Can't Run From Yourself. Acrylic on paper on canvas. 2014

If you're in the Frankfurt area this autumn, you can see the new work in two upcoming exhibitions in October and November. Stateside, I am delighted to have mixed media prints included in The Joint Portfolio Project, with exhibitions at the Providence Art Club and Torpedo Factory in September and November. More on each of these as dates draw nearer.

Kelly O'Brien,  Inside Job . Acrylic on paper on canvas. 2014

Kelly O'Brien, Inside Job. Acrylic on paper on canvas. 2014

Speaking of change, the theme I'm exploring is Geographic Cure. My husband and I are moving to England this fall, so the topic has been on my mind. As much as I love living in Germany and will miss the friends I've made here, I look forward to what lies ahead. I'm learning that with a little conscious effort, you can stay connected and involved, wherever you live.

Upcoming exhibitions:

September 7 - October 3, 2014: The Joint Portfolio Project Exhibition, Moitié Gallery, Providence Art Club, Providence, RI

October 24 - 26, 2014: To Be Continued | Fortsetzung folgt, grassgrün, Frankfurt, Germany

November 1 - December 31, 2014: The Joint Portfolio Project Exhibition, Printmakers Inc, Torpedo Factory, Alexandria, VA

November 2014 - January 2015: She is Herself, Frauenartztpraxis Dr. Med. Seelig, Bad Soden, Germany

open studios at the Roedelheim Fabrik

OPEN STUDIOS: special heads-up to local Frankfurt Area friends

I'm pleased to announce that I'll be a guest artist at the Rödelheim Fabrik's annual Open Studios on September 20-22
. If you're in the Frankfurt area, please stop by!

I'll be showing completely new work, all from my Hard Tryer series. This includes small framed and unframed watercolors, hand-pulled etchings and monotypes, postcards, blank cards and more.

Work will be shown from over 20 artists in four different studios. A dance performance kicks things off Friday the 20th at 19:00, with studios open on Saturday and Sunday from 14:00 to 19:00.

If you can't make it or aren't in the area, my Hard Tryer work is now available for purchase online through, the world's largest online marketplace for handmade goods. However, I'll be showing some special pieces during the Open Studio that are not available through Etsy.

And it would be great to see you in person! Treat yourself to a little art field trip, details below.

"Die Fabrik" Open Studios
Friday, Sept. 20 - Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013
2 to 7 pm Sat & Sun, 7 pm opening on Friday
Westerbachstraße 47
60489 Frankfurt-R
S-Bahn 3, 4, or 5 (Station R
ödelheim) or Bus lines 34, 55

house with four rooms: new work underway

Since returning from ArtPrize, I've been head-down creating new work for my first exhibition here in Germany. This opportunity came about as the result of a small, informal working artists' group that I formed earlier this year. We've been meeting more or less monthly as a way to keep our work moving forward and grounded.

There are three of us - Astrid Haas, Astrid Blasberg, and myself - in this show. Thanks to Astrid B's relationship with her former employer, Fachhochschule Frankfurt am Main (Frankfurt's University of Applied Sciences), our exhibition is part of the university's culture programming which brings arts onto campus through a series of monthly events.

Our theme is inspired by the title of Rumer Godden's autobiography, A House With Four Rooms:

There is an Indian proverb that says that everyone is a house with four rooms — physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but, unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person. -Rumer Godden, A House with Four Rooms

The exhibition, sponsored by the master's degree program in Healthcare Administration & Contracting, will explore the notion of what it means to be a "whole person" through a range of media: artist books, painting, printmaking, and paper sculpture. I am working on four paper dress sculptures, each dress representing one of the four "rooms."

House With Four Rooms

November 14 - December 12, 2012

Opening reception: Wednesday, Nov. 14, 1:00 pm

Fachhochschule Frankfurt am Main

University of Applied Sciences

Nibelungenplatz 1

D-60318 Frankfurt am Main

foraging for art supplies round 2

Café Hauptwache, FrankfurtDrove into Frankfurt today to meet the AWCT's Art & Culture group for coffee. We met at the historic Café Hauptwache, directly above the Hauptwache UBahn (subway) station. After navigating a nearby parking garage (driving in these narrow garages still feels harrowing), I found my group. Once again, I got a warm welcome from a very international set of women, with only a few of us from the US.

The real reason I drove, however, was my next stop: Boesner Art. And what an art store! Their tagline is accurate:

Boesner Art Supply: professional artists materials from the international market leader at unusually low prices.

Apparently, they're a wholesaler, although the prices seemed retail (in euros, everything seems reasonable until you remember to add another 40% for the exchange rate). Nonetheless, I received my official wholesale ID on the spot, with my name, address, and barcode efficiently printed onto the little plastic card.

There are two floors of warehouse space, chock full of art materials for every medium: printmaking, painting, sculpture, metalwork, ceramics, woodworking, mozaic, and so on. After wandering around in their massive paper area with my mouth hanging open for awhile, I got my wits about me and started recognizing comfortingly familiar brands such as Arches, Hahnemühle, and Strathmore. Stacked to the ceiling, mind you, but familiar just the same. Along with your fine art and handmade papers, you can buy Kutrimmers, printing presses, and other over-sized equipment that I've only been able to order online in the states.

Boesner's Frankfurt location

There's a nice adhesives selection, where I chose a 1000 ml tub of Guardi dispersion glue, the equivalent of ph neutral PVA - or so the description indicates.

The bookbinding materials are fairly robust for a place that's not a specialty supplier, so I was able to restock my large spool of buchbinderzwirn (binder's thread) that our dog recently ate.

I couldn't resist three little red paper notebooks in different sizes, with old-school blank labels on front.


And then there are the artsy gifts I scored that I can't reveal, in case their future recipients are reading this post.

This was the first of many trips I'm sure I'll be making to Boesner's. It's only 20 minutes from home by car, dangerously close. Today's goal was to find it, and get the lay of the land. Check and check. No more foraging required, now that I've found the mothership.

foraging for art supplies

Made my first solo excursion into Frankfurt today, motivated by the search for a decent art supply store. I also wanted to test the train commute to the Goethe Institute, where I’ll probably be taking German classes three days a week soon.

Overall, I’m pleased with the outing, mishaps and all. Install and successfully configure the RMV transportation app to my iPhone? Check. Use it to find and purchase my tickets (just flash the QR code and go!) into Frankfurt? Check. Find the Goethe Institute, after wandering through a lively farmer’s market – complete with packed wine bar tent at 1 pm on a Friday? Check. Get on the connecting train to find Idee, the local crafting store? Uh, not quite.

I did get on the correct train, but failed to see (let alone understand) the “out of service” sign on the front. People got off, and I got on (clearly oblivious that I was the only one). The train pulled out and then started to slow down, stopped, and all the lights went off. Between stations. A cleaning man hopped on and picked up trash. Then another man appeared, speaking to me in German.

He did not sprechen English, but promptly got out his mobile phone, called his English-speaking wife and handed me the phone. By then, I had figured out my error. He motioned for me to follow him and sit there, right behind his driver’s compartment, and don’t move. I chatted with his wife while, train-in-service, we cruised through three more stations to my destination. This very nice man opened his compartment door to make sure I knew that this was my station, and off I went.

Idee Art & Craft, FrankfurtWhich brings me to Idee, a two-story space just around the corner from Frankfurt’s Zeil, a lively pedestrian shopping area.

Frankfurt's Zeil shopping area, near IdeeIdee is like a well-stocked, extremely neat, attractively merchandised Michael’s. They’re big into scrapbooking, artificial flowers, découpage, beading and other crafty things. Seem to have a decent painting section, too. Reminded me a bit of Pearl Art & Craft, but not as fine art-focused as say, Plaza Art Supply or book arts-oriented as Bookmakers and Talas. Idee will do in a pinch, but I’m looking forward to getting to Boesner, apparently the best fine art supply spot in Frankfurt, although more accessible by car.

Back home in Konigstein