watercolor

a heartfelt Danke!

Last night's Opening for Hard Tryer at Galerie Uhn was wunderschön! I was feeling the love as friends, new acquaintances and gallery patrons gathered to help celebrate.

Gallery owner Jimin Leyrer did a wonderful job installing the work and rolling out the red carpet, treating us to her special Chinese New Year's rice cakes as we also toasted The Year of the Horse.

It means a lot to me that everyone who came made the time and effort to travel to Königstein, several navigating train schedules and the autobahn. As I was navigating my own limited German in a short talk, it struck me how people's mere presence was testament to exactly what Hard Tryer is about: putting ourselves out there to connect, even when it takes some effort or in the face of unknown results. Last night showed me that the results are indeed good.

All images above by the lovely Julia Schwager, unless otherwise noted.

The exhibition runs through the end of February. Details below.

Hard Tryer at Galerie Uhn
January 31 – February 28, 2014

Seilerbahnweg 1, 61462 Königstein
Tel: 06174-221750

Opening hours: 

Di. + Do. 14.00 – 18.00 Uhr, Mi. + Fr. + Sa. 10.00 – 13.00 Uhr und nach Vereinbarung

Hard Tryer at Galerie Uhn opens tonight!

"Small World" by Kelly O'Brien (2014). Mixed media print on paper, 50 x 70 cm.

My Hard Tryer solo exhibition at Galerie Uhn opens this evening at 19:00. If you can stop by for a visit, I'd love to share the work with you personally. The exhibition runs through the end of February.

If you have a small group of friends and would like to have a private tour, please let me or gallery owner Jimin Leyrer know.

There will be an exhibition catalog available for purchase, or as a gift when original art is purchased.

Throughout the month of February I'll be sharing short background stories about some of the work in the exhibition, including Postcards from the Edge: Taunus, through regular blog posts.

Gallery Uhn details and opening hours, below. I hope to see you on Friday!

"Hard Tryer" (detail). Watercolor, coffee, pencil on paper, 80 x 60 cm.

Exhibition details:

Hard Tryer at Galerie Uhn
January 31 – February 28, 2014
Vernissage: Friday, 31 January at 19:00

Seilerbahnweg 1, 61462 Königstein
Tel: 06174-221750

Opening hours: Di. + Do. 14.00 – 18.00 Uhr, Mi. + Fr. + Sa. 10.00 – 13.00 Uhr und nach Vereinbarung

New Year's studio update

Happy New Year from the studio! I'll be starting 2014 off with my first solo exhibition in Germany. It will be at Galerie Uhn from January 31 to February 28, right here in Königstein. I'm thrilled to have this opportunity and am hard at work preparing for the show.

"Hard Tryer" (detail), watercolor, coffee and pencil on paper, 80 x 60 cm.

"Hard Tryer" (detail), watercolor, coffee and pencil on paper, 80 x 60 cm.

The exhibition will be centered around my Hard Tryer body of work, including brand new large-format watercolors and mixed media Postcards from the Edge: TaunusThe opening reception is Friday, January 31 at 7:00 pm.

"Small World" (2014). Mixed media print on paper, 50 x 70 cm.

"Small World" (2014). Mixed media print on paper, 50 x 70 cm.

Work has already begun to sell, so if you're interested in a piece, don't miss out! You're welcome to stop by my studio for a preview (just call or email ahead and chances are, I'll be here).

Local friends, I hope to see you at the opening! If you'd like a private tour of the work once the show is open, please let me know. I'd love to do so.

In the meantime, check out an arts-centered blog by The Torpedo Factory that featured my response to the question: "Should I major in art or go to art school?" It's a great blog for diving deeper into the studio life and work of the artists at one of the largest juried art centers in the United States.

Wishing you and yours a prosperous and happy 2014!

Exhibition details:

Hard Tryer, solo exhibition. Galerie UHN, Königstein, Germany. January 31 – February 28, 2014. Opening reception: Friday, 31 January at 19:00 Seilerbahnweg 1, 61462 Königstein-im-Taunus

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 Etsy.com, 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.

Details:
"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
ödelheim
S-Bahn 3, 4, or 5 (Station R
ödelheim) or Bus lines 34, 55

hard tryer

"Hard Tryer" series study by Kelly O'Brien (watercolor, coffee and pencil on paper with burn marks)

This Spring, I'm taking a mixed-media sculpture class through the Städelschule Erwachsenenbildungädel (Städel Museum Adult Education Program). The 13-week semester class is in German and attended largely by serious and accomplished German artists and other fluent expats.

Not only am I far from even conversant in German, I was unfamiliar with the ramifications of "German directness" in an art critique. It's actually refreshing to get clear and honest feedback on what people think of your work, but it has taken some getting used to while I wait for my skin to thicken.

"Hard Tryer" series study by Kelly O'Brien (watercolor, coffee and pencil on paper with burn marks)

Add this to a couple of years of sustained exposure to "new" and frequently uncomfortable, and a critical mass seems to have accumulated. It feels like a tightly-stretched wire finally snapped, in a good way. As a result, the work that's emerging feels looser, more playful, and braver.

"Hard Tryer" series study by Kelly O'Brien (watercolor, coffee and pencil on paper with burn marks)

Of course, a little self-deprecation has also been helpful when juggling multiple ego-confronting forces at once. Hard Tryer is the series of 2D and 3D studies that's emerging. The title is a nod to the vulnerable, slightly awkward, determined, yet hopeful part of us that conjures the courage to try new things.

My friend Mandy—witness to a lot in our long friendship—has called me a hard tryer for years. It's a label I used to cringe at, and now (ironically) seem ready to play with.

the zen of paper flower making

This is what I'm up to, these days. One petal at a time, I am hand-cutting, hand-painting, hand-assembling, hand sewing, and hand-gluing many, many paper flowers for my ArtPrize paper sculpture installation. It is aMAZing how long this all takes.

It's forcing me to slow down. To focus on the next task at hand, instead of racing (mentally and actually) to the million other things that I think I should be doing.