Patricia O'Brien's contemporary oil portraits and figurative paintings are created to capture the essence of the human spirit; they evoke expressons of humor, surprise, fear, and the spectrum of emotions we all experience and show the world, even if we aren't aware that we do. By manipulating the tools available to an artist, experimenting with palette and bursh stroke, these emotions are realized and a personality is coaxed from her canvas. Her work tells a story, encouraging the viewer to discover the narrative. By taking traditional portraiture, amlifying the color wattage, injecting unexpected pairings, and an occasional sprinkling of wry humor, she has created her unique style. Her recent work, the man/woman and beast series, is a testament to this signature style. The collection features an individual, an animal, and a hint of comedy.
Her path from electical engineer to self-taught artist trained her to analyze, to experiment, to test ideas, and to challenge herself when creating her contemporary work. She began her professional art career as a muralist. Through ongoing classes and critiques, she continues to refine and expand her skillset. Painting public and private murals provides a unique opportunity to interact with viewers while while painting onsite, providing immediaate feedback. This enabled her to see viewers search the images and observe their reactions firsthand. Mural work also afforded her an opportunity to explore various subject matter, such as cityscapes, landscapes, florals, and more, depending on her clients' needs.
After directing her energy to works on canvas, she relished the challenge to develop her own interpretation of the human form, and it captured her heart. Each new piece of artwork begins with the most essential feature - the eyes, the windows to the soul. They set the mood, and begin the story. The supporting elements in the composiition are selected to concisely complete the narrative.
Her paintings have been exhibited throughout the United States, including Marietta/Cobb Musuem of Art, Slater Memorial Museum, Monmouth Museum, Maryland Lowe House of Delegates, and Art & Soul Gallery in Miami. Her canvas work, and public and private wall murals continue to be featured in gallery exhibitions, Baltimore Symphany Associate's Decorator Show Houses, private collections, television and print media. Her work has also been published in numerous sources: feature articles in the Baltimore Sun newspaper, Catholic Charities calendar cover art, Schiffler Publishing Show Houses 1, and Schiffler Publishing Show Houses 3.