If I can evoke a feeling or trigger a memory, it lights me up! How I felt at a given moment is what stays with me about any place or time, and what I challenge myself to recreate in my paintings. I’ve been told that my art does not require us to feel any certain way, but challenges us simply to feel. My art is not merely a snapshot of remembrances, but an existential experience wherein we may feel what we would like to remember, but perhaps don’t. There is an elusive quality similar to the fleeting physical and emotional sensations of déjà vu that I want to convey in my paintings. Nature is my inspiration and it inevitably shows up, even in my abstract paintings, when I just start with a color or two that conjure a feeling or a moment. I use elements of nature as primal connectors to the unseen aspects of self in order to create an instant in which what we see contextualizes the vast realms of what we cannot see. Being an artist allows me to express my perceptions of the world in ways that words fail to accomplish, and to share those expressions with others in meaningful and interesting ways. Painting challenges me to see things from different perspectives; it completely absorbs my mind and takes me out of myself to a place that is shared. Once many years ago, I woke up from a dream with these words lingering in my mind and they have never left me. I understood their meaning, and they have become a part of my artistic mission to transcend time, which is after all, a manmade construct: “All that was, remembering, is.”
This website is about the journey of creativity that I believe is part of every human’s life, in some form or fashion. We are born to be connected – to one another, and to all the universe, to have a perception of self in relation to that which is greater and bigger than we are, and to express and share those perceptions with others of our kind.
Pamela O’Brien is a native New Orleanian, a licensed clinical social worker, a university level instructor, and a painter. In addition to painting, she enjoys reading, writing, making jewelry, gardening, interior decorating and cooking with produce and herbs from the organic garden she shares with her boyfriend and their cat, Nastassja Catski (who does not care for vegetables. Blech).
Her paintings have been featured in several exhibits in Indianapolis, where she now lives: The Stutz Artists Association’s “Can We Talk? Memories, Miracles and the Power of Things Unsaid;” “Fantasies of an Impossibly Hospitable World” at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library; “Secret Doors” and the “RED exhibit” at the Stutz Gallery; and “Alice Through the Looking Glass Ceiling:” a premiere event featuring female-identifying artists in all genres in the Indianapolis area. Other locations where her art has been featured include two exhibits at Indiana Interchurch Center Gallery; Sacred Roots Midwifery & Birth Center; Garfield Park Arts Center; Playground Productions; Mass Ave Wine; Hidden Noise Gallery; Fountain Square Brewing Company; Marian University, and Art Through the Ages at the historic Athenaeum.
“Everything you can imagine is real.”
― Pablo Picasso
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
― Pablo Picasso
“You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
“I found that I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.
– Georgia O’Keeffe