Robert O’Brien (1958-present), Tree of Life, 17 x 12 inches, Watercolor

Robert O’Brien (1958-present), Tree of Life, 17 x 12 inches, Watercolor

Tree of Life

Thursday, May 14, 2015

“I have been painting in the watercolor medium for over thirty-five years. One of my main objectives in watercolor painting is to create light through the use of shadow. In painting ordinary images, I find a fascinating interplay between the two. The transparency of the
medium helps in bringing shadows alive while allowing the light to glow.”

– Robert J O’Brien

Robert J O’Brien paints in the watercolor medium and specializes in traditional paintings of landscape and architectural studies.  He may not be the most recognizable painter in the watercolor medium, but his artwork exhibits his talent and passion. O’Brien finds beauty in the ordinary, subtle reminders of everyday life in rural New England.

Robert O’Brien was born in Rochester, New York in 1954. Since moving to Vermont in 1977, he focused on landscape and architectural studies. James Whatford, Tony Couch, and the late Marshall Joyce AWS. The influential location of Vermont signifies its distinct four season climate, providing the artist with a wealth of subject matter and ever changing light effects.

Beginning in 1998, Robert travelled annually to Southern France where the sun-splashed landscape and timeless quality of light has added a new dimension to his paintings. He has over 50 awards and exhibitions including one of his most divine accomplishments, a signature member of the American and National Watercolor Societies.

One reason I navigated towards Robert J O’Brien’s work is his realism along with his love for nature and architecture.  Studying in Technology Education, I am fascinated with architecture. Along with a strong passion for nature, my interests fall in O’Brien’s studies as a traditional painter.  

What kinds of interests do you share with your favorite artists?


—Michael Tarnowski


Michael Tarnowski is a graduate student at Buffalo State College in Technology Education. He received his under graduate degree from the State University of New York at Oswego in Technology Education with a minor in Athletic Coaching.