Elizabeth "Betty" OBrien ~ Water Media

Betty O'Brien

Betty in Studio
Betty is a regionally known artist who has participated in both regional and national shows. Throughout a long career as an artist and educator, Betty has exibited in many large and small group shows, as well as solo exhibitions in several venues. She has won awards from the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, the View Arts Center in Old Forge, NY , The Lake Placid Center for the Arts, Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Center and the North Country Arts juried shows. For the past sixteen years she has maintained a studio and teaching facilty in the The Shirt Factory in Glens Falls, known as the Water Media Academy.

"Antler Antics" Waterolor monotype with
watercolor pencil

My work has always walked the line between figuration and abstraction with lanscapes and organic forms gleaned from nature being prime sources of inspiration. Although alluding to natural forms, I mostly focus on close up views that do not read as traditional landscapes. I want to give the viewer an indication of the subject matter and yet maintain an interest in the shapes, lines, textures and colors purely for their own sake. I can say that my works are "Expressively Realistic" in that I always start with some known reference and mine that for both expressive content and formal structure. The subjects qualities are exagerated and reconfigured and multiple images can suggest a path toward a mood feeling or idea. Media manipulation, new juxtapositions and expressive marks can further push reality beyond the descriptive.

"Weaving the Wood" Fiber Paste & Acrylic
on Ampersand panels

 More recent work further blurs the line of representation to arrive at a more inner landscape, by tipping the range from real to more abstract, the work seems to remain reliably organic. Mixing mediums and techniques allows for flexibility and change in the process. Being always present, the dynamic of intuition vs. calculation can lead to surprises with the goal to reach an equilibrium between visual and some ideal. 
Always fascinated with the element of line and perceptual observations of nature through contour line drawin and some recent works manipulate the process to translate what is seen into intuitive compositions about ideas and feelings at the time. Expressive lines are incorporated with other media to interconnect the various forms and their relationship to experience. Drawing from nature, art and science, I let things happen until some visual order supports the concept. 

“Nocturnal Visitations”  acrylic and pastel on gesso

“Nature Paper/Hornet’s Nest”  Watercolor, Gouache and Ink
"Pondscape III" Watercolor monotype with
 watercolor pencil

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