Mary Lou O'Brien
Tangled Textures
25" x 31"
Mary Lou O'Brien
Myrtle Beach, SC 

Mary Lou grew up in Michigan and attended Oakland University in Rochester where she pursued her interest in art, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art History. Years later she returned to school, this time to the University of Wisconsin in Stevens Point where she became certified to teach Art and Spanish. She accepted a full-time position teaching Spanish in Des Plaines, Illinois, and stayed with that school district until she retired in 2002 earning a Masters + 30 during those 22 years.

Before retiring from teaching she took several watercolor classes from watercolorist Dian Johnson.  With Dian's encouragement she entered a couple of juried exhibits in Elk Grove Village in 2002 (first place) and 2003 (honorable mention). There was a private exhibit of her artwork in Chicago in May 2004. She won an Award for Excellence at her first art fair in Downer's Grove, Sept., 2004, and Best of Show at her second art fair in St. Charles, June 2005. She taught painting in her Geneva, IL studio and continued to do art fairs through the 2007 season. In April of 2008 she moved with her husband to Myrtle Beach, S.C. where they had often vacationed.

Much of her work is Non-Representational. It is a celebration of color, shape, line and texture. At times she introduces other media into her watercolor paintings, such as pencil, ink, papers, etc. She is often asked where her ideas come from since these paintings are not based on reality. She says that when she begins a painting her creative mind is as blank as the paper. Shapes and colors appear and evolve as she is working and most difficult part is knowing when to stop.

Many of her paintings are Abstract; they are an abstraction of recognizable objects from reality, such as animals, landscapes, flowers, etc. Like her non-representational paintings her abstracts demonstrate her love of vibrant color, interesting lines, intriguing shapes and varied textures. Even though she has painted realistically, usually commissioned pieces, her preference and passion are for creating abstracts and non-representational paintings.

-An excerpt from