American contemporary narrative artist Cheri O'Brien is a Pacific Northwest native, a self-taught artist since the age of five. Ms. O'Briens seemingly casual aesthetic shifts emphasis from outrageous and funky to tender and charming. Re-creating child like images with recurring motifs such as dogs, stuffed animals, flowers and religious iconography O'Brien attempts to understand her world with finding humor in beauty and the beauty of humor. At first glance, her colorful, narrative oil paintings seem to be whimsical reflections of her surroundings, family and several muses. A closer look reveals the layers of meaning, sometimes a pernicious sense of humor exposed.
Ms. O'Brien has become a part time resident of Santa Fe, NM. The high desert landscape, adobe architecture and cowboy attitudes appeal to Ms. O'Briens long time love of the wild west. Along with her paintings Cheri is focusing on papier mache sculpture, a medium she has worked in for over 20 years.
Her work is in public and private collections throughout Washington State and beyond. The reknown translator, Reg Keeland, of "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" fame is one of her most prolific collectors. For the past 10 years, she has entered the public art realm creating fused painted glass commissions and in 2009 was awarded an $110,000 Community Transit commission consisting of 160' of work was created out of concrete. Currently, Ms. O'Brien will be working on a $60,000 Evergreen State Fairgrounds public art project for Snohomish County.
This painting titled "Little Dove" is from Ms. O'Briens newest series of childrens portraits.
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