Welcome to Kathleen O’Bryan Studio
Welcome to my gallery. With soft pastel, I’ve found my perfect medium of undiluted dry pigment. Colors are pure and brilliant. Working on black paper allows the pastel to be all that I want it to be. I’m a colorist. It is the most important aspect of painting to me. The second, is light. The crystalline composition of the pastel binder allows for more light reflection throughout the work. The third aspect … I am self-taught in pastel painting technique. Consequently, I have a unique approach that distinguishes my work in a very traditional field.
On Maui, and in New Mexico, I have spent over 35 years patiently experimenting with the mystery of color waves in an effort to paint my environment in its truest and purest light.
The pastel medium is dry pigment held together in stick form using a gum binder. In this form, color pigments are not diluted as they are in watercolor and oil paint. Hue is saturated, pure and brilliant. When painting on a black, rather than white surface, I am able to manipulate the mixture of pigments to bring about a more accurate application of color wave combination. Painting on a black ground eliminates competing, distracting light waves, and allows the eye a sharper focus to see pure color. That is the science. But really, I have painted most of my life, because the process and result amaze me. Amaze: to overwhelm with surprise or sudden wonder. That is why I paint. Accuracy is important in mixing color. It allows me to express my intuitive and emotional connection to the places I love to paint. I want to paint places others recognize. When people are in important places in their lives, they connect emotionally with landscapes. When you are looking at one of my paintings, you can know where you are and believe that you and I share the same sense of place and, most likely, the same emotion that place evokes and hopefully …. to be amazed.