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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Birgit O'Connor

Birgit O'Connor

"I strive to show that watercolor can be bold, rich and dramatic.

I feel that when you are accustomed to seeing something in the same way day after day you seem to forget the beauty that is held within it. I feel as though I have the opportunity to take someone into a place they have seen before and give them a different perspective. I would like people to feel as if they could be part of another world; to see beauty and simplicity, within that complexity.

Everything has a voice that not everyone can hear, the form is the language the content the voice...

As an artist, I find it sometimes difficult to part with my work. My paintings are like my children and I feel that each has its own destiny. I believe that as artists, it is our gift to create and share our creations with others. I also believe that my work will travel where it needs to go and be seen by those who need to see it. Art is a valuable healing experience for both the creator and the observer and my art is what I am here to do.

Within the challenging media of watercolor, I am able to express my interpretation of Nature's unique beauty. I began painting landscapes and have enjoyed painting mist and valleys, homes and gardens. I found that my paintings reflected the way that I viewed the world - as from a distance. As I grew in my art, I became fascinated with the unusual, the odd little corners of a backyard, the world within the flowerbeds. I began studying the intricate details of these hidden places, like the layers of overlapping leaves and petals, the shadows and the water droplets. Retrospectively, I liken this to the increasing complexity of my own thoughts.

Looking at the darkness behind the petals, I became curious; wondering about the things I didn't normally consider when admiring a garden. As I began to scrutinize the backs of the petals and the complex placing of the stems and leaves, I realized that this intricacy was reflecting what I was seeing inside myself. I sensed that this journey was leading me to view a deeper part of my subconscious and imagination. Taking what was complicated and creating a visually simplified form allowed me to find dimensional complexity.

Fascinated with depth, shadow and movement, I found that the watercolor medium gave me a feeling of working with subconscious emotion, that the flower itself became a vehicle for color and form.

My inspiration begins at dawn, watching the sunrise on the cliffs near my home. Bathed in the new beginning of every day gives me a chance to hear my own thoughts and to really see all the true colors of Nature. Nature, represents for me, the design in life. I am intrigued by forms and the values held within. A flower shows everything from the seeds, stem, bud, and blossom, then returning to the earth to begin a new cycle of birth-life-death. Nature is ever changing; there is beauty to behold in every step. Within the bloom, you may travel deeper, into Nature, into yourself. Look under each petal to find the magic that is held within the shadow.

Each of us has the choice of simply seeing a flower or something much more. I am intrigued by the character I find in plants, something most would find unusual in such a traditionally passive subject. I love to take a flower and enhance its drama, which can allow you to view it in a completely different way. A small and delicate blossom, which would normally be unnoticed, can become intimidating or evoke an incredibly passionate response. Sometimes when I am painting the shapes and shadows of something as delicate as a datura, I can actually become uncomfortable with the images. These shadows are my subconscious, the folds under the petals.

"Florals" are what some will see when they look at my work. Does it match my couch? My carpet? Instead, I hope my art speaks to you, that you hear its voice. Everything in nature has a voice but not everyone can hear it. We are caught up in the external pushing and pulling in our lives and don't take the time to hear or see the signals of nature. We can become distracted and confused. I think I eliminate some of this by bringing the essence of the flowers into my paintings.

I am a self taught artist inspired by the stories of my family. I thought that it would not be possible to be a recognized woman artist. I developed my art while having a family, being a full time wife and mother.
Currently I am represented in Hong Kong, Atherton, CO, Palm Desert, CA, Seattle, WA, and have won numerous domestic and international awards, I have been published in numerous magazines. I believe in dreams."

Birgit O'Connor

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