Years of life 2 June 1951 - 24 October 2004
The work of John O'brien conveys a series of riddles and romances that are rarely found in modern art. With exquisite craftsmanship, poetic ideals, and a modern understanding, he created a unique style that became known as "modern romantic realism". His passion for France, Italy and Ireland can be seen in the romantic settings of elegant interiors, European street scenes and neighborhood cafes and pubs.
John studied at the prestigious art students League in new York, where he later maintained a Studio in Greenwich village, as well as in San Francisco and Paris. His academic achievements, combined with his admiration for American Impressionists, can be seen in every painting. His work is in many private collections in the United States and abroad. He was commissioned to paint murals, portraits of people of all ages, and illustrations in addition to his highly successful series of romantic European-style interiors and exteriors.
John died at his home in Petaluma, California, in October 2004 at the age of 53. He was a devoted and loving father, an internationally recognized artist, and a proponent of all things Irish. He maintained a remarkable and enduring love of life, with an eye to the beauty that he could Express in a variety of works of art. He will always be remembered for his warm smile and gentle ways of every life he touched.
In his memory, John's wife, Martha, founded the O'brien center for the arts (www.obriencota.com) in Petaluma, California, to not only showcase their work, but also offer a place for artists of all disciplines. John was particularly fond of ballet, as is often seen in many of his paintings. The center offers a wide range of classes in ballet and other dance, in addition to providing an art gallery where John's work and related art works are displayed and can be purchased.