John Patrick O'Brien
June 2, 1951 – October 24, 2004
John passed away peacefully in his home in Petaluma, California, with his beloved wife at his side, Sunday, October 24, 2004 at the age of 53. He was a devoted and loving father, world recognized artist and a supporter of all things Irish. He sustained a remarkable and enduring love of life, with an eye for beauty he could express in his varied artwork. After being diagnosed with malignant melanoma in Spring 2004, he continued to paint and teach art classes until the disease and treatment made it too difficult to continue. He fought it bravely, valiantly and died quietly at peace with the world.
John studied at the prestigious Art Student’s League in New York where he subsequently maintained a studio in Greenwich Village as well as in San Francisco and Paris. His academic achievement, combined with his eye for beauty and admiration for the American Impressionists, can be seen in every painting. The interiors and exteriors are wholly imaginary, enticing and inviting the viewer “to wish they were there.” He has been honored with many one-man shows throughout the United States. His works are in many private collections in the U.S. and Europe. He was commissioned to paint murals, portraits of people of all ages, and illustrations in addition to his highly successful series of romantic interiors and enticing European style exteriors.
John’s artwork conveys a series of mystery and romance seldom found in contemporary art. With exquisite craftsmanship, poetic ideals, and a modern awareness, he created a unique style, which has come to be known as “contemporary 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.
He is survived by his wife, Martha, and two daughters, Michelle, age 12, and Claire, age 9, who often posed for his beautiful paintings. He will always be remembered for his warm smile and gentle ways by every life he touched.
Man and Bike
John's self portrait as he saw his twilight years,
coming home from the pub after church on Sunday,
in a free Ireland.
All art contained herein copyright 1970-2008 John O'Brien. All Rights Reserved.