Margy O’Brien – Where I Live

FOBA 2021 Juried Exhibition

Completed 2021
Editions: 1
Dimensions closed: 10” x 4.5” x .25”
Materials: commercial and handmade papers, ink, stick closure
Artist resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico

I have kept watercolor field journals for many years to record my near and far explorations. This show’s theme resonates with my long habit, so I selected 15 watercolor sketchbook pages to reproduce for this unique book. They represent the nearby Rio Grande bosque, where I walk, bike, and feel most alive. Sitting and paying attention for an hour or so with paint and pen on paper renews my soul and connects me to this neighborhood where I live. 

I chose an interlocking loops, or gallery structure, with a much-reduced watercolor on each folded loop or flag. This structure was appropriate, as a wooded riparian area like this cottonwood environment where I live is called a gallery forest. Images range from close-ups to distant vistas, at different times of the year. The text behind the images is inspired by my sketchbook notes. 

(The paper loops have been secured to keep the book from becoming too unwieldy in handling. The envelope has a Tyvek reinforced stick/loop closure.) 

Margy O’Brien (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

Margy O’Brien is inspired by firsthand experiences on location with her watercolor sketchbooks. These observations then fuel further studio explorations in mixed media, tile mural commissions, fiber arts, and unique artist’s books, where she enjoys the alchemy of turning flat paper into 3-dimensional sculptural books that reveal and illuminate by handling. 

Her books have been shown in Albuquerque Museum’s Arts Thrive Exhibits, Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum: Contemporary Crafts Exhibits, Santa Fe Book Arts Group exhibits, 500 Handmade Books/Lark Books, and 1000 Artist’s Books/ Quarry Books.