Artist Profile – Lara O’Brien – Artist Profile – Painters Lara O’Brien


Painters Lara is a contemporary visual artist who works from her light filled studio in the harbour side village of Balmain. She holds a Master of Cross Disciplinary Art & Design from the University of NSW and has years of experience working in the arts.

She is inspired by the natural and expansive vistas of the West and the drama and serenity of the ocean. Her paintings depict these themes in both abstract and figurative forms.

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Lara’s work combines a variety of media, including paper, wood, and fabric to create intricate and detailed paintings. She draws inspiration from the likes of Helen Frankenthaler, Richard Diebenkorn, and Mexican muralist Pablo O’Higgins. She has also been influenced by her own family’s heritage. Her grandmother was born into a Hispanic family, but was actually part Navajo.

Throughout the year, Lara keeps a perpetual sketchbook and journal. This allows her to document daily observations and to experiment with drawing and painting techniques. The process is very meditative. Some days she will draw for an hour, while other times she may only have 10 minutes to make a small observational sketch.

As an extension of this practice, Lara has also begun to create a series of carved wood marionettes. These puppets portray historical figures such as Crazy Horse, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Frida Kahlo. The carved wood marionettes are made in the spirit of the Koshare, which is a sacred clown that participates in ceremonial dances of the Hopi Tribe and several Rio Grande Pueblos.

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