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Interview: Betts O'Brien

2015 Jun 06 By Jessica Andrews

 "Art is a form of meditation, an exploration and expression of my spirituality".


Melbourne born artist and architecture student Betts O'Brien, 19, renowned for her colourful vibrant watercolour works on paper has wowed many with the launch of her new series.

 She launched a highly successful gallery opening in late 2014  "Même Famille -Vernissage" in a Glen Iris gallery, which was the launch of per last collection with her mother and artist Caroline Cardinet, with art enthusists in awe over her pieces.

 Betts has launched her new series exclusively first with Eden Homeware, available in open and limited editions.

 We sat down for a chat and I couldn’t wait to find out more, including where she draws her inspiration.

Photo credit: "Tiger Sharks" - Watercolor + Ink by Betts O'Brien Art (via @art_betts on Instagram)

Can you share a bit about your background and what inspired you to become an artist?

Growing up in a very creative environment, being constantly exposed to art in all its forms and from many different cultures especially French. It was almost impossible to not have an artistic expression. I only really begun to develop my personal style during the final year of high school because my teacher pushed me to, if you look at the work I produced back then you will see a massive evolution of my style!

Your work is mostly inspired by underwater life and nature. What do you consider your most beautiful piece to date?

Perhaps my sharks, they were an experiment that I ended up really loving. Especially the odd combination of jungle vegetation and a sea creature.

What gets your creative energy flowing?

Oddly enough, watching back to back cop shows (you name it; CSI, NCIS, Law and Order...) late at night. Something about a constant feed of gruesome death and violence on my massive TV works for me.

What artists are you inspired by?

Del Kathryn Barton - her works seem so complete and I draw looking at her books a lot. Also a couple of Melbourne artists such as Amie L. Gibson, she goes by frank_ie on Instagram.

What role do you feel art plays in the home?

It's a statement about the individual who lives there - a bit of a window to their soul, what they like, what they consider valuable. It adds personality and can make the difference between a house and a home.

What do you feel is the most important thing to consider when selecting art for the home?

Above all it has to be something you can look at and never be bored by. It has to be something you connect with and continuously feel inspired by or feel the same emotions you felt when you decided to make that purchase. It's a piece of the artist after all.

How else does art play a role in your life?

Its a form of meditation, an exploration and expression of my spirituality. It also helps me connect with others who appreciate art.

And most importantly, how can we get our hands on your works?

Through me directly for originals (art_betts on Instagram) or all limited and open edition pieces via the homewares site

What is the last thing you purchased for your home?

Fish and aquatic plants to go in my beautiful tropical freshwater aquarium. It's a gorgeous moving scape, I sit in front of it everyday.

What is your ‘go-to’ colour palette at the moment?

Soft pink and any iteration of grey. I love wearing grey it so neutral!

What is the one item you want but you don’t have right now?

An industrial looking floor lamp, I'm not digging my current one.

What is the best advice you have been given?

To trust the path you're on, to keep on keeping on. Essentially the concept that everything is going to work out.

What item could you never live without?

Conditioner. But I have always liked the look of dreadlocks.

What is your favourite magazine?

Green - it's a design, architecture, landscape and travel magazine.


Thank you Betts!

Discover more about Jessica Andrews

Eden Homewares


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