When Colm O’Brien picked up a paintbrush again, after first channelling his artistic talent as a singer and musician, his astute use of colour in his work gave him his signature.
Embracing the artist’s palette in every sense, the down-to-earth, Edinburgh-born 55-year-old captures something special in the subjects he paints. His work is at its most uplifting when he paints somewhere you thought you knew, but shows it in a different light.
In a recent radio interview Colm talked about the similarities between art and his earlier music career: “When you pick up an instrument and start to write a song, some days the words come easily and the melody lends itself naturally to the lyrics. Other days, you go round and round in circles and walk away frustrated at not having produced what you want. You return to the piece the next day and for no reason at all it comes together.
“It’s the same with art. I have canvases that I have started and set aside with that same frustration. Weeks or months later I have returned to them and been inspired again. With a change here and a rework there, a new painting emerges that I am happy with".
Colm has been inspired and heartened by the styles of many artists, some of whom are now good friends. He favours acrylic on canvas; a medium that he enjoys working with, and his fans evidently admire. Colm has proved that his paintings travel well. His work is currently admired on walls in the UK, Europe, Australia, Canada, the United States, and in more exotic locations such as Dubai and Japan.