Wendilee Heath O’Brien is February Featured Artist at Steuben Library

Posted Feb. 01, 2013, at 12:01 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 01, 2013, at 12:29 p.m.

Friday, February 1 to Thursday, February 28, 2013; 10 a.m.

Location: Henry D. Moore Parish House and Library, 22 Village Road, Steuben, ME

Contact: Jeanne Benedict; 207-546-7301


Wendilee Heath O’Brien will be the next Featured Artist at the Henry D. Moore Library in Steuben. Her show will run February 1-28 and her work includes watercolor, pastel, Asian ink, and oil paintings. Quaker roots and life in Downeast Maine are guiding rhythms in what she does. While her work in regards to mediums and styles is diverse, her vision is focused. Burrowed in Quaker thought and practices and a deep reverence for nature, paintings have a Query questioning human convention. Intertwined with this orientation is the work and way of life O’Brien internalized while living in Asia. She takes the individual to the universal, returning to the particular as done in the art of Haiku. Says Wendilee, “I attempt the three steps classical Chinese and Japanese artists pursued – first to elicit the response, ‘Oh how nice.’ Greater success achieves the reaction, ‘I want to visit’ and then in a true painting, the viewer wants to remain a participant. This goal of beauty melds with my need to paint what can be, not the ignoble in our world.” This vision came while parenting, watching children and nature (which she often sees as synonymous as their health and growth are at adult mercy). She follows their questing and exploring, thrilled by their capacity to wonder. Wendilee raised her children here in Maine grateful that they, too, can experience the humbleness of humanity in the awesomeness of this land.

While versed in conventional painting techniques – both West and East – she choose to transcend and manipulate these into whatever form is needed to tell the story being told. Why different mediums? Each one has distinct and unique qualities and therefore, evokes different feelings. Watercolor catches light from within and the washes and liquid blooms let the white of the paper emanate out. Pastels’ layers create sculpted shapes. Asian art respects the empty space and the quickness of a moment.

As a Quaker business woman, O’Brien has made a commitment to create only original art. Part of her business goal is to do whatever she can to keep original art affordable and accessible. This includes rent to own and installment payment plans.

The show will be available for viewing during normal library hours and also during the winter concert on Sunday, February 10th from 3-5pm. During the concert intermission, the artist will be available to answer questions about her work. For more information about this and other events at the library, visit our website at