A native of Massachusetts, he graduated from The New England School of Art, Boston, Massachusettsd, in 1950. O'Brien spent 10 years in commercial art before turning full-time to painting.
He operated his own galleries in Laguna Beach, California, and for 18 years in Rockport, Massachusetts. He moved to Sterling, Colorado in 1979.
My work carries no heavy message -- I leave that to the writers. My only message is the hope that my viewers enjoy it. One reviewer referred to my work as "portraits of buildings." My main objective is to paint the personality and character of these structures aged by the elements and time. I strive to keep my work simple in these complicated times. I leave room for you to step in and roam freely without stumbling and to feel the warmth and the love that I have for these buildings. These old places are slowly disappearing and I hope that in my work I have preserved a part of the land."
Excerpted from a brochure -- The Third Annual Equinox Exhibit at Northeastern Junior College Art Gallery (1980)
Information provided by Gail Garda