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Visit my studio at the Backbone Area Artist Tour September 24th, 25th, and 26th.  Check out the Backbone Area Artists Tour on Facebook for more details.  One last opportunity for in person shopping- I will also be featured artist in October at the Collective at 115 Main St. in Elkader, Iowa. 

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Color Splash Ranch, Artist Nicole P. O'Brien

What is Color Splash Ranch?

Color Splash Ranch is a very small farm in a very beautiful, but rural corner of Iowa.  The artist, Nicole P. O'Brien, is living her best life there with her family and farm animal friends.  The scenic corner of northeast Iowa, where she resides, is filled with rolling hills and limestone cliffs where the color, sights, and sounds of four full seasons produce the full spectrum of nature's color wheel as well as an abundance of wildlife.  Color Splash Ranch derives it's name from the diversity of animal, plant, sky and atmospheric colors that creates an ever-changing palette of inspiration for her work. 

Artist's Inspiration Statement:

 "Art to me is an act of worship.  Every stroke is an unspoken prayer of gratitude to God, who inspires me to continually give thanks for the colors, sights, sounds, textures, and beauty we absorb through our senses.   As the ultimate Creator, He inspires the created to create.  Although there may be unpleasant experiences in our world, we can overshadow them by deliberately choosing to surround ourselves with that which is peaceful, lovely, beautiful, uplifting, and brings us joy. 

Each work  incorporates elements of the accidental, as the often unpredictable nature of watercolor sometimes determines for me what the painting will become.  I like to think that I am creating in partnership with God as He provides the colors, resources, and inspiration,  while I simply add my interpretation to the final work.  Although my art encompasses a variety of subjects, the purpose is always to bring the viewer to a place of peace, tranquility, happiness, healing, and gratitude- a life long pursuit of mine. My work usually incorporates movement, life, and color to best reflect the natural properties of the watercolor medium.  I hope you find that viewing my art does exactly that for you and takes you to a place of refuge where all is right in your world. People often comment that my art just makes them happy- that is the ultimate compliment to me and the end goal- to elicit a positive emotion that people can take home with them." 

Curriculum Vitae


Iowa State University: BA Art & Design

University of Iowa: MA Art History ; MBA

Artist Studies

Sterling Edwards Watercolor Workshop- August 2016

Robert Burridge Workshop September 2021


2020-2021 Juried Exhibitor, Portraits of the Pandemic Exhibit, Dubuque Museum of Art, Oct. 24th  2020- February 7th 2021, "Reflections from Home."

2019 Oelwein Public Library 5th Annual Art Show, Best of Show: "Porpoises at Play" 

2019 Oelwein Public Library 5th Annual Art Show,  2nd Place, "Perspective."

2021 Juried Exhibitor, Reinbeck Art Festival; Reinbeck, IA

2021 Juried Exhibitor, Art in the Park; Elkader, IA

2021 Juried Exhibitor, ARTapalooza, Cedar Falls, IA 

2021 Juried Exhibitor Backbone Area Artist Tour

2021 October Featured Artist- The Collective Gallery-  Elkader, IA 


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