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Remember10% of Color Splash Ranch profits go to benefit Plant with Purpose, a non-profit committed to helping people AND the planet (learn more at 

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 its 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 into a story they add their own ending to. 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 draws you into the story and takes you somewhere else as well as inspires you to appreciate and protect the beauty around us. 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


2023 Juried exhibit, Exhibitor, Harvest, AVA Art Center, Gilette, WY, August 1, 2023-August 31, 2023. "Garden Goodness."

2023 Juried online exhibit, Exhibitor, Captured Moments, July 2023. "Feathered Fast Food," "Friday Frolic," "Honeysuckle Hummingbird."

2023 Oelwein Public Library 7th Annual Art Show, June 5-June 16,  2023 Best of Show: "Lives to Dance."

2023 Oelwein Public Library 7th Annual Art Show, June 5-June 16, 2023 First Place "Lives to Dance."

2023 Iowa Artists Region 3 Show, 2nd Place, "Elkader Plein Air." 

2023 Juried exhibit, Exhibitor,  Iowa Artists 2023 Traveling Art Exhibit, February 1, 2023-February 28, 2023. "Owl's Winter Afternoon Visit," "Escape," & "Cardinals", The Left Bank Gallery, McGregor, IA. 

2022 Juried Exhibition, Exhibitor,  Here Kitschy, Kitschy- The Animal Portrait Show by ShockBoxx Gallery, Hermosa Beach, CA, November 5,2022- December 3, 2022. "The Scream- Goat Edition." 

2022 Honorable Mention, University of Iowa, Iowa Center for Advancement Write Now Microstory Contest.

2022 Juried Online Exhibition, Exhibitor,  Valentine 2022 by Gallerium.Art, Feb 14- March 20, 2022. "New Friendships."

2022 Juried Gallery Exhibition, Exhibitor,  The Crow Show 2022  by The Studio Door, San Diego, CA, March 3-31, 2022, "Crow Series 3, The Squabble." 

2022 Gallery Exhibition ExhibitorThe Color of Love by DKW Gallery & Studio, Marion, IA, February, 2022, "Hummingbird Series 1, 2, & 3" & ""Waterfall Hideout." 

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

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 

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."

Gallery Representation

Iowa Makers; Dundee, Iowa

The Collective; Elkader, Iowa

Recent Artist Studies

Mastrius Mentorship, Leslie Lambert 2023-

Mastrius Mentorship, Dan Mondloch, 2023-

Mastrius Mentorship, Sharon Lynn Williams 2023-2023

Mastirus Mentorship, Stephen Puttrich 2022-2023

David R. Smith Watercolor Workshops- online 2022

Lian Zhen Workshop- online 2022

Watercolor Live 2022

Robert Burridge Workshop September 2021

Sterling Edwards Watercolor Workshop- August 2016



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