Barbara O’Brien

Head and shoulders photographic portrait of Barbara O'Brien

Please note: Barbara currently has a selection of her work on display in the Peninsula Arts Foyer Gallery.

Born in the Melbourne beach side suburb of Sandringham, Barbara’s artistic ability became evident at primary school when a grade 3 teacher encouraged her to paint her first colourful tree in oils.

From that point, her love of art blossomed throughout school life until 1970 when her 37 year career in information technology began, effectively putting her art journey on hold.

When Barbara retired in 2007, she renewed her passion for art and discovered the vibrancy of pastel under the expert tutelage of Jacquie Long and Catherine Hamilton at the Peninsula Arts Society.

Early years spent living and holidaying by the sea are reflected in Barbara’s preferred subject, seascapes. Travelling overseas and through the Australian outback has broadened her repertoire in recent years and developed in her a love of landscape and intense colour.


  • Member of Peninsula Arts Society (PAS) from 2007 to present
  • President of Peninsula Arts Society Inc. 2012
  • Life Member of Peninsula Arts Society Inc.
  • Coordinator, Frankston Waterfront Art Show 2014, 2018, 2019
  • Coordinator, Carer’s Respite Program at PAS, 2014 to present

Awards, Exhibitions & Commissions

  • Encouragement Award, Peninsula Arts Society Spring Art Show, 2010
  • People’s Choice Award, Peninsula Arts Society Spring Art Show, 2010
  • Bronze award, 39th Yakkerboo Art Show, 2015
  • Solo exhibition, Peninsula Arts Foyer Gallery February, 2022
  • Solo exhibition 2019, Whitehill Gallery, Dromana
  • Internal Mural (commission), Elm Aged Living, Mt Martha
  • External Mural (commission), private residence, Blairgowrie
  • Other private commissions


Mobile: 0419 008 802

Artwork by Barbara O’Brien

“I love the amazing colours in nature that we sometimes take for granted; the play of light and shade. I focus on colour and light in my seascapes and landscapes, and aim to convey a mood using those elements. I love the vibrancy of pastel as a medium, and the many ways pastel can be used to achieve exciting visual effects. I am intrigued by reflections in water, as well as the variety, colour and vastness of the Australian outback landscape. My work changes all the time as I discover new techniques and experiment with different mediums. Always learning!”