Connor O’Brien

Below is the written explanation of the artist’s Sustained Investigation. To view the full images and details of each piece, click/tap on the thumbnail.

Sitting idly in a bustling classroom. Waiting for your ride home. Concentrating on schoolwork in the dark. These images were initially parts of the life I lived before the COVID-19 pandemic, and as the pandemic has only locked us away in our homes, it’s made me feel almost nostalgic for the time wasted on such moments. Suburban life has always interested me and I decided to guide my sustained investigation through capturing snapshots of a day in the life of suburban teenagers. I knew that the medium I had best refined my skills in, watercolor and micron, would best suit this investigation format, as it allowed for detail and bringing forth color in the otherwise ordinary activities of suburban high school life. My process was familiar, but the patience I prioritized with each piece allowed me to bring my own experiences into the work, illustrating what I knew and what I knew best about the suburbs, and what I missed after life in them was seemingly suspended. The colorful snapshots captured in each piece recall a time we once took for granted, but now long for in isolation. Patience and detail are key elements of illustrating suburban life: a world of the beautiful ordinary.

Sustained Investigation

Selected Works