O'Brien, Patrick 1960–

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O'Brien, Patrick 1960–

Personal

Born 1960; son of Charles M. O'Brien, Jr. (a U.S. Navy officer); married; wife's name Allison; children: Alex. Education: Graduated from University of Virginia, 1982; attended art school at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Addresses

Home and office—Baltimore, MD. Office—2010 Clipper Park Rd., Studio 109, Baltimore, MD, 21211. E-mail—[email protected]

Career

Painter, author, and illustrator. Freelance illustrator, 1986—; clients include Discovery Channel, Smithsonian, and American Museum of Natural History. Work has appeared on posters, videocassette boxes, greeting cards, and billboards; paintings have been commissioned for National Geographic Television, Navy Federal Credit Union, U.S. Coast Guard, and Exxon Mobil. Also worked at a naval architecture firm. Exhibitions: Work included in permanent collection at Mazza Museum, Findlay, OH. Solo exhibitions include "New York in the Age of Sail," Union League Club, New York, NY, 2008.

Awards, Honors

Award of Excellence, Mystic International Marine Art Exhibition; Teacher's Choice Award, International Reading Association, for The Mutiny on the Bounty.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

The Making of a Knight: How Sir James Earned His Armor, Charlesbridge (Watertown, MA), 1998.

Gigantic!: How Big Were the Dinosaurs?, Holt (New York, NY), 1999.

The Hindenburg, Holt (New York, NY), 2000.

Steam, Smoke, and Steel: Back in Time with Trains, Charlesbridge (Watertown, MA), 2000.

The Great Ships, Walker (New York, NY), 2001.

Megatooth, Holt (New York, NY), 2001.

Mammoth, Holt (New York, NY), 2002.

Fantastic Flights: One Hundred Years of Flying on the Edge, Walker (New York, NY), 2003.

Duel of the Ironclads: The Monitor vs. the Virginia, Walker (New York, NY), 2003.

The Mutiny on the Bounty, Walker (New York, NY), 2007.

Sabertooth, Holt (New York, NY), 2008.

ILLUSTRATOR

Marilyn Singer, A Wasp Is Not a Bee, Holt (New York, NY), 1995.

Carol A. Amato, Captain Jim and the Killer Whales Barron's (Hauppage, NY), 1995.

Carol A. Amato, The Bald Eagle: Free Again!, Barron's (Hauppage, NY), 1996.

Julie Thompson and Brownie Macintosh, A Pirate's Life for Me!: A Day Aboard a Pirate Ship, Charlesbridge (Watertown, MA), 1996.

Brenda Z. Guiberson, Teddy Roosevelt's Elk, Holt (New York, NY), 1997.

Marilyn Singer, Bottoms Up!, Holt (New York, NY), 1997.

Carol A. Amato, On the Trail of the Grizzly, Barron's (Hauppage, NY), 1997.

Sharon Katz, The Wandering Gorilla, Wildlife Conservation Society (New York, NY), 1999.

K.S. Rodriguez, Pteranodon, Steadwell Books (Austin, TX), 2000.

K.S. Rodriguez, Stegosaurus, Steadwell Books (Austin, TX), 2000.

K.S. Rodriguez, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Steadwell Books (Austin, TX), 2000.

Alex Bandon, The Travels of Marco Polo, Steadwell Books (Austin, TX), 2000.

Joanne Mattern, The Travels of Ferdinand Magellan, Steadwell Books (Austin, TX), 2000.

Joanne Mattern, The Travels of Henry Hudson, Steadwell Books (Austin, TX), 2000.

Lara Bergen, The Travels of Francisco Pizarro, Steadwell Books (Austin, TX), 2000.

Lara Bergen, The Travels of Lewis and Clark, Steadwell Books (Austin, TX), 2000.

Debbie Crisfield, The Travels of Hernán Cortés, Steadwell Books (Austin, TX), 2000.

Audrey B. Baird, Storm Coming! (poems), Wordsong (Honesdale, PA), 2001.

Deborah Crisfield, The Travels of Juan Ponce de León, Steadwell Books (Austin, TX), 2001.

Joanne Mattern, The Travels of John and Sebastian Cabot, Steadwell Books (Austin, TX), 2001.

Joanne Mattern, The Travels of Samuel de Champlain, Steadwell Books (Austin, TX), 2001.

Joanne Mattern, The Travels of Vasco da Gama, Steadwell Books (Austin, TX), 2001.

Lara Bergen, The Travels of Sieur de La Salle, Steadwell Books (Austin, TX), 2001.

Audrey B. Baird, A Cold Snap!: Frosty Poems, Wordsong (Honesdale, PA), 2002.

Melinda Lilly, The Boston Tea Party, Rourke Publishing (Vero Beach, FL), 2003.

Kevin O'Malley, Captain Raptor and the Moon Mystery, Walker (New York, NY), 2005.

Kevin O'Malley, Captain Raptor and the Space Pirates, Walker (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor of paintings to periodicals, including Artist's and Naval History.

Sidelights

Patrick O'Brien, a highly regarded fine artist specializing in historic subjects, has written and illustrated several works for children, including Fantastic Flights: One Hundred Years of Flying on the Edge and The Mutiny on the Bounty. O'Brien has also provided the artwork for such titles as Storm Coming!, a poetry collection by Audrey B. Baird, and Captain Raptor and the Moon Mystery, an adventure tale by Kevin O'Malley.

O'Brien first self-illustrated title, The Making of a Knight: How Sir James Earned His Armor, appeared in

1998. Set in fifteenth-century England, the work concerns young James, a lowly page who grows up to become first a squire and then a knight. According to a Publishers Weekly reviewer, O'Brien's story "works well here to hold interest and provide cohesiveness to the many nuggets of information served up," and Booklist contributor Carolyn Phelan stated that his "richly colored and dramatically lit oil paintings sensitively portray James as he grows from boy to man."

In The Hindenburg chronicles the development of the great German airship that exploded over a New Jersey airfield in 1937. "O'Brien's lifelike watercolor and gouache paintings pack as much drama as the story he tells," noted a contributor in Publishers Weekly, and a Horn Book critic stated that O'Brien's "economical prose explains the basic science of dirigible flight but also captures the haunting beauty" of the dirigible. The author/illustrator looks at the achievements of the Wright Brothers, Amelia Earhart, Chuck Yeager, and other aviation pioneers in Fantastic Flights. O'Brien's "text is concise and readable; the colorful illustrations depict inspiring views of the planes and spacecraft in flight," observed Jeffrey A. French in School Library Journal.

The son of a retired U.S. Navy commander, O'Brien has written and illustrated a number of book with nautical themes. In The Great Ships, he presents the stories behind seventeen of the world's most historically significant vessels, including a Viking Gokstad ship, the Titanic, and the Nautilus, the last a nuclear-powered submarine. According to Phelan, O'Brien's "paintings often feature dramatic effects of light on sea, sky, and sail." The author explores the 1862 sea battle that changed the course of naval warfare in Duel of the Ironclads: The Monitor vs. the Virginia, wherein his "clear and lively writing, dramatic watercolor and gouache illustrations, maps, and handsome, large-format design combine to make an appealing volume," observed a contributor in Kirkus Reviews. In The Mutiny on the Bounty, O'Brien recounts the famous confrontation between ship captain William Bligh and his second-in-command, Fletcher Christian, in 1787. Phelan stated that the "handsome artwork sets the story's tone, defines the period, and brings the characters to life."

O'Brien has examined prehistoric subjects in self-illustrated works such as Mammoth and Sabertooth. In the former, he traces the evolution of the great Ice Age creature. O'Brien's pictures "are realistically clear and help make this an enticing offering," observed Dona Ratterree in School Library Journal. Sabertooth provides an introduction to the ferocious cat, and features "realistic watercolor and gouache illustrations [that] lend eye-catching glamour to the captionlike text," as Patricia Manning commented in School Library Journal.

O'Brien has also drawn praise for his contributions to works by other authors. Audrey B. Baird's Storm Coming! contains verse about lightning, fog, and wind.

O'Brien illustrator captures "much of the poetry's imagery in pale-toned watercolors," remarked School Library Journal critic John Peters. In Kevin O'Malley's Captain Raptor and the Moon Mystery, a crew of space-traveling dinosaurs find adventure and danger. O'Brien's "naturalistic watercolors parody museum murals of dinosaurs, while his outer-space images recall the pulp covers of sixties sci-fi," wrote a Publishers Weekly critic in a review of the entertaining middle-grade novel.

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Baltimore Sun, December 27, 2006, Tom Pelton, "Engaged in a Depiction of War: Painter Mixes History, Art to Re-create a Momentous Revolutionary War Battle."

Booklist, October 15, 1995, April Judge, review of A Wasp Is Not a Bee, p. 409; September 15, 1997, John Peters, review of Teddy Roosevelt's Elk, p. 237; August, 1998, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Making of a Knight: How Sir James Earned His Armor, p. 2007; June 1, 1999, Denia Hester, review of Gigantic! How Big Were the Dinosaurs?, p. 1833; September 1, 2000,

Connie Fletcher, review of The Hindenburg, p. 110; March 15, 2001, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Storm Coming!, p. 1394; January 1, 2002, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Great Ships, p. 854; September 15, 2002, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of A Cold Snap! Frosty Poems, p. 229; December 1, 2002, Carolyn Phelan, review of Mammoth, p. 686; March 15, 2003, Carolyn Phelan, review of Duel of the Ironclads: The Monitor vs. the Virginia, p. 1323; September 1, 2003, Todd Morning, review of Fantastic Flights: One Hundred Years of Flying on the Edge, p. 119; January 1, 2007, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Mutiny on the Bounty, p. 90; September 1, 2007, Todd Morning, review of Captain Raptor and the Space Pirates, p. 124.

Horn Book, September, 2000, review of The Hindenburg, p. 598; March-April, 2007, Betty Carter, review of The Mutiny on the Bounty, p. 215.

Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2001, review of The Great Ships, p. 1430; November 15, 2002, review of Mammoth, p. 1700; February 15, 2003, review of Duel of the Ironclads, p. 313; June 15, 2003, review of Fantastic Flights, p. 862; May 15, 2008, review of Sabertooth.

Publishers Weekly, June 22, 1998, review of The Making of a Knight, p. 90; October 16, 2000, review of The Hindenburg, p. 76; March 7, 2005, review of Captain Raptor and the Moon Mystery, p. 68.

School Library Journal, August, 2000, Steven Engelfried, review of Steam, Smoke, and Steel: Back in Time with Trains, p. 173; October, 2000, Steve Clancy, review of The Hindenburg, p. 150; December, 2000, Ann Welton, review of The Travels of Marco Polo, p. 130; June, 2001, John Peters, review of Storm Coming!, p. 133, and Judith Constantinides, review of Megatooth, p. 140; September, 2001, Be Astengo, review of The Great Ships, p. 252; November, 2002, Dona Ratterree, review of Mammoth, p. 146; December, 2002, Sally R. Dow, review of A Cold Snap!, p. 116; March, 2003, Susan Shaver, review of The Boston Tea Party, p. 220; May, 2003, Nina Lindsay, review of Duel of the Ironclads, p. 175; November, 2003, Jeffrey A. French, review of Fantastic Flights, p. 164; April, 2005, Joy Fleishhacker, review of Captain Raptor and the Moon Mystery, p. 108; March, 2007, Ann Joslin, review of The Mutiny on the Bounty, p. 200; September, 2007, Mary Jean Smith, review of Captain Raptor and the Space Pirates, p. 224; July, 2008, Patricia Manning, review of Sabertooth, p. 91.

ONLINE

Patrick O'Brien Home Page,http://www.patrickobrienstudio.com (August 10, 2008).

Charlesbridge Web site,http://www.charlesbridge.com/ (August 10, 2008), "Patrick O'Brien."

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O'Brien, Patrick 1960–

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