21 Under 31: Young Artists to Watch in 2018: Obrianna Cornelius


Obrianna Cornelius, The Island at Peace, watercolor, 22 x 30.

Obrianna Cornelius, The Island at Peace, watercolor, 22 x 30.

Art Education: I attended Pensacola Christian College for a year and a half. I credit my drawing skills and attention to detail to the school’s amazing program and the mentor I found in Jamieson Jekel. However, in many ways I consider myself a self-taught watercolorist. My teachers are the master watercolorists who came before me, such as Homer, Wyeth, and Turner.

Style: My style is defined by vibrant colors and bold, confident strokes.

Creative Spark: I am blessed to live in the beautiful state of Maine. It is in Maine’s rocky coasts, lush forests, and the heritage of these people that I find my inspiration.

Second-Choice Career: I have found teaching to be a very fulfilling career. I teach all ages and enjoy growing the creative spark in my students.

Other Passions: One of my favorite things to do in my spare time is spend time with my family. I am the oldest of eight children, and we enjoy taking day trips to the coast, playing card games, and sitting around a fire in the evenings.

Best Advice Received: Don’t be afraid to ruin your painting.

Favorite Studio Music: I enjoy listening to audiobooks while I paint. Often, I name my pieces with clues to the book I was listening to while I was painting.

Favorite Work by Another Artist: Anything by Monet. I love his style, color, everything!

Future Goals: I would love for my work to be displayed in more fine-art galleries across the United States. Also, illustrating a children’s book has always been a dream of mine. It would be great to collaborate with an author.

Price Range: $100 to $2,400.

Representation: Art Space Gallery, Rockland, ME; Lighthouse Arts Center, Bucksport, ME.

This story was featured in the September 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art September 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

• Subscribe to Southwest Art magazine
• Learn how to paint & how to draw with downloads, books, videos & more from North Light Shop
• Sign up for your Southwest Art email newsletter & download a FREE ebook