Tessa creates paintings that reference light, play with architectural space, and revel in color. Combining representation with process-based abstraction, she uses technique and mark-making to impose a narrative upon the structures that she depicts in paint, or paints upon.
In addition to her studio practice, O’Brien has worked in arts administration and public art, managing the painting department of the visual design team at major music festivals for over 10 years. Tessa also co-founded the Portland Mural Initiative with partner Will Sears in 2015, which since has been responsible for the execution of 7 murals around southern Maine between 2015 and 2017. Tessa is currently the Gallery Director of Able Baker Gallery in Portland Maine.