It is interesting how movement and stillness happen simultaneously. I paint by attempting to be still enough to hear color and movement as another might hear the music. As I hear and use my fingers as brushes, I am able to move into the sounds of “right up, roll right left pull, swish down, dance up, and continuing while ever-changing, layer upon layer. It seems in life there is a continuous shifting between the seen and unseen realms. Often while painting in this fashion I will catch a glimpse of a voice bigger than my own revealing glimpses of world events or color and movement that stirs others deeply. ~ Sheila O’Keefe Braun
Born and raised in Honesdale, PA, Sheila O’Keefe Braun lived a dibble of her adult life in Brooklyn, N.Y., California, and eventually landed in Lancaster. She now resides in her converted barn home art studio in Bird In Hand, Pa. She has done short-term service work in diverse cultures and has a heart for the nation thus finds the cultural mix of the county intriguing.
Sheila is one of nine children. She has four children and eight Grandgifts (as a friend calls them).
Born to create, in the past few years her work has transitioned from using brushes, portraying an intentional defined object or scene, to reaching for an unknown while provoking the eye.
O’Keefe Braun paints from a spiritual perspective while listening and then using her fingers, at times, along with palette knives as her brushes. She layers paint, removes paint, and layers yet again. She hides stories as one story builds into another.
Sheila believes that in the rapid movement and stillness happening simultaneously on the earth there is an underlying continuous shifting between the seen and unseen realms. Unnoticed, this can occur so swiftly that our resplendent dreams may drift away and that which touches deepest falls asleep. Her desire is to touch those deep places within the earth and in others and provoke a shift that propels others forward. For her painting is a commentary, a worthy duty.She feels it is her reasonable service to simultaneously provoke while serving man. At times for her, it is like going into a battle other times it is like reposing by joy lavished streams.
O’Keefe Braun prefers viewers “visit with her work” and largely view from the perspective of what they are experiencing. She appreciates hearing others insight in order for her to have a greater understanding of what, she calls, the continuous river running through.
Sheila teaches listening art in an addiction recovery facility, paints in her studio, during weddings, events, in worship services and by a commission. She is also composing a TBI (traumatic brain injury)/PTSD series as well as a series on Jerusalem / Israel.
Her work has been shown in Craftsman’s Gallery, Art, Sticks, and Objects, E. Braun Farmtables, Snowflake Gala, Mulberry Art Studio, BIAPA (brain injury) conference.
Sheila is a Member Artist with CityFolk Gallery.