About

Catherine OBrien Headshot

About the Artist

Although my day job is as a web developer and programmer, I have always studied the arts and am classically trained. I began taking courses in drawing and painting at a young age, and completed a Bachelors of Science in Graphic Design at University of Cincinnati College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning.

My spiritual studies have varied over my lifetime, but for the past 21 years, I've found my home in the Black Forest Clan tradition of Witchcraft. Currently, I act as a Clan Head for the south west Ohio region (Sphinx Clan), practicing with my own coven and advising the covens that have been begun by those I have trained. This Craft tradition is steeped in Germanic magic and Shamanic spiritual pathworking, which informs much of my artwork.

My protest art began with the "Resist" design, but has flourished into a melding of my pagan spirituality and my activists heart. The images are created in Adobe Illustrator, often from a hand drawing informed by photography or other artists renderings. For the hand-painted hex signs, these designs are copied to a birchwood circle and I paint them with acrylic paint. Each sign is ritually cleaned, consecrated, and smoked over an appropriate incense blend, before being sealed in several coats of polyurethane.

My primary goal to to get people talking about these issues. I look forward to continuing to create art, and am committed to using a portion of any proceeds to further the causes I have created art to support.

What are Hex Signs?

A form of Folk Art, hex signs can be found adorning barns throughout Pennsylvania Dutch country. Some people believe they have always held a talismanic nature, while others believe them to have simply used for decorative purposes. Many signs feature the six-pointed star, or Hexefus, in the design, and this may be where the name comes from.

In recent years, hex signs have come to be used by non–Pennsylvania Dutch persons as talismans for folk magic rather than as items of decoration. I have pulled from the library of traditional symbolism used in these signs to inform the intent of each sign I create. Hex signs have been called" painted prayers" and I feel that my work is a call to Universal Wisdom to set right the Balance.

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