Jennifer O’Keefe’s Warm Use of Color in Oils (2008)

Jennifer took up oil painting with her husband, John, in the year 2008. One notable feature in her paintings is her close attention to the smallest details. Jennifer O’Keefe’s warm use of color in oils is very reminiscent of the fall season, very warm and inviting. In addition to oil painting, Jennifer enjoys pastels and colored pencil mediums, not to mention her love of knitting, looming, jewelry making, photography, interior decorating and so on. When it comes to personal pursuits and hobbies, when your not being chased after by a barrage of daily responsibilities, why limit yourself?

Jennifer O’Keefe’s Warm Use of Color – 2008 Oil Paintings

Peaceful Pond, Warm Use of Color, Oil on Board, 8x10, Jennifer O'Keefe, 2008
“Peaceful Pond”
Oil on Board, 8×10,
Jennifer O’Keefe,
Palm Tree, Warm Use of Color, Oil on Board, 7x5, Jennifer O'Keefe, 2008
“Palm Tree”
Oil on Board, 7×5,
Jennifer O’Keefe,
The Hummingbird, Oil on Board, 10x8, Jennifer O'Keefe, 2008
“The Hummingbird”
Oil on Board, 10×8,
Jennifer O’Keefe,
(Study from Time Magazine article)

“The Hummingbird” painting highlights a favorite theme for Jennifer. She has hummingbird decorations all throughout her home and in her garden. They are colorful, delicate and graceful creatures that can mesmerize a person. Her garden occasionally receives one of these visitors looking for nectar.

I hope you enjoyed looking at these paintings and Jennifer O’Keefe’s warm use of color in oils. Also, please check out Jennifer’s award winning photograph Old Fashion Winter”.

2008 Art Exhibit and Fund Raising Event of Danielle O’Keefe

Art Exhibit and Fund Raising Event for National Epidermolysis Bullosa Awareness Week

2008 Art Exhibit and Fund Raising Event - Landmark Gallery and Framing, Wallingford, Connecticut
Landmark Gallery & Framing,
Wallingford, Connecticut

In November, 2008, Danielle O’Keefe approached a Frame Shop named Landmark Gallery and Framing in Wallingford, Connecticut that is owned by Gillian Zimmerman and asked if she could display some of her artwork and a small display in support of National Epidermolysis Bullosa Awareness Week. Happily, Gillian agreed to host the exhibit and display that they called, “2008 Art Exhibit and Fund Raising Event” of Danielle O’Keefe”.

Danielle O’Keefe suffers from a genetic disorder known as Epidermolysis Bullosa. Epidermolysis Bullosa (commonly referred to as EB by sufferers of the disorder) affects the skin and surface areas of the body, which includes the eyes, mouth, teeth and all internal surfaces too. As a result, tears, blisters, bleeding sores and pain are a common part of everyday life for those that suffer with it. Because it is very rare, Danielle has a deep interest in spreading awareness of this disorder and her “2008 Art Exhibit and Fund Raising Event” at Landmark Gallery was her way to get the word out.

2008 Art Exhibit and Fund Raising Event - Danielle O'Keefe and Gillian Zimmerman (Gallery Owner)
Danielle O’Keefe and Gillian Zimmerman (Gallery Owner)

In support of the event, Danielle also had a front page article written about her in a local newspaper. The article provides a touching summary of Danielle’s life struggles with EB, and how her family has rallied around her.

With the exposure from the exhibition and the printed article, Danielle was able to raise donations that she donated to an EB charity. Increasing awareness of EB is important for generating donations and the financial support needed to do research into a cure. Here is a letter, written in Danielle’s own words, that accompanied her artwork at Landmark Gallery.

2008 Art Exhibit and Fund Raising Event - Danielle's personal letter displayed at the exhibition
Danielle’s personal letter displayed at the exhibition.

Art Exhibit of Danielle O’Keefe

2008 Art Exhibit and Fund Raising Event - Artwork, Parrot
11×14, Oil on Board,
Danielle O’Keefe,
Spring 2008 (12 years old)
2008 Art Exhibit and Fund Raising Event - Artwork, Butterfly
4×6, Oil on Board,
Danielle O’Keefe,
Summer 2007 (11 years old)

(Butterflies, with their delicate wings, have come to symbolize the fragility of the skin of EB patients.)

2008 Art Exhibit and Fund Raising Event - Artwork, Landscape
8×12, Acrylic on Paper,
Danielle O’Keefe,
2002 (6 years old)

(During a hospitalization for a skin infection, Danielle created the painting named, “Landscape”.)

Newspaper Articles about Danielle’s Early Life

In addition to the successful exhibition to spread awareness of EB locally, below are two articles about Danielle, her daily struggle with EB, and its effect on her entire family. The first article about Danielle was published in 1998 and the second article was published in 2008. Both articles were written by journalist Jeffery Kurz for ‘The Record Journal’ located in Meriden, Connecticut. The files are large in size and may take a few moments to download. (Articles By: Jeffery Kurz, Photography: Chris Angileri)

Everything is Complicated, The Record Journal, Nov 3, 2008
“Everything is Complicated”
The Record Journal
(Nov 3, 2008)
Danielle's Burden, The Record Journal, Nov 1, 1998
“Danielle’s Burden”
The Record Journal
(Nov 1,1998)

Epidermolysis Bullosa Information

Overall, Danielle’s experience with 2008 National EB Awareness Week was a success. To further promote EB awareness, below are links to organizations that are helping families and the medical community in the search for a cure for Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB).

The Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association of America
The Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association of America
Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation
Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation

Solo Exhibition by The Picture Framer & Gallery (2008)

The Picture Framer & Gallery
The Picture Framer & Gallery,
Cheshire, Connecticut

My first Solo Exhibition by the Picture Framer & Gallery was excellent! In these early days, and with a lot of effort on my part, my renewed love of creating art and entrance into the local art scene was moving fairly quickly.

The Picture Framer & Gallery, View through front door
(See my paintings hanging inside)

Solo Exhibition – Event Literature and Promotional

The Picture Framer Event Poster
Event Brochure
Press release for John O'Keefe Jr's solo exhibition at the Picture Framer & Gallery in Cheshire, Connecticut in September 2008
As printed in the Cheshire Herald on August 28, 2008

Solo Exhibition – Opening Reception (9-6-2008)

We held the reception despite a visit by tropical storm Hanna. Even though the poor weather discouraged most from attending the exhibit reception, we had a good group. Jennifer and I learned later that our local county was under a tornado warning during the event. Still, people came to see the exhibition opening, and I had the opportunity to talk with them about my paintings. We had refreshments and a good conversation. I was delighted with my first solo exhibit.

Solo Exhibition, Opening Reception, Main Gallery, Wall 1
Solo Exhibition, Opening Reception, Main Gallery, Wall 2

I selected eleven works to exhibit at The Picture Framer & Gallery throughout September. One of the more miniature paintings had sold, and another was still on exhibition at the Mystic Art Center. Therefore I had a mix of originals and reproductions displayed. The quality of the reproductions is so good that several visitors commented that they could not tell the difference between the originals and the reproductions.

Solo Exhibition, Opening Reception, Main gallery, Quests 1
Solo Exhibition, Opening Reception, Main Gallery, Guests 2
Solo Exhibition, Opening Reception, Main Gallery, Guests 3
Solo Exehibition, Opening Reception, Main Gallery, Guests 4

Solo Exhibition – People that have helped me!

Below are pictures of me with people who have helped promote my art business.

Opening Reception, Ann Hearn and John O'Keefe Jr.
Ann Hearn owns and operates The Picture Framer & Gallery
Opening Reception, Rob Lyon and John O'Keefe Jr.
Rob Lyon owns and operates Sound Color
Opening Reception, Joan Shackford and John O'Keefe Jr.
Joan Shackford is the current President of the Cheshire Art League

Solo Exhibition – Some Final Thoughts!

Below are pictures of friends and family that have encouraged and supported me. So many people supported me with Solo Exhibition by The Picture Framer & Gallery. Thank you!

Opening Reception, Sue Smith
Sue Smith
Close family friend
Opening Reception, John O'Keefe Jr. and his family
John O’Keefe Sr. (Dad – far left)
Lynn Ambrosini (Mom – left)
Jennifer O’Keefe
 (Wife – right)

Record Journal Article by Jesse Stanley (2008)

In 2008 I was approached by the owner of The Picture Framer & Gallery, Ann Hearn, in Cheshire, Connecticut. Ann wanted to host a solo exhibition for me and my paintings. Of course, I said yes to my first solo exhibition. There was a Record-Journal Article by Jesse Stanley in conjunction with the show.

The Interview – Record Journal Article

Jesse Stanley and I knew each other from previous articles he wrote about my daughter and her lifelong struggles with a debilitating skin condition known as Epidermolysis Bullosa. As he did when writing her pieces, he came to the house with a photographer and interviewed me about my mid-life journey into landscape oil painting. He also printed the dates of my solo exhibition at the Picture Framer & Gallery. The cover story was titled “Painting puts beginner in a zone.” Following is a copy of the 2008 Record Journal Article by Jesse Stanley.

Record Journal Article about Artist John O'Keefe Jr by Jesse Stanley
(Click on the article to open in a new browser window.)

Knowing thousands of people would read this article about me was a strange feeling. As I mentioned earlier, I had been through the process before when Jesse wrote about my daughter’s health struggles. In those instances, the family was trying to build awareness of her condition in our local community, hoping that people would contribute to research and ongoing work to find a cure. However, it was only about me and painting this time, so I was more self-conscious. Jesse did a great job!

52nd Regional Exhibition by Mystic Art Association (2008)

52nd Regional Exhibition by Mystic Art Association
Mystic Museum of Art,
Mystic, Connecticut

The 52nd Regional Exhibit by Mystic Art Association was my third group exhibition. Participating in this exhibit was more costly because it was far from home. Subsequently, each trip to the exhibition hall was a 1-hour 45-minute drive one way, and I had to go three times. In order: the first trip was for drop-off, the second for the reception, and then lastly, the pick-up. Also, it was a family trip each time that included eating out, gas, etc. As a result, it was a time-consuming and costly adventure. However, I needed to connect with the art scene, meet people and make contacts.

Event Literature – 52nd Regional Exhibition by Mystic Art Association

The 52nd Regional event brochure
Event Brochure

Opening Reception (8-14-2008) – 52nd Regional Exhibition

Another excellent opening reception is at the Mystic Art Center on August 14th from 5:30 to 7:00 PM. The gallery was packed, and I was surprised to get into this show after seeing all the beautiful paintings dropped off during the receiving hours. Upon arrival at the opening reception, I was further surprised to see my artwork hanging in the main gallery directly next to the first-place winner. Therefore, I could not have asked for a better-hanging location.

John O'Keefe Jr by his painting 'River Through the Adirondacks'
John O’Keefe Jr and
“River Through the Adirondacks”
52nd Regional Exhibition, Opening Reception, Main Gallery 2
Main Gallery,
“River Through the Adirondacks”
hangs to the right of 1st prize winner!
52nd Regional Exhibition, Opening Reception, Main Gallery 1
Main Gallery

Meeting other Artists – 52nd Regional Exhibition

Later, after the awards ceremony, Jennifer and I had time to mingle with the other artists. Before the evening ended, we met several artists, some of whom you can see in the following pictures.

Opening Reception, Edward Bissel and his wife
Edward Bissel and his wife (left)
Jennifer and John O’Keefe Jr (right)
Opening Reception, Annelie Skoog and David Madacsi
Jennifer and John O’Keefe Jr (left)
Annelie Skoog and David Madacsi (right)
(Showing our artworks that did not
get accepted into the Exhibit.)

Overall I had another excellent experience at the 52 Regional Exhibition by the Mystic Art Association. Even though the journey from my home to the venue is long, I definitely would like to exhibit with them again.

About the Judge – 52nd Regional Exhibition

Susan Swinand publicity photograph
Susan Swinand

Susan Swinand is a visual artist from the Philadelphia area who has been living and working in Shrewsbury, MA, since 1984. She has taught painting at the Worcester Art Museum in central MA for over 20 years and was an adjunct painting and design instructor at Clark University from 1992 to 2004. She also currently teaches painting classes in the greenhouses of Wellesley College.

Susan graduated from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia in 1965. An Emily Sartain fellowship allowed her to travel in Europe and to study in Austria with Italian painter Emilio Vedova. On her return, she attended the Barnes Foundation for two years, where she studied the Philosophy and Appreciation of Art.

She has been active in many art organizations, serving on the boards of Moore College of Art, ArtsWorcester, and the Artists’ Equity Association. Also, she was president of Philadelphia Artists Equity in 1978-80, receiving their Distinguished Service Award in 1981. Additionally, she was the director of the ArtsWorcester Gallery at the Forum Theatre for many years.

Her work has been exhibited in over a hundred juried, invitational, solo, and group shows. 1, 2


  1. Image of Susan Swinand from her website ~ 8-15-08.
  2. Bio information for Susan Swinand from her website ~ 8-15-08.