Judy O'Brien was born and raised in the Northeast. She attended Art Career School in New York City, and was initially a commercial artist with an advertising firm and small printing company. She freelanced after her three children were born, and moved on to teach art in a private school for twenty-five years (kindergarten through eighth grade).
Judy and her husband, Bill, moved to South Carolina in 1994, where she continues to produce works of art in watercolor, mixed media, and collage. She is also experimenting with furniture painting. Her work can be found in private and corporate collections throughout the United States.