About the Artist

“Painting is an essential part of my life.”

About Kathleen

I have always felt that I was in a place I belonged, when I was in an art room. I grew up with five very athletic brothers, who seemed to excel in many sports. I was not interested in sports or athletically gifted in any way, but give me art supplies and I was in heaven. As an adult my career took many turns and I started out studying Mathematics, since no one could make a living as an artist. (poor advice) I did always manage to fit art classes into each semester in college and eventually switched to an art major. After some struggles trying to find the perfect career, I returned to college to get a Master’s Degree in Education with a concentration in Mathematics. (again, that poor advice for job stability) As the wife of an active duty Marine, I moved frequently and taught Mathematics to elementary and middle school students in many different states. When I received a teaching license in art in Virgnia, I decided to switch to teaching elementary art. It was wonderful! I was able to cut, color and paste and help inspire and encourage future artists. The art room was a joyful place full of color and possibilities. When I retired, I planned on devoting my time to creating my own art, but life decided to throw me a curveball and I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer one year into my retirement. I spent the next year and a half fighting to eliminate this disease from my body. The chemo, surgeries and radiation were rough but with the medical intervention and love and support from my husband and family I am now cancer free. Cancer has a way of taking so much from you and gives you lots of fears, side effects and uncertainties that remain long after treatments have ended. I discovered that staying focused on healing and keeping positive thoughts that everything would be ok was easier in my studio. My paintings began showing the joyful energy that was still within me, although not visible to the outside world. I used to refer to my look as the “aww honey” look. My pallid skin and bald head peeking out of my cancer hats would elicit that response from strangers. So my paintings became the positive, joyful, put a smile on your face, make your heart sing emotion I wanted and needed in my life. At some point I decided I was not going to spend the rest of my life in fear of cancer returning. I was going to live my life being happy, painting and pursuing the career of being an artist. (good advice)

I have learned that…

…Art supplies to me are like being a child in a candy store. I want to try everything! There is an excitement and intense feeling of joy when I choose a medium and begin to explore. I get lost in the process and let my paintings dictate the direction. I’m in it for the ride and the fun of just letting my art evolve based on where I am at the moment. I’m sometimes amazed at how a paintbrush, canvas and paints can have such a profound healing effect on my whole being. Any day in the studio is a good day!