Sunday, September 24, 2006

"Testing the Climate"
36x48 oil on canvas

I reach for truth, for understanding, I am testing my way and "Testing the Climate". Legends of mermaids inside of me, I bow my head and meditate on oceans that meet exotic lands as the wetness of a pond touches my toes. I am awakened by magical moons and mystical creatures that measure my journey towards female fantasy art, how far I had come and how far I could go was up to me. Did I need to paint a tail to swim to paint beautiful mermaid art?

"Your flight my art fairy, is up to you", breathed the Wind. "The moon is right, you need only to find your wings or tail 'in heart' to understand the mermaid legends you seek to glean from their valuable truths".

I love masks, secrets and hidden treasures. I keep them well cared for in my secret garden and pond. Sweet fairy in art, inner child in me, with a tear in my eye I pause. Reaching out for my brushes and paints I find everything is full of potential. The fairies in art, mermaids in me, in you, gather together in spirit. Close your eyes and touch your toes into a pond of possibilities and listen for messages that only a fairy or mermaid can tell you.

The greatest gift of any "Beginning" is that it holds the opportunity of learning. Everyone has a starting point, EVERYONE! So in the "Beginning" learning may hold some frustrations because it is about problem solving. Problems may not be considered problems if they bring us to the point of experiencing the present moment. 'Now', which is experiencing life as it is in the very second we live, is the greatest gift of all. While "Testing the Climate" I am testing my will. Does mermaid art need an ocean and a mermaid a tail to capture their story? As I so lovingly collect the objects of learning and accept lace and whispers from the women I paint I become transfixed on my goal of smelling the fragrance offered at the very second it is available. I learn from legends of mermaids and accept that everything I need to fly or swim is there inside of me right here right now.

Monday, September 18, 2006

"Beginning" 24x48 oil,lace and jewelry on canvas

"Fantasy Art of Exotic Women"


"In Search Of Klimt"Series

"I search for Klimt!" the artist in me spoke spoke boldly .

"Ahhh, then we must start at the Beginning!" said the Wind.

Pulling out oils, my canvas, poems and stories from an old wooden case, turquoise, silver leaf and jewels thrust past the lid and met the open sky.

The Wind confirmed my journey, "Your fantasy begins now, paint freely beautiful women goddess art "

And so I did.

"Beginning" is the first oil painting I did in my quest for the passions of Gustav Klimt. I wanted my fantasy art of exotic women to be full of energy and determination. Searching out the exotic meant distant foreign lands, birds not normally encountered, perhaps I would come across a magic swan? To search for Klimt meant to know emotion well and not to be afraid of what those emotions might tell me thus far unknown to science. I start my fantasy art woman paintings with music, usually Enigma; Dead Can Dance or something from Loreena McKennitt. Then I open my heart and the fantasy art woman inside of me begins. It feels like a daydream, a magical adventure. It is a dance and I become covered with all the colors seen in my oil paintings and on my palette. My imagining becomes so real that sometimes I can hear them breathing. It isn't the realism of the brushstroke on watercolor paper or canvas that I capture in this series, ahh no. It is something less tangible than a rendering. Have you ever met an accomplishment you thought you couldn't? Then stand back and wonder where the energy came from and like lace and whispers you say, "Did I do that, did this come from me alone?" Sometimes feeling startled by the women and their presence, something imported from another time in space captures me. I pause from the dance, focus my eyes and I see life. I breath in the art of the exotic women I paint. It is all a dance waiting to surface.

Soon to be on it's own website and available in greeting cards, posters, prints on fine watercolor paper and giclee fine art prints.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

"They're Friends You Know"
24x48 oil, gold leaf on canvas

"Don't Be Intimidated At Art Openings, Bring CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES and Wear a Big Smile RECIPE Incl."

Joining an art group can be intimidating.....

I used to attend art openings, walk in, see my art on the walls and then walk out. I barely took time to see the other faces attending much less say hello and introduce myself, I was that shy. One day I read in the newspaper that one of the local art clubs was hosting an art marketing workshop and it was free... no excuses not to go. The morning of the workshop I read from "The Four Agreements Companion" by Miguel Ruiz. If you have not read "The Four Agreements", wow, pick it up at your local book store, it is fantastic and could be life changing for you. I came across a section that for the most part could be considered common sense, but for me at that moment resonated. The chapter spoke about the fact that our personalities are formed by 'others' when we are young and we often accept the role given to us and respond to life according to that definition. The words resonated because I realized that the people at the art marketing workshop had no idea who we I was or what defined me. I could be an axe murderer or an ex beauty queen for all they knew. So why, why let myself be pined down with the personality and limitations accepted since childhood? WHY? The obvious answer is NO reason. You know how some things for some reason just hits you and you relate so much that it becomes you? That is what happened that morning before the art marketing workshop. I decided that not only would I go to the art marketing workshop but that I would be amazingly friendly. I would introduce myself to at least ten people and I would open my mouth and figure out at least two questions to ask.. I DID! and the confidence I gained from that experience was phenomenal. I allowed myself to shine. I then found out when the next board meeting was for that art club and the other one in town that up to that point had intimidated me. When I went to the board meetings, keeping in mind that no one knew me and had no idea of my insecurities, I volunteered for just about everything. There is nothing like working together that encourages a friendship more. I also brought my 'now famous' "Kathy's Chocolate Chip Cookies" to every opening. I displayed them beautifully, after all this was an 'art' opening. People began to know me for my constant smile and friendliness and my cookies. After time I actually became President of one club and served on the board of the other. Who I am is now less defined by who my parents or sisters or old high school memories did. I am now more who I decide to be. So! Don't be intimidated! Go to the next art opening or art club or whatever else intimidates you and be who you know deep down you really are.

Here is my cookie recipe for a little extra confidence:

Kathy's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cream together: 1 cup 'real' butter (not margarine!), 1 1/2 cup sugar, 1 1/2 Tbl. black strap molasses, 1 tsp. salt

add and blend two eggs

don't overdo this part or your cookies will turn out weird.

sift together then fold into sugar mixture:

2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tsp. baking soda

add and mix to above mixture:

1 cup coconut, 3/4 cup old fashioned oatmeal, 2 full cups chocolate chips

Bake at 325 degrees for about 12 minutes. Use only an old junkie cookie sheet... not one of the new ones, they tend to make these cookies cake. Take the cookies out 'just a hair BEFORE they are done'. Let them finish up after they come out of the oven.

That's it! So wear a big smile, introduce yourself and tell them who made the cookies!


Saturday, September 02, 2006

This is a journey of sorts from one frame of mind to another and the colors and moods that guided me. I describe three paintings and their process.

"Anticipation" (image above) 36x24 oil on canvas, dated, Sept. 1998 part of my "Passion Series" *
was actually a breakthrough piece for me. I had been
painting my "Victorian Series" for months, spending hours on
modulating the colors. I paint a lot from photos. My goal with the
"Victorian Series" was to put in as many colors in the skin tone as I
could. Looking at a photo or life long enough a lot of colors begin
to show themselves that normally go unnoticed. Modulating many
colors I became frustrated and board after finishing 10 or so of
them. I had a canvas that I had painted a dark blue and decided that
maybe it would be ok to just play.....and not modulate at all. I
found a picture that I liked, studied the colors, filled my brush a
fresh for each stroke and applied them to my canvas. I have not
modulated since. I continued painting with this color palette naming
the series "The Passion Series". I still tried to fit every color in
the rainbow on my palette as I do to this day adding small nuances
wherever I can. I would add here too that the series before "The
Passion Series" was "Hawaiian Legacy" which is predominantly done in
sepia, tones.

Another example of moving forward is "Girl On Phthalo Green" 36x48 oil on canvas, dated Oct. 2000 and part of my "Cosmopolitan Series" *
I became tired of the palette of blues and fell in love with phthalo
green for a time. I guess I still love it. This painting was
greatly influenced by Modgliani. When I was in high school, many
years ago, my mother asked me to copy a Modigliani for her house. I
painted a 60x72 piece for her in corals. I never forgot that
painting nor Modigliani. When I feel truly inspired paintings are
done quickly and the brushstrokes are done wildly. I am in heaven
during these times. I painted this in perhaps 3 hours over another
painting I did not like.

"The Power Within Me" 48x36 oil and gold liner on canvas dated
August 2002 is part of my "African Series" *
This painting is part of my "African Series". I used phthalo green
along with my beloved full palette in this series. I painted this
quickly as well. It almost feels like a fever, it just flows. I
attribute that to doing my homework so to speak. All those years of
modulating and painting in sepia tones, my constant drawing in
graphite gives me a base of understanding. I put down colors as I
feel them, almost in a dance and it is most certainly trance like. I
use a lot of paint and use big brushes. I work from darks to light.
I save the lights and small brushes until I am pretty sure that I am
happy with the painting in general. It is always tempting to use
small brushes and add some highlight but I remind myself that that
would probably ruin the painting and make it appear tedious.
Sometimes they don't work, but I just think, "So What!" I can always
paint over it, that is the gift of doing oils. I think sometimes
there is more freedom in oils than there is in drawing and most
certainly watercolors. Painting on large canvas' is also very free.
When I paint small I become locked up and back to where I started
when I modulated colors. When we draw on paper we try to tell
ourselves that it is 'just paper' to try to set ourselves free from
worry about the end results, but oils make a better friend to me.

In all of my paintings emotion plays the strongest part. This is
the part that takes the longest. If anything must be right it is the
emotion felt by the image, so that they can breath. Sometimes I
cannot get that part and it is so frustrating to me that I cannot
sleep at night. It becomes the only thing I think about. I choose
to paint mostly women because I am one and because I think they are

* Where to find the images of the paintings listed on my website:

"Passion Series" posted on my website #1
"Cosmopolitan Series" posted on my website #1
"African Series" posted on my website #4