Blog

I was given a beautiful quote by Laura Elena Donnelly, “The music painted.  It danced.  It inhaled and exhaled and wove a narrative just beyond language”.  That’s how I want to paint!  To that end, there is no better time to be practicing my love of painting than in the summertime.

Lake Superior Lighthouse painting

At Marquette’s Art Week, the last week in June,  and “En Plein Air” festival, I couldn’t resist Marquette’s iconic Harbor Lighthouse as a chosen subject, again.

 

In the photo below,  I have just finished the installation of my Guest Artist Exhibit at the Zero Degrees Gallery, 525 N. Third Street in Marquette, MI.  My work, including the new contemporary series “Searching”, will be featured for the month of July.    Hope to see you there!

Zero Degrees Art Gallery

Kathleen Conover water media artist featured at Zero Degrees Gallery in July 2022

Beautiful Lake Superior is calling…better grab my paint kit and go.  Enjoy this summer day, my friends!  Kathleen

In this lovely early summer month of June, I am working towards being a “Guest Artist” in the wonderful Marquette County art gallery called Zero Degrees Gallery.  If you are in Marquette in July, please visit!  At the Zero Degrees Gallery  you can find the work of local artists and artwork from my new series called “Searching”.   The Gallery is located at 525 N. Third Street in a fun part of town where you can also find a fancy coffee or a great bagel.   On July 7, from 4:00 to 8:00 is the First Thursday Gallery Walk.   I will be there and at the public reception July 9 from 1:00 to 4:00.  Hope to see you there!  Or, let’s make a date and I’ll meet you at the gallery when you come to town!

My Guest Artist invitation has prompted me to get the images of the new “Searching” series to my web manager, Carol, so she can do her magic and get them on the web! You can see them in my July Newsletter!

Creatively yours, Kathleen

Dragonflies, amazing creatures of ability and endurance

My painting by this name is about the many different directions, twists and turns that our lives take including our “Crossing Paths” with people.  Relationships are formed sometimes long term sometimes not.   Sometimes we go separate ways but through our lives twists and turns we cross again with people from the past.  Two recent workshops have given me this wonderful opportunity with art-friends.

The Gibson County Visual Arts Association  (GCVAA)  in Tennessee asked me to join them again for another workshop where I crossed paths with several artist-friends from five years ago.  It was a week filled with excellent art making, southern hospitality and blooming spring flowers.   Many thanks to ever-faithful volunteers, Tuva Stevens and Royce Harris, who were still at the helm and made it all happen!!  Here’s our class picture taken in front of the log cabin at the Tennessee Heritage Museum.

 

More art-paths crossed just days ago when teaching at the Franciscan Life Process Center (a beautiful retreat center) in Lowell, Michigan.  What a great, fun class!  I was fortunate to have repeat students and to have been invited to this 5-star workshop venue several times.   I am on the calendar again for May, 2024!  Join me for this “Color, Composition and Collage Workshop” and let our Art-paths cross soon!    Kathleen

I’m sure glad I have my art!  And hope everyone has a healing, creative outlet to turn to when current news is too heavy.  It’s been a crazier-than-usual world out there since my March Blog, but I’ve had some lovely art events to distract me.

On April 1 the BIG ARTS Museum on Sanibel Island in Florida held a lovely reception for my artwork and the work of two other artists, Cheryl Fausel and Shah Hadjebi.  I was thrilled to sell one of my large works from the “Industrial Evolution” Series and 9 of 12 small (10″ x 10″) abstract paintings.  The exhibit is there until April 23.

 

And then some fun Plein Air painting!  Artist and friend, Michelle and I, took paints and kayaks to the canal by the Matlacha galleries.  Colorful flags in front of us, perfect water reflections beneath us and wild mangroves in back of us made for a perfect experience.  My small painting will always bring back the visceral sights, sounds and inspiration of that day.  I love that about painting on location.  The vivid memory is captured forever.

Sharing wishes and prayers for peace with you all,  my friends.    Kathleen

 

With Covid waning, I’m happy that teaching “in-person” workshops has begun!!  Last week I had the privilege of teaching for a wonderful group of artists from the Southwestern Watercolor Society (SWS) in Dallas, Texas.  This included a generous invitation from the organizer to fly in early and take me to the five major museums in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.  What a wealth of inspiration!  A picture below is from the Nasher Sculpture Center and their new exhibit of the metal sculptures of Harry Bertoia.  It started the perfect week on a perfect note!

Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas

Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas. sculptures that make sound.

The warm and pleasant days in Southern Florida are always an invitation to paint outside Plein Air and to do other fun things like “painting shirts”!  If you want to try it there is a three step process starting with wetting the shirts completely.  Just like watercolor on wet paper.  Use acrylic paints (no special brand).   The colors will blend easily.  As the shirts dried I continued to add colors with a wide brush, loosely and by splattering.  The final step was to iron the shirts.  The heat is necessary to set the acrylic paint.  They can be washed for years with little fading.   As your weather warms I hope you will give it a try!

March in Florida, painting shirts

Painting shirts outside in my Florida yard!

And last but not least, I am very happy and excited to report that I received an award at the Annual International Watercolor Exhibition of the Watercolor Society of Houston.  The award was for my painting “Breaking Through” which was featured in last month’s Blog.  March has been a wonderful month so far and still half of it left to go!   Happy painting to you all!

Creatively yours, Kathleen

February in Florida I continue the resolution to “paint more”!  My recent focus is working on frozen-crystal textures and the beauty of winter.  As a result, there are two new paintings I can share with you.  Both started with a vibrant warm green.   If you enlarge the image you can better see the delicate frosty texture I love so much.  It is slow and careful work to keep the frosty crystals from being damaged.  Adding or removing paint can “kill” the crystals.   Below are two of these new paintings!

Breaking Through

“Breaking Through”

I am thrilled to report that this painting, “Breaking Through” has been accepted into the International Watercolor Exhibition (IWE),  in Houston, TX.  This 22″ x 30″ painting is one of my totally non-objective watercolors that I so enjoy working with.

 

Frost Warning

“Frost Warning”

“Frost Warning” is 22″ x 30″ and has been entered into the International Society of Experimental Artists (ISEA).  My fingers are crossed for another acceptance.

 

Both of these paintings will be on my website and available for purchase when they return from exhibition.  I do not plan to make any reproductions.  If interested, you can put in a request for “first right of refusal”.  Until then my friends,  share the vision to see winter’s beauty and ….. keep warm!   Kathleen

Counting my blessings is hard to do in the midst of loss.  My Star mentor, gallery business partner and dear friend, Maggie Linn, artist extraordinaire died December 10.  Visiting with Maggie a week before was heart breaking.  It was hard to understand her words between sobs.  She was trying to say “I have to say Goodbye to the Earth”.

Always nature inspired and nurtured, she was one with the earth.  Maggie’s gorgeous paintings celebrated our earth in its most natural and beautiful colors, seasons and moods.  It’s almost impossible to say goodbye to this amazing and significant person, but at 94 years of age I have to “let her go” and remember the incredible blessing she was in my life, other artists’ lives and to our art world.

Wishing you all many Blessings this special season, Kathleen

As an artist I can find creative inspiration in most things but I didn’t expect it during my recent total knee replacement and recovery.   Yet in this month of confinement with quiet hours, grueling exercise and lots of self reflection came a heightened awareness of …. beautiful little things.  Like sun filtering into my room through blinds and sheer curtains and highlighting the textures of my basket collection.  Or, the abstracted shapes of shadows on the house across the street.  These “little things” are showing up in my small watercolor book that I use each day.  What an unexpected joy!   Sharing a couple of these 8 x 8 sketches with you.  In appreciation, Kathleen

 

I’m enjoying the ferry ride back from Madeline Island after a wonderful week of teaching.  This Wisconsin island is part of the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior.  It’s a wonderful destination to escape into the world of art!  The Madeline Island School of Art (MISA) has two other locations, Tucson and Santa Fe.  Maybe one day I’ll see you there.

This was my last workshop for the year and with COVID/Delta still looming I won’t be teaching until next March (vaxed and masked).  Until then enjoy your personal creative activities, visit a museum or enjoy the many art videos online.    For me, its’ time to paint.  There are a few big competition deadlines coming up fast.

Keep masked and stay well.  Kathleen

 

 

We can love Art, have a true passion for painting, feel our Muse stirring….and still not quite get in the studio to put the brush to the paper.  What’s that about?!  For one thing, it’s summer, and we want to enjoy it.  With isolation lifting a bit I get to see some family and dear friends (like Carol, who also is my web manager).  Then there is my garden and flowers and a few workshops.  It all nourishes my soul and everyone needs that.

But, nothing gets accomplished if we don’t keep at it!  The discipline of committing to daily Art is very important.  For me, my latest joy is just hanging out with my watercolor sketchbook (140# watercolor paper).  I outline an 8×8” square and do something.  Anything!  I can capture an idea, paint my favorite poppy that just bloomed, do a fine drawing or explore new techniques and materials.  Find your joy!  Kathleen

(I’m not a slave to painting but I sure do something for my art-growth everyday:  reading, visiting an exhibition, watching a video, or photograph new ideas with new perspectives.)