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This is a lovely quote by Louise Bourgeois and its sentiment goes to the heart of an article I wrote, Design by Disaster.  It was sent out on ArtistsNetwork.com, the online art magazine (free).  The editors at Golden Peak Media think they will publish it in Watercolor Artist Magazine next summer.  That would be very nice, too.  I hope you enjoy the article from the link below, Kathleen

https://www.artistsnetwork.com/art-mediums/design-by-disaster/

I’m sending my wishes to each of you for a bright and beautiful end of year celebrations and a healthy, happy new year!   I’m hoping for the same plus I’m feeling very long on gratitude this season after Hurricane Ian.

Although our losses were significant, my studio being demolished was the worst for me.  But so many families lost everything.  I can assure you the “Christmas/Good Samaritan” spirit is very much alive and well.  Neighbors helped neighbors, capable people helped the less able and volunteers were there to completely take care of those in need.  Free meals were provided by World Central Kitchen (great place for making donations).    Water, tarps, laundry and shower facilities and materials for building were provided by FEMA.  So much more than I can mention was freely given and lovingly provided.  My heart is full!

Now back home to my solid base in Michigan, I will enjoy the holidays with my family.  May your heart and new year be filled with the Spirit of this Special Season.  Kathleen

Greetings to you all!  This months blog is coming to you from Kathleen’s long time friend, webmaster and biggest fan Carol Fitzgerald.  Hurricane Ian devastated Pine Island Florida where Kathleen has her winter painting studio.  She and Dennis are there now working hard to restore her place while dealing with no water and little or no amenities.   Still she is feeling thankful as many others have lost so much more.  She sends her warmest regards to you all for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

As you know holidays are just around the corner and I would like to encourage you to take a look through Kathleen’s website http://www.kathleenconover.com. Explore her different art galleries and the many artistic styles of paintings she offers, including her newest gallery “Hot off the Easel”.   You can also read about Kathleen’s techniques and awards, how she got started and see a couple of teaching videos.   Those interested in taking a class can see her upcoming classes in various locations across the US.   If you would like to make a holiday purchase, you can do so online.

Blessings to all and enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday,  Carol

This is a difficult month to write my blog because of the emotional yo-yo overload!  The eye of Hurricane Ian, the worst hurricane to ever hit Florida, went through my winter studio like a giant dough mixer, just like it did to the surrounding barrier islands in southwest Florida.  Still, I feel incredibly fortunate.  The last count of people who have died is 136, yet my extended Florida “tribe” is all safe.  We can repair and rebuild but so many, including my brother, must scrape their lots of the debris that had been their homes.   Here is a snapshot of what used to be my Studio….(…very blurry due to scarce internet service)…but it says so much.

The “up swing” of my yo-yo month was a great trip planned by my daughter for a hot air balloon ride from a barge in the middle of Lake Tahoe.  It was perfect in every way!  Of course, we took a hundred pictures.  But, where will my inspiration land from all this?  Plenty to be inspired by, but I might be too occupied in the land clean-up to get much painting done.  Time will tell.  Stay safe and hug your loved ones.   Kathleen

 

This is day one of my September  “hometown” workshop.  It is a new “kind of class” for me to teach and not a better group of artists to join me than my friends here in Marquette.  I believe through experimentation we become better artists:  we push boundaries, see the unexpected, make more courageous designs and learn to trust our own intuitive sense of aesthetics.    It’s a class I’ve wanted to teach for a long time.

Look closely at the “silly brushes” we made first thing, for use in making unique marks.  On tissue at first, then we’ll collage them onto watercolor paper, with or without color, and develop our paintings from there.

For an inspiring video on making these brushes watch the originator in her home in Australia “Brush maker from Vanessa Milton”.

Kathleen

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