Tuesday, June 2, 2009
With a focus on Pacific Rim subjects, Kathleen Alexander constantly challenges herself to take on new subjects and create artistically inspiring series of paintings. Beginning with local California coastal landscapes, she moved on to botanical orchids and then to tropical flowers -- particularly of Hawaii -- following travel to the islands. From there, she expanded her field to include various tropical plants with intriguing foliage and then pushed the boundaries further with waterlilies, koi, and Japanese persimmons. She chooses subjects that trigger an emotional response for her and aims for finished paintings that evoke peace and tranquility. Kathleen says, "For me, technical skills are important, but having a subject you are passionate about is equally important for creating art. I found that my technical skills improved as I explored painting similar subjects. Working consistently with the same color palette also improved my technical skills, as I learned how certain colors behaved with each other and on the paper." Primarily a studio painter, she uses her camera and computer as tools in creating her striking compositions, preferring subjects with strong contrasts and rich shadows.
Although she began painting in watercolor in 1982, Kathleen earned a degree in biochemistry and worked in that field before starting her family. In 1991, she felt the need for a focussed creative outlet and began taking evening classes in watercolor at a local community college. She was awarded a one-year scholarship to the Academy of Art College in San Francisco after entering a painting in the local County Fair; she studied life drawing and graphic design at AAC in 2000-2001 while continuing to paint in her own studio. She currently participates in regional art festivals during the summer and teaches ongoing classes as well as three-day workshops in watercolor. Her work has won awards in numerous juried watercolor competitions around the country -- the Northwest Watercolor Society, the Watercolor Art Society - Houston, the Lousiana Watercolor Society, and Watercolor West -- and she recently won Third Place in the juried Statewide Watercolor Exhibition at the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara, CA. Kathleen is a signature member of the Northwest Watercolor Society.
Please visit Kathleen's website to see more of her work and get details of her show schedule and classes.