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Aloha, I'm Kathleen.

Though I was raised in Atlanta, I spent summers with my grandparents in central Florida, wandering the banks of the Withlacoochee River. Being a child of both city and swamp in the 1970s deep south, summers immersed me in the rhythm of sun-drenched days chasing dragonflies and watching the goings on of the natural world, with winding white clay roads, huge oaks dripping Spanish moss and cypress “knees” at the river’s edge. Spending a lot of time alone, I would draw to study what I loved. 

I began painting full time when I moved to Wisconsin in the 1990s. Largely self-taught, I devoured every book I could find on the life’s work of artists from the Barbizon School to Impressionism, Fauvism, Post Impressionism and the Nabis, and explored traditional subjects—still life, figure, and landscape—focusing mostly on colorful, expressive strokes. My medium, acrylic paint, perfect for spontaneity and exuberance. 

I exhibited in art festivals and shows, including solo exhibits by invitation, and held gallery affiliations in Wisconsin, Illinois, and South Carolina. 

During those early years, I met Martha Hayden, who studied under Expressionist painter Oskar Kokoschka in Austria after graduating from the Art Institute in Chicago in the 1960s. Her mentorship and friendship at that liminal time had a profound influence on me. 

In the 2000s, while raising my son, I shifted my work to economic and community development, with a focus on historic preservation and the arts. I managed a historic downtown district in southern Wisconsin for close to a decade. With less time and space for painting, I took up a camera instead and started exploring photography with film—later digital, and my work was featured in solo and partnered shows. 

With children grown, I now live on the northern shore of Maui and have returned to painting—as time and space now allow. 

My focus has shifted from exuberance of earlier paintings to the whimsical and more detailed or thoughtful study of “faces” combined with impressionism or abstraction. Currently, I’m working on a large format series of paintings combining the whimsical with Hawaiian life. 

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