Katherine Thomas

The current theme is Artists Who Blog- Favorites of 2013.  Chosen artists have sent in one or two of their favorite paintings from 2013, along with some words about the creation of the work, or about general new directions and goals. There will be a fresh post each day for twenty five days, so check back often. 

Today we'll look at the work of Ohio artist Katherine Thomas. Her graphite, pen & ink and colored pencil drawings are wonderfully rich in both texture and design, and deeply personal in meaning. Her work often has strong metaphorical content that can cause quite a pull on our own emotions. 

Here are two of Katherine Thomas's favorite pieces from 2013:  

Chosen Paths graphite 14" x 11" 2013
I had a photo that my brother took in India, of some women in the marketplace, and I was inspired by the clothing they wore. I was trying to decide how I might draw them, but I couldn't come up with an idea. I was driving home from my Zumba class on a rainy misty evening, and turned onto a small twisty road through the woods by accident. I wasn't sure where the road was going to come out, and it was so dark, I felt a little bit lost, but also a little bit daring and free. The trees were hanging over the road and I couldn't see around the bend ahead of me... and suddenly I realized that it was a metaphor of my whole life, right there on that road. So I came home and turned that into a drawing, using the women's clothing from India that I liked, but putting my own face on it. 
I've had so many comments on that drawing since then. Everybody who looks at it sees a different story. That's what makes art fun, when people interpret my work in their own way, and it means something special to them. 

Souvenirs colored pencil 24" x 18" 2013
This is a favorite because it represents a milestone for me. I used a photo of an abandoned house in downtown Cincinnati. But I removed it from its surroundings, and added a few items in the windows. This piece evolved differently from most of my colored pencil pieces, because I didn't have a rough draft planned out beyond what I wanted the house to look like. I wanted to show that it was beautiful even though it had grown old and been neglected. I also needed to show that every place and every being can be useful in some way. The nest in the window is there for the bird to come home to. 
I didn't think people would like this drawing, and I was embarrassed to enter it in the local colored pencil show, alongside all the other artists' very realistic, traditional artwork. But to my surprise, I was awarded an honorable mention for it! My first award at an art show! So now it's my favorite piece, because it reminds me that I have to follow my own inner voice, and not try to make art like everybody else, and I can let my imagination take me where it will, and the resulting art will come out better than if I had contrived every little detail beforehand. 
You can see more of Katherine Thomas's work at her blog and her website, and also be sure to visit her Etsy shop

1 comment:

  1. The color relationship in Katherine's Souvenirs drawing between the tree trunks and the brick front of the building works beautifully.


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