I strolled into the Cape Fear Studios in Fayetteville on Fourth Friday and immediately noticed one of Kitty’s paintings, and another, and then another. What was missing was the artist herself. The studio is in an old brick building, which provides a beautiful canvas to display the paintings from all the featured artists.
Dressed in black with a shiny new ‘do, I walked right past Kitty and her friend Laura, whose cat “Blue Eyes” and dog “Willie” were the inspiration for two paintings on display.
Tall windows let in the last of the day’s light, while bright florescent bulbs shone overhead. Many people were gathered, sipping wine and mulling over the brightly colored paintings on the wall.
Kitty’s paintings are vivid and sometimes whimsical. Recently she was selected to have her paintings displayed at a local art gallery, the Cape Fear Studios.
The opening reception for the “Dogs, Cats, & Ewe” exhibit was on Friday, 24 March 2017 at the studio. It was a beautiful evening for 4th Friday downtown and the exhibit was filled with animal artwork from various local artists, including Kitty.
I met Kitty some years ago through her husband, which I worked with at my last job. One day while in his office discussing some recycling issue I noticed the most moo-tacular cow on his wall. That was how I first discovered Kitty was an artist. I promptly stole that photo of a painting of a caramel colored cow with the requisite cow bell (I love cows) from him. Not to worry: Sid knew I was stealing the photo. I’m an honest thief (I told him what I was doing as I was removing it from his office).
That cow photo/painting went right to my cubby wall where I looked at it every day. I started following Kitty’s Paws Portraits long before I met her. Over the years she’s painted pet portraits for people and has gradually expanded to other animals and people.
When she posted her good news about the exhibit, of course I had to go and support! Besides, I was purchasing a bunny painting as a gift for a friend and couldn’t wait to see it in person.
Kitty began her artistic journey about 15 years ago after her children left the nest and she had the time and the room to pursue something she admired for so long. Before painting, Kitty framed art at a frame shop so she was exposed to a variety of art over the years. When it was her turn, she decided that watercolor was the medium she liked the most. Was it the transparency? Or perhaps the flow of color? Kitty isn’t sure, but what she is sure about is that painting is a creative outlet that makes her happy.
Her artwork was featured in various shows over the years, but the Cape Fear Studios display is her first show featuring only a couple artists.
What does she love to paint most? People, pets, fish and flowers give her the most pleasure when painting.
According to Kitty, painting is like a good book: it takes you away mentally and allows your imagination to flow.
As with most artists, being critical of yourself is part of the territory, and Kitty struggles with that even today. Her advice? Don’t be too critical of yourself. Enjoy the experience and creativity and practice patience.
Her best advice? No two art teachers are the same and have different opinions and methods for what they consider the “right way” to paint watercolors. As with many things in life, Kitty says “art is like music – different strokes for different folks.”
The lesson here for all the potential artists out there? If you are looking to start painting do what you think is right and what makes you happy. The rest will fall in place. You may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but does that really matter?
If you are interested in having Kitty paint something for you please check out Kitty’s Paws Portraits, or email her at Kittyswatercolors@gmail.com.