Thursday, February 14, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Kathy Los-Rathburn

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Kathy's painting "Cool Paintings to Warm the Heart # 12" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Kathy's DPW Gallery Page:

Kathy, a native of Indiana, received her formal art training as a realist in watercolor at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. She holds signature status in the Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois Watercolor Societies and also belongs to many other art organizations. Her love for watercolor and passing on the joy and gratification of the medium to others has gained her teaching experience at the American Academy of Art, Purdue University, and many local art organizations and groups since 1974. She also has been teaching drawing and painting in her studio since 1974. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I don't know when I started to paint, I think I was born with a paintbrush in my hand. Like most kids, I was always doing some kind of art. At sixteen, I remember getting my first "real" set of watercolors. I still have that set. At sixteen I also took an 8-week drawing class with a lady who had classes in her home studio. I knew then that I wanted to do the same when I grew up and I have been doing that for forty-five years.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

I would have to say that once I started to paint that I never stopped and I have enjoyed every creative moment.

"Cool Paintings to Warm the Heart" # 12
(click to view)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Kathy's interview.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I always loved watercolor and sketching. I have been trying some acrylics the last few years and I am enjoying working with them.

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

I do have some really nice large sets of pastels, but I never really got into them. I could never understand how they can get such detail with them. To me they were always messy and I never could figure out how the pastels would stick to the paper.

Streets of Chicago XII - Skating Under the Bean
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?


I recently bought a selection of oil paints. I have never painted in oil but I always admired the work that I saw here on DPW in oil. So I went and bought the oils that mix with water and I hope I can adjust to them. We will see.

Who or what inspires you most?

The person that inspired me most in watercolor is Irving Shapiro AWS who was my instructor at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. Now I am inspired by so many water color artists that I have met on FB and Instagram. I am amazed by so many of them and what they are doing. Watercolor has come such a long way and so have the pigments.

Peonies
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination? That word is not in my vocabulary. I am more the opposite... I am obsessed and I do not know how to stop.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

My time for my art is a bit unusual... I love the night so I work from 10pm 'til about 5am. Sometimes I start even earlier. During these hours everyone is sleeping so no one bothers me and I am not going to go out in the middle of the night. Perfect time to paint.

Beets
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Since I do not like to travel, my subject matter is usually found within an hour of my home. It is amazing how much subject matter that I have in the area where I live. Since I am mostly a landscape painter, I love painting Chicago scenes, Industrial landscapes, the Dunes, and the many farmlands that are near me. My ideas come to me from photo shoots when I venture out to all of my favorite places.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

I don't know why I don't get burned out. I just love what I do so I just want to keep doing it. Wish there were more hours in the day. Sometimes trying new paint, colors, brushes, or paper excites me.  Sometimes I will challenge myself to try new subject matter. I have had many shows and that is definitely a way to keep you fresh and motivated.

Waiting to Hear From You
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

Right now as an artist I am at the point where I paint because it is my passion. If someone likes my work, GREAT. If they don't, that's OK, too! I am not trying to please anyone. I am trying to be true to myself and to please me. I try to make each painting the best that I can and hope that the next one will be better yet. I try to keep growing for self fulfillment.

What makes you happiest about your art?

What makes me happiest... the more I paint, the more I paint!

Thanks, Kathy!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

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