Kathleen Craig wasn’t born to be a painter.  As a child, museums made her yawn, and while she excelled at getting dirty, she showed no talent for turning messes into works of art.  Nevertheless, her family instilled in her an abiding respect for the arts and almost an awe for artists, whom she considered to be magically gifted people from some planet far, far away. 

Born and raised in suburban New Jersey, Kathleen went to college in Ohio, where she majored in English, and afterwards earned her living as an editor, first in New York and later in Baltimore, where she had moved with her graduate student husband. It was then, finally, that she was persuaded to try a drawing class at the Maryland Institute College of Art. 

The teacher armed them with vine charcoal and some big sheets of newsprint.  He set up a simple still life on a table and suggested the time-honored technique of "drawing what you see, not what you know" to reproduce its contours on paper.  Somehow, by the end of the session, Kathleen had managed to divorce herself from her overactive left brain and created a drawing that actually looked like a table.  Class was over but she wanted to keep going all night.

Now that she knew that she was capable of “magic”,  it was Hogwarts time; there was a lot to learn. 

She launched herself into a formidable series of drawing, painting and design classes.  When none were available – as she moved around the country with her family -- she sought out more advanced painters for advice.

She soon learned that even within traditional oil painting there is a dizzying array of techniques and styles to choose from, but she stuck with simple still lifes for the first years of work and learning. 

Now museums, galleries, and art books were her friends.  She began to have opinions.  Her favorite painters were Vermeer, Chardin, and Corot.  Also Rachel Ruysch, a still life painter in the 18th and 19th centuries.  Rusych’s lush paintings and her immensely successful sixty-year career, plus raising ten children, were inspirational for Kathleen.  

Not long after she settled in central Virginia with her family, Kathleen swapped out editing for as much dedication to the practice of painting as she could squeeze in between part time jobs and three children.

Eventually the children grew up and Kathleen could spend all her time in the studio. 
By now, after years of  practicing the "how-to" of painting, she was becoming a little bored with her own work. Her favorites list had expanded to include Giorgio Morandi, Joan Mitchell, Nicolas de Stael, and such contemporary luminaries as Ken Kewley, Moe Brooker, John Walker and Julian Hatton.  

She plunged into the world of abstraction and after some experimentation settled on abstract imagery, in which objects, places and figures are clear enough to have emotional content, but color and composition play predominant roles. 

She believes that nameable elements help the painting with its primary job of communication.  “I want to enjoy my work,  but I also want anybody – with or without experience in the arts – to get it.  I don’t want to make the viewer worry about what they are supposed to be seeing.” 

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