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As some of you might remember, I requested last year that readers send in photos of flowers, sunsets, landscapes or anything else beautiful that my wife Kathy could use as a subject to paint.  I thank everyone who did send photos because we received over 300 of them and they were much appreciated.

Last year she had just started painting with pastels and had an entry which was accepted and “hung” in the Austin Pastel Society’s 2013 juried competition.  This was quite an honor as she had never painted before, never even liked art classes as a kid and had only been painting for 3 months.  She has been a thrill to watch progress and yes, I am her biggest fan.

She quickly outgrew “landscapes” and has turned toward portraits.  Her first portrait was of “yours truly” and has done birds, farm animals (not Prinicipe’ yet though), several domestic animals and her last was of 2 boys with their dogs while paddling a canoe which pretty much covered it all from water to animals to faces and bodies.  She is a “realist” and as you will see below, she paints “real and in 3D.”  The tougher the subject it seems the hungrier she is to paint it.

I relate this to you because she entered a painting of our “road dog” named Ari in this year’s competition.  She painted it last April; this was only her 24th painting and had only 7 months of pretty much self-taught experience.  Kathy was informed this past Saturday that she has won a “best in show” prize which means one of the top 4 out of over 100 entered, many by professionals!  We don’t know and will not know until the day of the show whether she won outright or is one of the 3 runner ups though we do know that it was chosen as the best in the animal/wildlife category.

If I sound overly “proud”…you bet I am!  Kathy has now only painted 45 pictures (I know this because thinking ahead I suggested that she number them) and a couple was “commissioned” by people who had only seen her earliest work.  The totally amazing thing is that she has only thrown 1 painting away in progress.  Anyone who has painted before knows that this is almost impossibility.  She had a truly great week last week as she also found out that a very well-known and internationally acclaimed portraitist has accepted her as a student. To this point she has had to “re-invent the wheel” with each new picture because everything she approached was new to her.  I can only imagine how far she will be a year from now with the guidance of someone with the same style and the critical know how of a master artist.

Below are 3 of her paintings, we hope you enjoy them.  The road dog “My Adorable Ari” is a “winner,” we have our fingers crossed that she (Ari) is not just a runner up but “Best in Show!”

2013-4-9 Kathryn's Pastel #24 My Adorable Ari

2014-01-16 Kathryn's Pastel #38 Team Effort

2014-2-16 Kathryn's Pastel #41 Love's Token