Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Holiday's Here and Time for Reflection

Now that the Holidays are almost here, it seems like a good time to reflect on this past year and to show you the paintings I've completed since October.  After a wonderful year full of travel and plein air painting in New Harmony, IN, Winter Park, CO, at the Dunes of Lake Michigan, by Lake Wawasee in mid-north IN, and at the Brookville home of T.C.Steele.  Now I find the cozy fire in my studio wood stove a delight and am enjoying settling down to dig into some larger paintings.  This is the first one larger than 11"x 14" which was completed this week. 

"River Bend"  16"x 20", Oil on linen canvas, $950

As a warm up for studio work, I painted another interpretation of my neighbor's apple tree for which I used a photo reference from last summer.  

"Apple Tree IV"  14" x 11", Oil in linen canvas panel,  $650

Thinking backwards, before I got back into my studio for the winter, my husband, Howie, and I had a great time at the IPAPA Brookville, IN Paint-Out in southwestern Indiana.  Of course Howie had his guitar and banjo with him.  Two of the famous artists in the Indiana Hoosier Group, T.C.Steele and Otis Adams shared a large home in Brookville with their families, dividing the house in half with a large studio for each painter at the far ends. It's now a bed and breakfast with many of the original artifacts and furniture so we love to stay there.  This year the weather was cold and rainy which could have been a bummer, but after painting outside the first chilly day, all the artists staying in the house painted in Otis Adams big studio the second day for a very fun time.  It felt like we were back in 1910.
(You can't find me because I'm taking the photo)
 The third day, I painted with some friends in Metamora, a beautiful, historic village with a canal going straight through the middle of it, an important transportation route with locks and all.  This is a Quaker Church in a line with many other buildings that front on the canal. 

"Along the Canal in Metamora"  11" x 14", Oil on canvas panel, $550

After returning from Brookville, I did get into my studio to paint two works from photo references taken this past summer.  One is of lilies in my garden with the intense shadow from Arborvitaes behind them.

 "Garden Lilies"  11" x 14", Oil on canvas panel,  $650

The other painting is from an encounter with a fisherman when I was out taking photos of landscapes.  He walked by with his days catch in a bucket.  I asked if he would hold the fish up for me.

"Catch on a Muddy Creek"  14" x 11", Oil on canvas panel, $650

I hope this isn't stimulus overload.  I haven't been keeping the blogs up with my rate of painting.  Correcting that sounds like a good New Year's Resolution.  Thank you for all your comments sent this past year, and if you have anything to say about all this, please do.  I appreciate it all and trust that you'll have a happy holiday. If you'd like to see more paintings, my we site is Until next year, thank you for viewing my art.  

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Windy Dunes on the Inland Ocean

"Windy Dunes" 9" x 12", oil on canvas board, $350

In Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, we say we have an inland ocean because the expanse of the waters of the Great Lakes is so vast.  Having lived on the coast of California, I can attest to the similarity of the two.  Indiana just gets the tip of Lake Michigan, but we love and appreciate every bit of it. One of the most beautiful and compelling aspects of the lake is the mountains of dunes.  In early September, I spent three days painting plein air there with two friends and staying at another friends beach house in Beverly Shores, IN.  The first painting above was painted the first afternoon as the sun was beginning to set.  I just fell in love with the color of the sand as the setting sun was reflected on it.

"West Beach Dunes", 9" x 12", oil on canvas board, $350

The next day, the wind picked up even more and a small storm was beginning to blow in from the lake/ocean.  We found protection behind these dunes with the water some ways off on the other side. 

"Dunes in the Shade", 9"x 12", oil on canvas board,$350

The storm blew through that night, and the next day it was hot and beautiful.  Standing in the shade of the trees along the shore, the breeze was so delightful I wanted to stay another day or two, but we had to get home.  It's been fun to schlep my painting gear to Colorado and the National Lake Shore of Indiana.  The fall is always beautiful in Indiana so I'm looking forward to painting nature's colorful pallet in the hills of southern Indiana in Brookville next.  

Thank you so much for your e-mails.  It's great to hear from you.  If you'd like to see all my paintings, just go to my web site  and feel free to forward this to anyone you think might like to see it.  Thank you for viewing my art.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Painting near the Continental Divide in Colorado

"Headwaters of the Colorado",  plein air 9" x 12", oil on canvas panel, $350

September 5th, a friend and I flew to Winter Park, Colorado to paint the inspiring mountain landscapes there and in the Rocky Mountain National Park.  I hadn't seen the Rocky Mountains in many, many years.  We had planned  four days of painting, hopefully two plein air paintings per day.  We might have met that challenge except for the great time spent with two painter friends on two of those marvelous days.  Even with spending many hours driving through such beautiful country, I did manage to paint six plein air studies.   Being an Indiana sea-level, prairie, farm, and woodland person, I was constantly saying "Wow!! look at that!!", the color of the mountains, cliffs, sky, sunset, aspens, pine forests, and streams.  It was so exciting!

It's a very fun challenge to paint an unfamiliar landscape.  Every time a new white canvas panel was placed on my little plein air easel, I was curious to see what might appear on it.   Here are the results:

"Colorado Lake View", plein air 6"x 8", oil on canvas panel, $100

"Aspen Hills", plein air 9" x 12", oil on canvas panel, $350

"Byers Canyon", plein air 12" x 9", oil on canvas panel, $350

"Willow Creek Valley", plein air 9" x 12", oil on canvas panel,  $350

You may have noticed that I said I painted six panels, but I only have five here.  Actually, I must confess that the one of the rocky stream you see me standing beside was a "scaper", as painters say, just not worth finishing.  So there you have it....what a grand time one can have out in the landscape, in the fresh air and warm sun!   Now I'm eager to go off again to a new place and find out what will appear on my canvas. 

I hope you've enjoyed these images and my ramblings.  If you have friends who might like to see them, please forward them on.  If you would like to see more, just go to  And remember that I always like to receive your e-mails.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Fountain Park Chautauqua

The Hotel at Fountain Park Chautauqua

For the past two weeks I've been teaching painting at the Fountain Park Chautauqua in Remington, Indiana, and it truly was like stepping back in time.  It was founded in 1895 and has had families come for camaraderie and learning continuously since then, even during the depression and the wars.  There are only two others still in existence, the original in Chautauqua, NY being one of them, and Lakeside, OH the other.   Unlike the original one in New York which is very huge with internationally known speakers and a constantly changing audience, Fountain Park is almost exactly like it was 100 years ago but without the horses and buggies, and with indoor plumbing and electricity, but no air conditioning or TV. (The original Chautauqua in NY was founded by the Methodist Church to teach Sunday School teachers.)  Around the hotel, there is a huge circle of cabins which were built and owned by each family. 

So the people at Fountain Park were born into families who owned a cabin, grew up there during the summer, sometimes met their spouses there, and raised their children.  Today it's a "no growth" community.   Because there's no more land on which to build cabins, many people have built up, creating a second story for the grand children and others.  However, there is enough land for some campers and tents.   Here is a link to its history:   As with the first Chautauqua, music and lectures are very important along with games and art.  Here's the building for lectures and music with it's open sides and very old theater seats.
A woman named Mrs. Ethel Lough started to teach painting in 1938, and they painted under the trees until 1943 when a small building was offered to house an "art colony".   Now they have a much larger metal building with two wings, one for teaching painting to adults and the other for children to paint and for women to use for quilting.  Here's my class:
To raise money for equipment for the "art colony",  Mrs. Lough would offer a painting each year to be raffled at the end of the main two weeks of entertainment, classes, and lectures.  This tradition continues so I painted the hotel as I demonstrated the oil painting process to the art colony.

"Chautauqua Hotel"  11" x 14", oil on canvas board

The Fountain Park Chautauqua is truly a unique and almost a secret place as many people in Indiana don't know it exists.  However, the families are very welcoming to visitors who can come to see the entertainment and hear the lectures, paint in the art colony, and stay in the hotel, all meals included.  It's not surprising that it's on the National Historical Register and is truly a living history.   It was a privilege to teach there. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The First Blush of Spring in New Harmony, IN

"Peony Garden", New Harmony, IN  9" x 12" plein air oil on canvas panel

I see that I've been very negligent about sending blogs this spring with new paintings, so I'll try to catch up with all the new paintings by sending several blogs in a row.  The first plein air painting event in Indiana each year is the April paint-out in New Harmony, the historic village at the tip of the boot of Indiana near the Wabash and the Ohio River.  As I've said in other years, it was where the Utopian, Rappite community founded the first kindergarten and public library.  It then was purchased by the Owen family who were intellectuals, explorers, and geologists who consequently founded the National Geological Survey there.  Carl Bodmer was the fabulous artist who documented the flora and fauna with Maximilian as they explored westward from New Harmony.  Quite an impressive legacy for a tiny village.  With the wonderful philanthropy of Jane Owen, who just died at about 97 years, the village has been restored.  If you should be traveling through Kentucky or Indiana, it's certainly worth a side trip.

"Peony Garden" was painted at the edge of town in a commercial peony garden.  The peonies are picked by hand just as they're about to bloom and then shipped by air, overnight Federal Express, to customers all over the United States and further.  Most of the painters didn't know there is a peony garden because normally they don't flower in April.  This has been such a warm year that all plantings were a month a head.

Each year at this Indiana Plein Air Painters event, there is a "Field to Finish" competition.  During the paint-out, artists paint a field study not larger than 9" x 12".  Then during the year, they paint a finished painting that can be up to 18" x 24".  This was the first year that I entered that competition, and I was happy to be one of the winners, with my paintings being the judges favorites.  Here they are:

"New Harmony Creek plein air field study", 9" x 12" April 2011, oil on canvas panel

"New Harmony Creek" 18" x 24", oil on linen canvas, July 2011

This creek feeds into a large pond with a small waterfall.  This is the field study that I painted this April for the competition next year.   Later this month, I hope to complete the finished painting which will be either 16" x 20" or 18" x 24", haven't decided yet.
"Falling Water in New Harmony Pond"   9" x 12" plein air field study, April 2012

Over one hundred painters painted together this year from all over the Midwest and beyond.  It's quite a fun event.  If anyone reading this would like information about the Indiana Plein Air Painters or would like to consider attending the "First Blush of Spring" next April, please contact me or IPAPA.

Thank you for viewing this blog and for all your comments.  If you know others who would enjoy seeing this blog please forward this on to them.  They can join my blog as a "Follower" or sign up to receive new blogs by e-mail.  You can see all of my paintings with prices on my web site http//

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Amazing Limestone of Indiana

When the glaciers carved out the Great Lakes ( Lake Superior,  Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario) on their way south, they began to melt in northern Indiana, scraping the land flat and depositing some of the best soil in America.  This rich, dark farmland is where I live in middle north Indiana.  However, the glaciers ended about fifty miles south of my home in Brookston leaving prehistoric, sedimentary rock formations, much of it limestone.  The famous limestone quarries are in Southern Indiana, but some of the most beautiful cliffs and caves are preserved in Turkey Run State Park, northwest of Indianapolis, near Crawfordsville.  Today's oil painting is of one of those cliffs with caves large enough to crawl into if we could climb up that high. They were carved by the power of water eons ago, but water continues to shape them little by little.

"Cliff Cave", oil on canvas, 18" x 24", $1800,  ©Kathryn Clark  

I'm also very  happy to announce that I've been accepted as a Guest Artist with the Brown County Art Guild in the beautiful, southern hills of Nashville, Indiana.  This guild was central to the Indiana Impressionist movement at the turn of the century and continues to be a gallery for renown Indiana landscape painters.
As early as 1870, artists traveled from far and wide to enjoy the "Peaceful Valley" of Brown County and to capture its beauty on their canvases. Nestled in the hills of Southern Indiana, Nashville was not an easy destination to reach; none the less, these hardy and adventurous artists arrived, worked closely together, and created a great sense of camaraderie. Some were transient, but many remained and made Brown County their home. Those early days were difficult; living conditions were very primitive, but the spirit, principles, and quality of art were soon established and Brown County Indiana quickly became well recognized throughout the United States and Europe as a premiere art colony.
The first Brown County art association was incorporated in April, 1925 with Carl Graf (originally from Bedford) as its president. It was the only art association in the county until in 1954, Marie Goth, V. J. Cariani, Carl Graf, Genevieve Goth Graf, Curry Bohm, Dale Bessire, Georges LaChance and other notable artists formed the Brown County Art Guild, Inc. Carl Graf served as the first president of the newly formed art guild.  

Lately, I've been painting in my studio almost every day, so I'll post another painting soon.  If you know of others who would enjoy this blog, please forward this on to them.  And you know I always like to hear from you.  Thank you for viewing my art.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Preserving Indiana

"The Farmer's Institute", 11" x 14", oil on canvas panel, $650
Opened in 1851, this was the first school of higher learning in rural Tippecanoe County and was built by the Society of Friends (Quakers).  Some foremost educators of the day taught here.  Successful operation ceased in 1874, but it continues to be used as a Meeting House by the Quakers.  I was impressed with its historical importance and wanted to paint it in the afternoon light.

Two years ago, the Indiana Plein Air Painters and the Indiana Historical Society came together to create a new book which will highlight important buildings and places in Indiana that need to be preserved.  The plein air painters, including me, began painting Indiana architecture two years ago but had to keep those paintings secret, not exhibiting them or publishing them on our web sites until they were judged in the competition to be included in the book.  That competition happened last November, and the juror was Stephen Doherty, the editor of the highly regarded Plein Air Magazine.  So now I can show you the paintings I did that were NOT included in the book.  I submitted six paintings, and three were chosen for inclusion in Painting Indiana III.  The three that will be in the book must remain a secret until it is published at the end of this year.  All the paintings submitted were required to be painted plein air, that is painted on site, and each artist had to take a photo of herself with the painting and the subject in the image to prove it was painted on site and not in the studio. Many painters succeeded in jumping through all these hoops for the book and Indiana history.
"The Brookville Cemetery Gate", 11" x 14",  oil on canvas panel,  $650
Brookville, IN was the home of Indiana Impressionist T.C. Steele and Otis Adams near the turn of the 19th century.  This historic church sits in the middle of Brookville, and its cemetery is one of the oldest in Indiana.

"Brookville Church and Cemetery", 11" x 14", oil on canvas panel,  $650
Here is another view of the historical Brookville church, one that I did not submit for the book. 
"Rappite House in New Harmony, IN", 11" x 14", oil on canvas panel, $650
New Harmony is the site of two of America's great utopian communities.  The first, Harmonie on the Wabash (1814-1824),  was founded by the Harmony Society, a group of Separatists from the German Lutheran Church.  In 1814, led by their charismatic leader Johann Gorg Rapp, they left their first American home in Harmonie, PA.  This new land in Indiana's lower Wabash Valley on the western frontier gave them the opportunity to acquire a much larger tract of land.  Their houses are still there.  Later, under the direction of the Owen family, this small village was also the site of the first public library and the first kindergarten in America.  It has been restored beautifully and is a tourist destination worth the trip.  

At the end of this year, when Painting Indiana III is published by Indiana University Press, I'll show you the other three paintings I submitted.  I hope you've enjoyed this diversion into Indiana history, and I thank you for viewing my art. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

It's Good to be Painting Again in 2012

I'm shocked to see that I haven't sent a post since November 8th.  To catch you up,  the holidays are always a busy time and therefore not much time for painting.  We had a cozy holiday at home over Christmas and the New Year, but then met my twin sister on Big island, Hawaii for our birthday in January.  Sorry, no painting, with only a week to explore.  I dropped my camera and thought I broke it, as it was jammed, i.e. not working, no more photos of Hawaii.  However, after returning home, my local camera store, Barry's in Lafayette, IN, brought it back to life--a little miracle I thought.  I'd like to paint an image of the black lava against the ocean, and I did get a couple of photos I could use as a reference, so who knows.  There may be a lava painting in my future.  Then in February, Howard and I gave a lecture and workshop on hand papermaking at the Ringling College of Art & Design in Sarasota, FL., helping them set up a Book Arts Program.  So you see this winter has been filled with sun and sand and many amazing people in Sarasota.  Along with all that,  I started to teach private lessons in oil painting in January which is also taking time away from painting.  However, I do have a new painting or two to show you.

"Afternoon at Burnett's Creek", 20" x 16", oil on linen canvas, $900

"May Iris", 14" x 11", oil on canvas panel, 2010, sold for $900

While I was in Florida, the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette had their annual fund raiser dinner and auction for Valentines Day, "The Heart of Art".   Three artists were asked to donate a painting, and many other objects and fun events were auctioned as well.  I donated  "May Iris" and was delighted that it sold for $900.  Wish I could have been there, but it's a law of nature that everything happens at once. 

I have another painting to show you as soon as I get it photographed so, hopefully, I'll get back in the rhythm of sending a blog this year.  You can see all my paintings on my web site
I hope your winter has been as warm as mine was.  Thank you for viewing my art.