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Artist Member

If you're going to be an abstract painter you have to be willing to think about yourself a lot. Having to do without other subject matter, you must accept and encourage your own habits, and your feelings about what you are looking at, that is, the rectangle you hope will look good when you are done with it.

For example, when I work on a figurative painting I have a habit of focusing on one bottle, or rose, or rock at a time instead of seeing the painting as a whole. I have to correct this habit when painting figuratively. When I paint more abstractly the problem is removed with the subject matter. The whole painting becomes the image, and I can play with color, form and texture, action and stillness, transparency and solidity across and around the entire rectangle. On the other hand, I notice that I haven't been able, nor do I now wish, to lose the relationship of figure and ground.

I have missed drawing, and I am glad I have brought a loose kind of representative painting back into my studio. I hope that my play with abstract composition will enhance my efforts in that direction.

My favorite dead painter is Giorgio Morandi. My favorite living one, at the moment, is Julian Hatton. Favorite quotation: "I think a perfect circle isn't half as interesting as the best circle you can draw. That's your circle." [Thomas Nozkowski]

About the Artist

I was born in New Jersey and with one hiatus lived there until I went to college, after which I moved around quite a bit until settling in Virginia. Along the way I married and raised three children.

When we moved to Baltimore from New York for my husband's grad school, I thought I'd try a night school class in drawing. This was strictly for kicks, because at that point I had never thought of an artistic career. All I knew about art was that museums made me yawn and that my friends who were artists were strangely and magically gifted creatures from some planet far, far away.

The very first night of that class the teacher armed us with vine charcoal, a chamois, and some big sheets of newsprint, and gave us a couple of pointers about drawing what you actually see, rather than what you know is there, and I was off! At the end of the session I had created something that actually looked like a table. I felt strangely and magically gifted that night and I wanted more than anything in the world to keep doing this.

The rest is a rather long, stop-and-start history of self education. I don't have a degree in fine arts. I have studied with some fabulous teachers, however, and I am sure I took away something that still helps me from every one of them.

See /Kathleen Craig's CV

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