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VL

February 2014 Volume 3 No. 2

VISUAL LANGUAGE contemporary fine art

Kathy O’Leary


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“Afternoon Shadows” 24 x 36


Kathy O’Leary

Blood Money 24 x 30 Oil on Canvas


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Kathy O’Leary

When did you realize you loved art and wanted to be an artist? In 1989, having rediscovered I still had my drawing skills (developed from early college experience) I was drawn to painting and drawing again as a release from stresses of my job. As my skills grew rapidly I decided in 1990 that I wanted to leave my job and work closer to the field of art. After a year working for the local art’s council, being around art every day, artists, helping curate and hang shows, I quit to work full time at my own art. I committed myself to learning as much as I could, to see whether I could do this professionally. I honed my skills working at first in watercolor, pastel, mono printing, and finally trying oils. From my first experimentation with oils as a medium (in ‘94), I knew immediately that this was my medium and that the life I wanted was as a painter working in oils. Who has been your mentor, or greatest influence to date? I live in an artistically rich community, surrounded by supportive talented artists, but my greatest influence has come from a circle of local women artists (working in various mediums) I’ve grown close to over the years. They have supported, encouraged and challenged me (and each other) and together we have grown beyond where our individual dreams could have taken us. Who is another living artist you admire and why? The artist (and friend) I admire is a painter named Jim McVicker. He is now beginning to garner much deserved national recognition for his work. I admire him for his skills as a painter, his ability to interpret beauty in the landscape, the still-life and the figure. All without any apparent ego, willing to share his thoughts, and open to learning from others. He works only from life. His studio was close to mine when I was starting out, and I watched him (and his wife, Terry Oats) come to work everyday to his studio 7am - working in the studio or on location, until the sun set. He was such a good model for me to learn how you grow as an artist. Now I see his artistic sensibilities, his drive and commitment to his craft paying off. What is your favorite surface to create work on or to work with? Describe it if you make it yourself. My favorite surface to work on is good quality canvas or linen, double primed, preferably oil primed. What are your favorite materials to use? My favorite materials include good quality oil paints (I’m still exploring colors/brands that work best for what I’m trying to do. My favorite medium (used sparingly nowadays) is Dan Smith Alkyd medium, cut with poppy oil and Gamsol (mineral spirits). My favorite brushes right now are Windsor Newton hog bristle, flats and brights. Do you have a favorite color palette? 3 blues - Ultra Marine, Kings Blue, Cerulean 3 reds - Alizarin crimson, Cad. Red med or other Medium red &Transparent Earth Red 3 greens - Sap Green, Veridian, Cadmium green 4 yellows - Raw umber, Yellow Ochre, Cad. Yellow deep, Cad. yellow light (or lemon yellow) White - Usually Titanium or Titanium/zinc white http://www.kathyoleary.com/


artspan How often do you work on your artwork? How many hours a week? I work on my art, almost daily. At least 6 days/week, probably 40 - 55 hrs/week. What is the one thing you would like to be remembered for? Probably the change I made in mid-life from working in the natural food business to being a professional artist. I’m an example of that fact that with hard work, commitment, and a passion for art, it can be done.

“Morning Shadows and Mustard” 30 x 40

http://www.kathyoleary.com/


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Kathy O’Leary

“Earth, Air, Fire -Mt. Shasta”, 18 x 24 painted on location (plein air).

“Back Country Trail”

24 x 36

http://www.kathyoleary.com/ 6 | VL Magazine - VisualLanguageMagazine.com


artspan There are many culprits that can crush creativity, such as distractions, self-doubt and fear of failure. What tends to stand in the way of your creativity? What stands in my way the most is self-doubt, sometimes fear of failing at what I’m trying to do. How do you overcome these obstacles? I over come this, sometimes more successfully than others, by going to work every day. Starting a new painting. By reminding myself it’s about the process and not to allow myself to get immersed in the competitive and comparative mode with other artists. Going to museums, galleries, reading books on art, all show me how very different we all are as artists, and there are many paths to living an artistically creative life. What are your inspirations for your work? My inspiration for my work first and foremost comes from my travels and explorations of the landscape in my home state, California. Next it comes from visiting galleries and museums and seeing all the different takes possible on any one subject. I try to pay attention to what really touches me at a visceral level. I’m inspired by those artists who take off on a different style, mode to express themselves, particularly those working with the landscape as their subject. What is your favorite way to get your creative juices flowing? Some of my favorite ways to get my juices flowing are: -Meditate first before starting work for the day. -Doing a small painting (6 x 8) of some subject (ex: photo of a landscape), or small still life, using 100 brush strokes (or close to it). -Hanging a large piece of blank paper on my wall and with tempera paints, taking about 30 minutes to paint what ever I’m feeling, using big brushes and bright colors )sometimes totally abstract, some-

http://www.kathyoleary.com/


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Kathy O’Leary

“Dunescape” 36 x 48

“Indian Island View” 30 x 36

http://www.kathyoleary.com/ 8 | VL Magazine - VisualLanguageMagazine.com


http://www.kathyoleary.com/


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Kathy O’Leary

“Evening Surf” 24 x 26

http://www.kathyoleary.com/ 10 | VL Magazine - VisualLanguageMagazine.com


artspan Getting to know you Q&A What is your favorite color in your closet?

Red

What book are you reading this week? Richard Schmid’s Alla Prima II Do you have a favorite television show? Bones, & Antiques Road Show What is your favorite food? East Indian What color sheets are on your bed right now? Green What are you most proud of in your life? With my husband of 47 years, raising an intelligent, sensitive, hard working, progressive son, who in turn is an amazing parent and marriage partner, and making a successful mid-life career change. Who would you love to interview? My long dead great uncle, Willard “Spud” Johnson, a writer and poet, and good friend to writers (D.H. Lawrence) and artists (Georgia O’Keefe) in Taos New Mexico between 1930’s - 1960’s. Do you have a passion or hobby other than painting? No. Who would you love to paint? The women in my circle of women artist friends. If you were an animal what would you be and why? Human If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take three things, what would they be? A watercolor paint set, paper, some good pot. Share something with us that few people know about you. That I have a degree in Social Welfare. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Somewhere in central, rural California, close to our son and his family, equidistance to both ends of the state I love to paint, with a home and studio surrounded by several acres of natural, interesting landscape.

http://www.kathyoleary.com/


KathyOLeary.com

Kathy O'Leary Visual Language Feb 2014  

When did you realize you loved art and wanted to be an artist? In 1989, having rediscovered I still had my drawing skills (developed from e...

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