top of page

Katherine Anne

"Life is a Spiral" 

   I began formal art lessons at age 4. I sold my first piece that same year when I insisted a family friend had to pay a nickel for my "Crayola Masterpiece." Throughout grade school and high school, I gravitated towards all the arts. I was involved with ballet, piano, flute, guitar,compo-sition, painting, drawing, photography, sculpture and pottery. Picking a major for college wasn't difficult, except to choose between art and music, so I chose both. I double majored in Fine Art and Music, graduating in 1990 with 2 BA's from St. Mary-of-the-Woods College in Terre Haute, Indiana.

 My four years in college I developed great skill with my art, to the point I could reproduce any subject matter in any style. My art professor consistently guided me towards developing my own style and philosophy through my art. He was unsuccessful. This began a struggle that would last almost twenty years. My versatility - however - made me a successful illustrator. I had little trouble producing what any art director had envisioned. 

March 16th, 2002 I had a dream of a painting. This painting had brush strokes that spiraled all in the same direction, creating a ripple effect. I woke up and painted the Prague Castle. For the first time in my life I felt I might yet become an artist. I have since then spent my energies on developing a technique to create this unique and exciting style. It is a work in progress, not unlike life - an ongoing spiral. My painting does now indeed mirror my philosophy of life:

    I see life moving forward, but not in a line as to suggest a beginning and an end, but rather in a circular motion. We begin life - like the focal point of my paintings - as the center of the universe. As we grow and experience life, we spiral outward soaking up every stimulus that comes our way. Everything is new and shapes our direction. All of our experiences and relationships develop and create us. Every person in our life - good or bad - adds a ripple to our life in motion. Likewise, every time we touch someone - good or bad - we add a ripple to their "life painting". Every relationship helps add a special touch to our unfinished painting in progress.

    As the years pass we move farther and farther from our childhood "universe". We travel through images we've seen and felt before. Yearly anniversaries as we make another circle remind us of where we've been, where we didn't go, who we've loved, and who we miss. We re-experience our tragedies and triumphs, our fears and doubts, our laughter and tears. Each year we move outward in the spiral and are given the gift of a new perspective. Each year our own painting makes more sense. We also dream ahead of how we want to add to the painting and complete it. Each year those dreams take shape, develop, or sometimes take on unexpected new shape.

One of the most important lessons I've learned in my life is this: If you think it can't get any worse...don't only realize it can...but count on it. As depressing as that sounds, to me, it's comforting. Because on the same note, you can absolutely count on the fact it will be "good" again. The darkest most painful times in our life are times that we get through, not get over. Friends & family are the colors surrounding us pushing us through. Like my paintings, traveling through the shadowed areas will surely bring you to a burst of color. It will get dark and darker, but you can't stay in the shadows forever. The saddest people in this world seem to not only hope - but also expect the darkness to disappear and never return.

What they don't see, is it's the dark shadows that make that painting beautiful and gives it depth and character. Why would you ever want that shading to disappear or pretend it never existed? Learn to love those shadows if for no other reason than to truly see how beautiful those highlights are as in a child's giggle as well as their temper tantrums. Learn to enjoy the city snow and not just drudge through it. Listen to the beauty of laughter in any lasting relationship. Take a morning to enjoy a cup of coffee and moment to yourself in peace. If you can't ...that's the true tragedy of life.


    As we approach the latter years - our spiral goes off the edge of the canvas and back again. I believe this represents parts of our past that just aren't important to us anymore - or simply forgotten. In death we are completely off the canvas yet still moving in a spiral - just not seen. That's my concept of "eternity".

bottom of page