"Nature is all at once beautiful, exhilarating, and a window to my soul. It offers opportunities to pull away from a hum drum, crazy life, explore and breathe. My muse is nature: I love to hike, kayak or walk in my garden. I am intrigued by sea life and birds, but also whatever is in front of me that captures my imagination. During my adventures, I photograph and enjoy, then retreat to my studio and create. My favorite medium is Chinese Ink and Color (watercolor) and I paint in a Westernized style of Chinese Gongbi painting. This method is contemplative, relaxing and welcomes the detail I love. Gongbi means “meticulous detail”.I hope my art will invite you to enter a new realm, finding peace and joy through your experience.
Painting became my second career after retiring from school nursing in 2007. I was invited to an artists’ cultural exchange in China sponsored by Asia Pacific Cultural Center. On my return, Patsy Surh O’Connell, tour guide, artist and director of APCC invited me to take her Chinese Painting class at Tacoma Community College in Gig Harbor. Other influences are watercolorists Lian Zhen, Joe Garcia and David Lobenberg.
Over the years I have had solo shows in Seattle and Tacoma, displayed at local art shows and won several awards. In 2018, Harbor Wild Watch, an environmental stewardship group in Gig Harbor, invited me to create an exhibition on shorebirds and I taught a children’s painting class. My Painting “Beneath the Lilies,” was chosen as the art for the 2016 Gig Harbor Garden Tour poster. I am also a member and President of the Greater Gig Harbor Open Studio Tour and a member and past president of Peninsula Art League.
My art has been made into colorful greeting cards, tiles, cutting boards and prints," -Kathy Thurston