Kathy Blankley Roman
Born and raised in Chicago, I have been making art of one kind or another as far back as I can remember. My preference for an earthy palette reflects a connection felt since my childhood introduction to the prehistoric cave art of Lascaux. I still carry that first sense of awe and wonder and references to it often appear in my work. With a background in calligraphy and illustration, after my retirement in 2010, my art took an entirely new direction when I stumbled upon a course in nonobjective expressive drawing with arts educator and author, Steven Aimone. I have been painting expressive abstracts ever since.
References to my history in calligraphy and illustration still can be seen in my work that explores textural and color contrasts. My paintings are about texture, gesture and memory, often evoking a sense of place, of mystery, of elements of the natural world. Using acrylics, encaustic or oil with cold wax medium, I work in layers, often scraping back to reveal what lies beneath. Contrasts are used to create tension: warm colors vs. cool; texture vs. smooth; calm, muted colors supporting marks of high energy. These drive the process, and affect the underlying feeling of the piece.
My paintings have appeared in juried group and solo shows nationally and online. I was awarded finalist status in The Artist’s Magazine Annual Competition 2014 and 2016 in the Experimental/Abstract Category and was accepted into the highly competitive National Art Encounter Competition 2015, Naples, FL.
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My paintings are process driven and become a kind of meditation that allows me to tap into my connection to the world around me. Words, rhythms, images, sounds – experiences that evoke a visceral response in me become the source, the reservoir that I draw from when I paint. Starting with random marks and responding to them intuitively, my paintings are built up in layers that go through many changes, like thoughts morphing across the surface, developing depth, motion and a sense of history. A painting is not complete until I sense in it a certain life or spirit. Ultimately, it is all about the process and the physical act of creating: becoming the brush, responding to the surface, the visceral feeling of engaging it, the discovery, the evolution of the painting as it changes. It becomes a dance, finding just the right balance between intention and intuition to bring the composition to a satisfying conclusion.
"It is a sun in one's belly glowing with a thousand rays." - Pablo Picasso