May 21, 2019 I’ll let you in on a little secret – not every attempt at a painting is successful. Usually it is. But there are mishaps along the way. I have stashed many a painting in a special drawer because there is just something I love about it, but something irreconcilable happened to it. Usually it is a paint brush dropped by accident into a wet puddle of drying paint, or a splash from working on a different area. Because of the nature of my technique and unique combination of materials, most mistakes cannot be undone. But I just can’t give up on something that was working out until disaster struck. SOOOOO – I have created a line of paintings – a special type of presentation – that allows me to recover those smaller “happy” areas. You may have seen my “minis” which are deliberate studies that become larger paintings. This new series is a bit different, though still small. They are all unique and not to be repeated subjects – special closeups that I extract from this larger work that will never come out of its drawer otherwise. I find a 6″ x 6″ area that is a painting unto itself, although the perspective or view is close in rather than zoomed out, making them a bit more abstracted and contemporary than my usual landscapes. These little gems are mounted flush onto a black or natural wooden box and can be collected one at a time or en masse. Available pieces are included on my “Small Works” page.
May 24 – September 20, 2019 This painting of mine – Raven’s Spring – was among those chosen to be part of Stickum Up! sponsored by JH Public Art. It will be become a 6′ x 10′ mural pasted in the Pearl Street Alley behind Belle Cose on the side of High Country Outfitters. JH Public Art is expanding the temporary downtown mural walk to open during Old West Days (May 24, 2019) with a walking tour and celebration and will close during PARKing Day (September 20, 2019) with a street party — reaching thousands of summer visitors, residents, and arts patrons. Walls and alleyways will be transformed with art that is free and accessible to all and that celebrates our local mountain culture.
Murals activate alleyways with art that is fun and accessible to all while helping to revitalize overlooked and mundane spaces.http://jhpublicart.org/exhibitions/stickum-up/
April 12, 2019 Most of my paintings are of vast landscapes but now and again I choose to focus on just a portion of the whole view. This is one such painting. I love the interaction of the fluid paints melting into each other and the textures created by watercolor crystals. This is not and abstract painting, but it appears to be.
February 18, 2019 Most of you know that I usually paint very colorful paintings, usually landscapes. But sometimes it is very soothing, calming and tranquil to paint (and view) a monochromatic painting. Winter of course is the best time to experience such a landscape in real life. And I know for many of you you don’t want to be reminded of shoveling feet of snow and experiencing below zero temperatures. But I have discovered, since I live in the mountain west now, how beautiful the subtle colors are. In fact, there seem to be many colors of white, and many colors of ‘dark”. My recent painting, Let It Snow, was a lesson in just that. Take a moment to see all of the delicate colors, both in the snowy foreground, and in the dark mountain in the background. I will point out that the background is painted in indigo, with a slight hint of dark green in the lower left area as well. If you could see this painting in person you would enjoy the sparkle of the silver shikishi board showing through the paint in some areas and completely exposed in others. I marvel at the diamond sparkle on snow at certain times of day, which is impossible to photograph (both in real life, and photographing the silvery painting). Let It Snow is on display at the Jackson Hole Land Trust and you can see it there – sales benefit the Land Trust and the artist. Call them at 307.733.4707 and visit the catalog of work they have online.
I think I may continue with a series of monochromatic works, though monochromatic does not necessarily mean low key colors – they could be brilliant shades of blue mountain lakes, red rock country of Utah…. Check back to see what I have accomplished.
November 9, 2018
Finished piece, framed. Meg’s Tree, image size 10 x 33, watercolor on gold shikishi board
As one of 19 artists invited by the Jackson Hole Land Trust to interpret one of their conservation properties in Wyoming I have already been blogging about my periodic hikes on the property I was assigned, which is adjacent to and just north of the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson. As the finish line gets closer now I am tucked away in my studio for some serious painting. The title of this Land Trust project is “WyoView: Four Seasons” and I am taking that title to heart. All of my four seasonal paintings will be of the view FROM this property. The views I am painting are of Flat Creek in the Elk Refuge, the Sleeping Indian to the northeast, a peak at the Tetons to the west, and Snow King and town to the south. Each painting will include a glimpse of the actual conservation property with something special visible – brilliantly colored lichen rocks, a herd of mule deer with blooming branches visible, a copse of bright yellow aspens and a serene snow field. You will have to spend some time viewing each piece to find some of these “glimpses”.
Pictured here is a 10″ x 33″ watercolor triptych titled Meg’s Tree: portraying Flat Creek and Meg Raynes’ tree in the center panel. Beloved local naturalists and conservationists Meg and Bert Raynes were instrumental in saving this tree from death by elk browsing, and everyone in the valley recognizes this tree as they pass by.
I have included photos of my step-by-step process as I created the piece. Several reference photos of the landscape (I know, a panoramic would have worked but I took these photos on several different occasions and used my artistic license to stitch them together.)
Painting all three panels both at once and then each panel receives individual attention:
Art for Open Spaces:
Jackson Hole Land Trust debuts four-season paintings from protected properties
September 15, 2018 The weather was uncharacteristically fabulous, and I was pleased with my painting as well. (I thought it got away from me a few times but I “reeled” it back in.) And it got a good price at the auction following the event as well. A good day.
The title is Song of the Sandhills, and is a depiction of sandhill cranes migrating. If you have never experienced a sandhill crane migration, you should put it on your bucket list.
Jackson Hole News and Guide: Kay Stratman Wins Watercolor Award
September 12, 2018, SCENE section, click on this link:
VERY excited to share: After 11 days off-grid I read an email sent 10 days previously, from the Wyoming Watercolor Society that tells me my painting – The River Runs Through It – won the Best Wyoming Artist award in this years 33rd national exhibit!!! So honored and happy. It was inspired by the view from the top of East Gros Ventre Butte, having cocktails and dinner at the Granary Lounge, as a storm blew over the Tetons.
The River Runs Through It 16 x 24 watercolor on silver shikishi