Kathy Los-Rathburn, Griffith, IN
Kathy Los-Rathburn is a watercolorist who lives in Griffith, Indiana which is about 40 miles south of Chicago.
I can't really remember a time when I wasn't doing some kind of art as a kid. I studied for 8 weeks, when I was 16, at a home studio of Charis Reidmiller. It was at that time when I decided that was what I wanted to do when I grew up. I went to the American Academy of Art in Chicago. I became a commercial artist, but in 1974 I was asked to join the faculty of the American Academy of Art.
What makes me happy and moves me the most in life is DOING my art. All the beauty that is around us is what moves me to do my art and share it with the world. I am addicted to watercolor...lol. I can paint for hours and get lost in my work. It is so relaxing and I love the alone time with my paints. I am focused on my work and nothing else bothers me. While I am in my paint world ...it is my escape.
The artists that inspire me the most right now are the present day painters. Their styles, skills, subjects and techniques are so varied. They are the ones that really inspire me. It's like, if they can do that...what can I do.
Teaching...I starting teaching in 1974 at the American Academy of Art and at the same time I talked my folks into letting me teach a few people in our basement. When I quit teaching at the academy, I taught at Purdue University -Calumet. I have been teaching in my home studio since 1974. Also...I have taught at art centers, senior centers and galleries.
I encourage all artists to get involved in local galleries and groups. I have been in many shows, had solo shows (have 2 coming up this year), won many awards, I am in private and public collections and I am in the permanent collection in the Midwest Museum of American Art. I have signature status in the Kentucky Watercolor Society and the Indiana Watercolor Society. I belong to many groups locally and on line. I am currently the president of the Illiana Artists group. I am also a member of Daily Paintworks.
New Watercolorists....do NOT get discouraged. Hang in there. Keep at it. The more you paint....the more you WILL paint.. Get all of those bad ones out of your system so that you can get to the good ones. Take baby steps. You'll see yourself advance and some times you'll take a few steps backwards. It's part of the learning process. You learn by your mistakes. So make lots of them...you'll be getting a great education if you do this.
As artists I think our roles are to open the eyes of our viewers to all the beauty that is around us that so often goes by unnoticed. Subjects are everywhere. But how do we as artists make our subjects exciting and personal to our viewers? That is where techniques come in.
Since I have been doing watercolor forever, it is amazing to see how far it has come. So many more people are painting in watercolor than ever before. I think social media has brought such an awareness and has educated all of us to the fact that watercolor IS a permanent medium. It is not just used for preliminary studies for other medias. There are so many great watercolor artists from every country out there. It is really amazing seeing their works of art. I think the quality of supplies, new techniques, bolder colors, and more knowledge of the medium has driven watercolor to be so exciting!