July - September, 2018: A selection of my artwork is now available for the summer season at Evrgreen, a charming coffee shop in the townsite of Waskesiu in Prince Albert National Park!

Representation: I am honoured to have my work represented by these well-respected professional galleries:
Darrell Bell Gallery located in the Canada Building in downtown Saskatoon
Assiniboia Gallery in Regina, 2266 Smith Street- a vibrant, bustling part of town.

November 10, 2016: I was interviewed by Daily Paintworks as their Spotlight Artist for a week! Read my interview on the DPW News blog!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday Spotlight - Kathy Bradshaw

Northern Bog
oil on canvas
© Kathy Bradshaw

It is my great pleasure to take the spotlight and shine it directly on local Saskatoon artist, Kathy Bradshaw.

Kathy is a superb and expressive landscape painter who strikes me as a life-long learner. In the first part of her high school teaching career she taught English and Physical Education. After school hours I suspect she was like many of us, busy with children and family but she would squeeze in time to draw. In 2004-05 Kathy took an educational leave from her job and pursued her B.F.A. at the University of Saskatchewan. It was at this time that she began to realize her dream of becoming an artist. While at university she fell hopelessly in love with painting and completed all four levels in just fifteen months. With her B.F.A. in hand she returned to her career, but this time in the role of art teacher at a new collegiate in town. She says,

 "As I move into my final years of teaching, I am extremely thankful that I am able to share my passion for art-making with my students".

And that sums up how I see Kathy: as an educator and a person passionately interested in growing and learning as much as she can and then sharing that information and discovery with others, whether it be her students or her colleagues. I met Kathy at, you guessed it, the Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus during a week-long class in 2010. I have vivid memories of her talking about working in encaustic, which I didn't know much about at all. I recall her inviting me to come and watch her work sometime during the week. Being extremely curious, I absolutely took her up on the offer. One beautiful, calm, sunny day I saw her table set up outside of the main studio building so I wandered over to see her at work. She was layering, scraping, colouring and dripping wax- turning it into a beautiful landscape painting. It was mesmerizing!

images © Nicki Ault
Her muffin tin of coloured wax sat melting on a hot griddle and I had never seen anything like it before! Kathy explained that one of the classes she took while working on her B.F.A. was called "Hands on History" (with professor Paul Hamilton). The focus of the class was to research an ancient medium, create it from scratch and then reproduce an artifact from the time period using that medium. She chose encaustic because she had seen a painting once and had instantly fallen in love with its mysterious quality. She thought to herself that someday she would be doing that. For her research project she created a life-sized Egyptian mummy, wrote a research paper and presented her work. The rest is HER history... she has been painting in encaustic ever since. Please enjoy this small sampling of some of Kathy's original encaustic work:

Artists' Conk
© Kathy Bradshaw

Thinking It Through
© Kathy Bradshaw

Road To Somewhere
© Kathy Bradshaw

Woman Fixing Hair
© Kathy Bradshaw

Kathy's talent does not stop there. She is a beautiful oil painter, as you can see in the first image at the top of this post and the images below. I can't get enough of looking at "Northern Bog"! It might be my absolute favorite "Kathy Bradshaw". I feel transported when I look at it- it takes me north to the land that I love; I can smell the earthy forest and wet bog-land, I know that pale gray/blue sky that is reflected in the water and I love how she has brought out the soft corals and oranges that you see in fallen, water-logged leaves.

Hydrangeas in Blue Jar
oil on canvas
© Kathy Bradshaw

Kathy's growth over the last decade can be attributed to her dedication to her craft and the learning moments she has experienced with accomplished Saskatchewan painters such as: Bob Christie, George Glenn, Iris Hauser, Graham Fowler, Clint Hunker, Ward Schell and David Alexander. Last year Kathy was awarded a CARFAC mentor-ship and began working alongside established landscape painter, Clint Hunker, in September 2012. During this time she feels has made measurable gains in her sense of composition, use of colour and skill at mark-making. Influence comes in all shapes and sizes. For all of the inspiration and influence she has garnered from these extraordinary people, Kathy feels she also must acknowledge a place. She writes,

"I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a very special place for I also owe much of my artistic growth and love for plein air landscape painting to the Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus…a world-renowned artist retreat that has been recently and so shortsightedly closed."

Obviously I am in complete agreement with her, as are so many artists who have made enormous strides due to their time at this magical site. I fully imagine it to be open again and I envision Kathy teaching encaustic workshops on Kenderdine's historic grounds; back in the forest with her muffin tins of wax and and full class of participants wanting to learn from her!

Smell The Roses
oil on canvas
© Kathy Bradshaw

Roses on Red Chair
oil on canvas
© Kathy Bradshaw

Artist Statement:

"Although I work with a range of subject matters, I am most passionate about depicting the solitude, strength and beauty within prairie and northern boreal forest landscapes, a love no doubt cultured by several summers spent at Kenderdine.  My works are largely explorations in colour, texture and space and are created with oils, encaustic, various drawing media and collage.  Using a layering process allows me to imply a history, relay a sense of mystery and establish a mood.  With each work, I strive to convey the presence of the space before me and the character of the forms within that space.  I am also fascinated with the effects of light and feed on the challenge of expressing this in my work." 

 image © Kathy Bradshaw
Kathy working in the studio at the Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus

Kathy's oil and encaustic work is represented by the Nouveau Gallery in Regina, The Black Spruce Gallery in Christopher Lake and the Stall Gallery and Modern Country Interiors in Saskatoon.

To learn more about Kathy and her work please visit:



Barbara Muir said...

Beautiful work. Thanks for sharing it Nicki.

XO Barbara

Nicki said...

My pleasure Barbara... we have a lot of talent in these parts!