Kathy Blankenheim always knew she wanted to be an artist, but she chose not to follow her dream until about 10 years ago.
Instead, she followed her parents’ advice to pursue a degree in chemistry from Indiana University in Bloomington, and later worked as a professional photographer taking artistic photos of newborns at local hospitals.
Then life changed, and Kathy decided it was time to pick up a paintbrush and try something new.
“Life is way too short for anything, but exactly what you want to experience,” Kathy says. “I’m getting a late start on something I should have done from the get-go.”
Kathy learned to paint through self-directed study in workshops with talented artists, reading lots of books, and much practice. She describes herself as a “shape painter,” and says her work is recognizable for its spontaneous, energetic brushwork and its vibrant, harmonious color balance with texture.
“I like to paint everything, because everything is like a puzzle,” Kathy says. “I can look at something and break it down. It’s kind of an obsession.”
While Kathy grew up in Bloomington, the now wife and mother of a 20-year-old son has lived on a small farm in Brownsburg for the past 30 years. In wintertime, she and her husband hike the trails at nearby Eagle Creek Park, and she often finds inspiration from the beautiful, but frozen surroundings. Living next door to a larger farm with sheep, chicken, and other animals, Kathy also finds herself drawn to paint those, too.
“Our place is just a really beautiful property. It’s nature, it’s old, it’s not fancy … there’s still some wildness to it,” she says. “Lots of places in Indiana mean something to me and interest me. To go paint, it has to have something to draw you in.”
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