Kathy Beekman is a soft pastel painter whose work emerges from the West and Midwest countrysides, she lives in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado where her home and studio are perched at 8,600 feet. “The vastness of the natural landscape here inspires my work. My paintings reflect how I think and feel about my environment.”
She grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, a small city surrounded by the farming communities that continuously inspire her subject matter: the barns, clouds, open spaces and streams that conjure up idealized versions of the landscapes she experienced as a child. We were lucky enough to speak with the artist herself and ask her a little about her work and process.
When do you feel most compelled to create, what puts you in the mood, is there a creative ritual you go through?
“When creating in the studio I only create in the morning. My painting days are scheduled throughout the month and this way I can prepare (aka psyche myself up/get into the zen zone) beginning the evening before. The evening before my painting day, I prepare my painting table by laying out the sized paper I will paint on as well as laying out my pastels. The next morning, after breakfast, I head straight to the studio and start in on the painting.”
- What made you gravitate to the medium of pastels?
“During college, I took a drawing class in which we experimented with pastel. I fell in love with it immediately because of its immediacy and vibrancy in color. It also doesn’t stink and is easily transported.”
- Is there anything you hope your audience leaves with after viewing your work?
“It is up to the viewer to create their own stories about the various Beekmans they view. If they create their own story then they have connected with the painting and the painting has therefore become a success.”