Fusion Art is pleased to feature Southern California artist, Kathy Paulus in its “A Day in the Life” series. In this new series of Artist Showcases, the gallery will reveal the “typical” day of many of its award-winning artists.
Kathy is an award-winning self-taught artist who specializes in pet/wild animal portraits and still life subjects in pastel and scratchboard.
Below please find, in Kathy’s own words, the answers to 12 questions about her, her art and her “typical” day as she gives us a glimpse into her artistic life.
How do you start your day?
My day always starts the same. I first feed the cats (2), clean the litter box, give them fresh water. Then I take time to spend in bible reading, devotionals, and prayer with my coffee.
How many days a week do you work on your art?
I will usually spend every day in my artwork. I usually spend about an hour and take a break due to neck and back issues from surgeries.
Do you have a home studio or do you go to an outside studio to work? Which do you prefer and why?
I paint from home. I have a small bedroom for my art room and it is filled to overflowing with art materials. I also paint with a group from an art association once a week but I much prefer painting alone in my room where everything is at my fingertips.
What kind of art do you create?
I am now alternating between pastel painting and scratch art. I do a few colored pencil works too. My favorite subjects are horses, wild animals, and still life work. Most of my work is done in realism.
Walk us through your “typical” day?
A typical day for me is waking up early (I am retired) and taking care of my cats first and then I always start my day as I said earlier in my morning devotions. I probably walk at least 3 to 4 times a week in the morning.
When I can I like to have time in the morning to paint until lunch time. I enjoy putting on my favorite music (Christian music) as I paint. I then take about an hour for lunch to watch a favorite taped TV programs.
I then like to paint for at least another hour or two. Then I am either cleaning house, running errands, or getting dinner on. Of course, this is the typical day when I am at home. Before all this coronavirus I was going to bible studies during the week and meeting with other artists at the local art association. Now my husband is working at home which has changed my schedule but now things are beginning to settle down into a somewhat normal schedule!
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
My biggest challenge at the moment is scratch art. It is a new medium for me, which I enjoy, but I feel there is so much to learn. I am feeling more comfortable with it but I need to stop comparing my work to other artists who have been working in the medium for a long time. I know for myself I am rarely satisfied with my work – mainly because most of my work is realism.
What do you enjoy most about being an artist?
I love being able to share any techniques I have acquired over the years as a self-taught artist with new artists. I have many opportunities to share my techniques through my art page on Facebook and the many groups that I belong to. I love doing workshops or demos in either pastel or scratch art in local art associations. I also do a free scratch demonstration at my city’s library twice a year. I love sharing my passion with anyone who will listen!
What do you enjoy the least about being an artist?
The worst is when I start a project and my heart is not in it. I have found the best thing for me to do is put it aside and start something else. I am grateful too that my husband supports me financially which I think takes so much pressure off me to depend on sales.
Do you have any mentors?
I love Lisa Clough in all she contributes to the art world especially with colored pencil work. I also love all that Jason Morgan does for all the pastel and oil artists who love to paint wild animals. I also appreciate all that Karen Hull contributes in wonderful inexpensive tutorials in colored pencil. I also appreciate Cathy Sheeter for the best scratch art workshops. I also thank Robert Jew my art teacher from Riverside City College for the best color theory class.
Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
I don’t feel lonely as an artist. I have many art friends that I have met through the art groups on the internet and through the Art Associations I belong to. I didn’t have all the support in my early years as an artist and there is so much support through the internet now.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
The best advice I have heard and live by is to paint for my own pleasure. I rarely do commissions now because it can bring much stress – yet I love seeing their face that shows the joy I have given them!
What inspires you?
Animals inspire me to paint. I look for many hours through many resources for a photo of an animal that touches me emotionally. I look for new challenges to push my abilities. I was recently moved by a fire in a Germany zoo. It broke my heart to hear of all the apes that tragically died. Soon after that fire I came across a photo of an orangutan that died in that fire from a photographer that I use often. I had to paint her. It was a very difficult piece but very gratifying to memorialize her special beauty.
Thank you, Kathy, for sharing a peek into your life as an artist.
Below are 8 of Kathy’s award winning pieces. To learn more about Kathy and see more of her work please visit her Facebook page.
Fusion Art, LLC
Santa Fe, NM