Collection: Kathy Bradshaw

Kathy Bradshaw encaustic artist at Gallery Merrick

"I am a Saskatoon-based Canadian artist, retired art educator and……a late-bloomer.  Though I began life as a physical education teacher, I always loved to draw and was an artist at heart.  After taking a community art class and completing my first painting at 40, I returned to the University of Saskatchewan in 2005 and completed my B.F.A. with Great Distinction. Since then, I have enriched my practice through self-directed workshops with local and international artists, artist mentorships, artist residencies and solo and group exhibitions across Canada and the U.S. I am grateful to have received awards for my work and to be named “A Saskatchewan Artist to Watch” in 2019 but, above all, I am blessed to pursue my life’s passion and create art every day.

Expressive mark-making, colour, texture and light all play a powerful role in my art.  I favour oil for its buttery texture and juicy strokes and encaustic for its unpredictable and mysterious nature. Using a layered approach, I add further richness, history and content to my work using oil sticks, charcoal, pastels, inks, tar, shellac and gold leaf. While the act of painting with molten wax and an open flame is already a wondrous experience in and of itself, the luminous and tactile nature of encaustic is most intriguing. Letting go and allowing encaustic to serendipitously paint itself during the fusing process is one of my most exciting studio moments as is excavating into previous layers in order to reveal what lies below. I never tire of these discoveries and every day I learn something new about this seductive and versatile medium.

Inspired by the various places and subjects I experience across Canada and afar, my current focus is the power of landscape and animal portraiture. Equally fascinated and haunted by the vastness of the prairies and the solitude of the forest, I seek every opportunity I can to hike and immerse myself in these humbling spaces. This is, at once, a personal search for life balance and a means to translate landscape as a form of escape and a source of spiritual growth and well-being. Similarly seduced by animal forms for their emotional and symbolic connections, I strive to capture their “inner landscapes” through gaze and gesture. But whether portraiture, landscape or still life, at the heart of each painting is my sensitive observation, my emotional response to the subject before me and a deep passion for painting.

I work out of my home studio in Saskatoon and I am represented by galleries in Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan. My paintings are part of private, public and corporate collections across Canada and around the world."