Working exclusively in oils, Katherine Taylor has been painting and exhibiting in Central Oregon for 20 years and considers herself a painter of light and dark. Her signature artwork employs the dramatic chiaroscuro lighting and luminous glazing she learned from her classical art training in the 1990s.
Katherine paints all subjects, from Oregon landscapes to human and animal figures to still life – and others in-between. Her portrait commission work continues to be robust. Some of her landscapes and still life paintings reflect her years spent in the Southwest. Whenever possible, Katherine can be found painting en plein air, capturing Central Oregon’s diverse light and landscape as the day unfolds. Her upcoming August 2022 show, Thinking Wild, will feature wild animal portraits that are so intimate, their spirits and personalities shine through. For her show Katherine is partnering with the local non-profit organization Think Wild to bring attention to the great work they do to rehabilitate injured or orphaned wild critters so they can be returned to the wild.
Katherine produced her first work spontaneously in her childhood garage at age 14 – a seascape rendering of a boat on a choppy sea. That painting remained tucked away until two years ago, when she finally gifted it. This aptly mirrors her route to art.
After receiving her degree in secondary education and beginning to teach she realized that – even though she loved teaching – she was in the wrong profession. She told her husband, “You know, I want to be an artist… I know I can’t do it right away, but I’m going to do it.”
Katherine felt the same internal knowing when she traded in her initial acrylic paints for oil. At the time, she was in New Mexico, so she had great access to the artist community in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. She began to take classes there in the evenings after school days and found that oils gave her the rich darks and lights that express the drama and emotion of life. This is the goal she strives to convey through her painting.
Eventually, Taylor was led to experiment with:
• Baroque Realism (focus on the figure)
• Naturalism (lots of alla prima and plein aire study)
• Russian Impressionism (lively paint application and color studies)
Her inexhaustible desire to excel in oils has taken her into the studios of many contemporary masters to study a variety of creative methods. She particularly focuses on chiaroscuro, a technique that mixes drama and realism through emphasis of the strong lights and darks in a scene. Each technique learned informs her painting style, which some have described as “soulful and luminous.”
Katherine’s work has been included in juried exhibitions and private collections in the United States and Europe, exhibiting in many places. She appreciates the concentrated quality of the art scene in Bend, Oregon and has been an active member of Tumalo Art Co. since 20??.
Katherine teaches and lectures on classical oil painting as well. As a mentor, she finds the connection with her students to be equally educational and enriching.