Kathleen Faulkner has been creating beautiful pieces of art for quite some time. I have enjoyed looking at her nature inspired silver jewelry for years. When I sat down to talk with her this fall, the wonderful oil pastel works that were on display at the Smith & Vallee Gallery in Edison were further testament to her love of nature. My favorite work that was on display was a large piece inspired by Liberty Bell Peak at Washington Pass, titled Aspire.
Kathleen was taught oil painting as a child, and the thick, textured surface of her oil pastel designs is reminiscent of an oil painting. At Cornish Institute of Arts in Seattle, she studied painting, sculpture, and ceramics. She also studied print making at Klatsop College in Astoria. Continuing her artistic training, Kathleen was an apprentice to Guemes Island jeweler Lois Bertolino. In 2005, she worked with Bellingham painter Susan Bennestrom. To pay the bills, Kathleen worked on the Guemes Ferry and for oil spill clean-up companies. In 2008, she finally came to a realization.
“One day, I thought about what my life would mean to me on my death bed. I didn’t want to lay there thinking about what I could have done. And now, I can’t always buy what I want, or fix that leaky roof, but it was the right decision to focus on art full time.”
The detail and very realistic rendering of plants and mountains in her oil pastels indicated to me not only a great deal of creative talent, but also a scientific interest. When I asked Kathleen about that, she did admit to having an interest in math and science. She originally had ambitions to become a biologist. Her decision to study art was met with some skepticism, but lucky for all of us, she persevered.
Earlier this fall, Kathleen had a linocut in the RESIST: Contemporary Protest Art show at Perry Carlson Gallery in Mount Vernon. She is a member of the Skagit Women Print group that assembled pieces for the show. She also still produces jewelry and has certainly expanded her designs greatly to include more abstract pieces. Her work is on display at the Facere Jewelry Gallery in Seattle.
At the Arts Alive show in La Conner, November 3 thru 5, Kathleen is one of the Invitational Artists. Be sure to stop in and take a look at exhibit of work from this very talented Skagit Valley artist. The three-day show includes art demonstrations, a chowder competition, special events at merchant locations, live music, and more.
Entertainment Writer Mark Perschbacher…A man who will cross great barriers to find exceptional music. Mark is a long time Skagit County resident, contributor to, and supporter of local arts. Oil pastel photos courtesy of Michael Vitale