November 19, 2021
The image on our cover this month is by prolific artist Kathy Womack. It is titled Women and Wine: Sixteenth Edition and is part of a series of more than 40 paintings. Kathy began her artistic career as a fashion illustrator, working at the Austin American-Statesman in the mid-nineties. She explains her move to canvas from print: “After working in advertising for a decade as a fashion illustrator, I craved freedom from the nine-to-five and looked to a different outlet. I picked up my brushes and never looked back.”
After a few years of art festivals, gallery shows and private showings, Kathy’s Women and Wine series had such a following, she opened her own galleries in Austin and Houston, which had a successful eight-year run. What started with subjects from Kathy’s own imagination has evolved into commissions for clients, depicting themselves and their friends. Although they are her most popular paintings and prints, her work goes far beyond Women and Wine.
Kathy has always considered herself an illustrator, whether working on paper or canvas, and her work reflects that. With series names like “Couture” and “Damas,” fashion and the female form dominate her paintings. The Women and Wine series often depicts women who are laughing and happy. Kathy said, “As an artist, I am drawn to the dramatic, or emotionally provocative imagery, so I think I was trying to capture the emotion of the moment. We cherish our friendships, so the nature of that is pretty relatable to most women and obviously had broad appeal.”
While she continues to paint her beloved Women and Wine, lately Kathy has felt drawn in a different direction. She’s returned a bit to her roots, mingling them with a twenty-first century sensibility. She calls the recent work found on her Instagram and Studio Shop websites “sketchbook musings.” They have a playful sense of humor. As stated on the Instagram page, they’re full of “pop culture, snark, and random scribblings.” The images say Old Hollywood, but the words that often accompany them are very 2021.
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