ART Magazine. San Antonio, Texas. By Sarah Luginbill.
The Texas Hill Country is home to many skilled artists. They find inspiration and comfort in the scenic environment, have galleries in small towns, and are surrounded by supportive arts communities in San Antonio or Austin. Two of these talented Texas Hill Country artists, Todd Abbott Winters and Kathleen Marie, travel around the country to exhibit their artwork. This past weekend, both Winters and Marie showed their art at “Celebration of the Arts,” an annual art show and festival in Midland, Texas.
Todd Abbott Winters is a watercolor artist in Kerrville, Texas. He’s been painting watercolors since he was a child, and graduated with a degree in painting from the University of Texas. Winters says he loves watercolor because he can get results quickly.
“Everything I paint comes from my personal experience,” says Winter. His subjects include everything from landscapes to a series of hearts, all of which are bright and cheerful. One picture, a profile of a buffalo head, is particularly eye-catching. The buffalo head is formed from cool blues and greens, which gradually fade to purple. The bright orange background turns into yellow, a transition parallel to the color change in the buffalo’s head. As a result, the watercolor appears to pop. Winters comments that he is “interested in the relationships of colors” within all of his paintings. This is especially evident in the buffalo profile.
Winters says that his paintings are of enough variety that he can choose what to take to different art shows based on the audience.
“My mission is to share the artwork,” says Winters. “There is a huge gratification in producing something and sharing it with someone. It makes you want to get better.”
Another artist who shared her work at “Celebration of the Arts” was Kathleen Marie. She lives in Johnson City, just north of San Antonio, where she uses a burning tool to burn lines onto pieces of wood. These lines vary in thickness and darkness, and combined they create beautiful images. For some woodburns, such as her butterfly metamorphosis cycle, Marie colors the wood with colored pencils after burning an outline of the image.
Marie has loved working with wood since she was 14 years old, but she began woodburning around 19. Her woodburns are mainly of nature and animals. Marie says she decides what to depict on each piece of wood through one of two ways: she either looks at a board and gets ideas from the wood, or starts with an idea and tries to find the right piece of wood. Marie states that ”woodburning isn’t just about the burning. It’s a long process.”
One of the best examples of finding an idea from the wood is her burn of a waterbuffalo head. The incredibly detailed waterbuffalo faces outward, its nose a natural knot in the wood. The buffalo appears to be part of the wood, an image which Marie envisioned when she picked up the wood for the first time.
“I really have to listen to the wood. I don’t work on wood, I work with wood,” explains Marie.
While Winters and Marie work in two different mediums, they are both clearly passionate about their art. They travel to art shows to share their expertise and love of art, taking time to visit with viewers and patrons. They want to share their lifetime love of art, and their passions serve as an inspiration for anyone, not just artists, to follow what they love.