Kathleen Staiger.JPG

Artists Statement

It's hard for me to describe my painting method; how I get from inspiration to a finished painting.  I know it's not the easy process that many people believe it to be.  Unlike a realistic artist who interprets what they see, as an abstract artist you are essentially creating something out of nothing; you have nothing to go by or to start from.  But if you are successful, you will have created a totally unique experience for the viewer; something that will reach out and evoke an instinctive emotional response.  When you can connect with the viewer on that level it's a great feeling! 

My process varies.  Sometimes I start out with a theme or a color scheme, but at other times I just plunge in.  My inspiration may come from nature; the patterns of color on a Sea Grape leaf, or the movement of a wave, but I have also been inspired by the stains on an apron and the paint left on my palette.  My first layers of color are freely and randomly applied with large brushes or oil pastels just to break up the white of the canvas.  The next layers are suggested by the first, and so on, but many hours of thought and analysis are necessary to bring order and meaning out of that spontaneous beginning.  Oil paint lends itself to this improvisational and intuitive method of painting, allowing me to push one color into another and to create soft or sharp edges as I desire.  I may at some point decide to suggest a recognizable form, or I may leave the work "abstract".  There are, however, recurring themes in my work, forms that are sometimes seen only after a second look, and a sense of depth and mystery.  To achieve that effect I often use veils of color and calligraphic touches that seen to dance above the surface of the painting.

I am currently working on a series of oil and oil pastel paintings based on the intersection of water and land.  The "Coastal" series is an outgrowth of the "Seadreams" series which was more realistic than my usual work.  "Coastal" brings the subject back to my abstract roots.


Education:  B.S., M.A (Hofstra University, New York)

Teaching:    I am a career art teacher specializing in college to adult level.  Do to health issues, I am currently on extended leave from the faculty of the Vero Beach Museum of Art, Vero Beach, Florida, where I teach advanced Studio classes for all painting media.

National Professional Organizations:  Oil Painters of America (OPA) (2012-    ), Women's Caucus for Art (WCA) (1977-1989, renewed 2012)

Publications:  The Oil Painting Course You've Always Wanted, Watson and Guptill, 2006