My goal as an artist is to utilize all that is abstract in the painting process to create a presence. I want my work to deliver something that is visceral. When I look at my painting (Figures 1-4), whether it is a commissioned portrait, a figure from imagination or a flower from my garden, I want to feel the presence of my subject.
Beginning with an abstract arrangement of value shapes and color, I strive to suggest rather than define. I try to say as much as possible with each brush stroke. The process of expressing an idea by catching rhythms and sculpting the form with gestural strokes of color creates energy. I hope the viewer can experience this energy.
Expressive brushwork and rich color characterize the paintings of Kathleen McKenna. Widely exhibited nationally, and through the Art in Embassies Program internationally, her work has garnered numerous awards including the Allied Artists of America’s Gold Medal. Mc Kenna’s oil paintings and pastels are in several Cleveland area collections, among them The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the Intercontinental Hotel, The Cleveland Play House and Cleveland State University.
Kathleen McKenna received her training at the Cooper School of Art in Cleveland. There she won several awards in student concours for her life drawings and portrait paintings. She furthered her studies in New York at the Art Students League with a number of contemporary masters including Robert Brackman, Frank Mason, David Leffel, and Everett Raymond Kinstler. She teaches in the Fine Arts Department at Lakeland Community College.