My name is Kathleen Ross. I am currently a digital artist, writer, and an art educator. I earned my MFA at the School of Visual Arts in Studio Art with a focus on painting and mixed media. Since leaving New York in the early 2000’s, I spent the majority of my career as an art educator in St. Louis, MO. During this time, I discovered that the demands of teaching came with a price. For several years, it seemed almost impossible to find time or resources to create art, despite having summers off.
Alma Woodsey Thomas inspired me to start making art again when I taught a lesson about her work. I saw in her biography that she was a teacher for thirty years before she was able to focus on her art career. That inspiration led me to start a blog and I began thinking about women in the arts. It is shocking that so few women make it into exhibitions or are recognized for their achievements. That said, some of my favorite artists are Kiki Kogelnik and Sister Corita Kent, two under recognized Pop artists. What I like about their work is the way they use color and that their work always sends a strong message or call to action.
After exploring my options, I found that digital art was the best medium for me. I developed my process over time and began to work with specific tools to achieve the appearance and narrative of my work. In general, my canvas is a touch screen tablet and my pen or brush is a stylus. I use photographs, older physical works, and drawings to create mixed media compositions. Then I add additional hand drawn marks to the images. The physical artwork is produced as a Giclée print. This is a digital process where the image is transferred onto archival paper using high quality ink. What I like about this process is that it allows me to create work that doesn’t take up physical space unless I or somebody else wants to see it in real life. Because of this, I hope to be more environmentally conscious without sacrificing my creative options.
My artwork is content and purpose driven, but composition and subject help tell the story in each piece. I focus on contemporary, real world issues, and how they tie in with history, and our human experience. I am particularly interested in power dynamics in human relationships, both large and small. Each work of art reveals a subject or subjects caught in a moment in time, and without explanation. Understated or even soft colors associated with uncomfortable content repeats itself throughout the work. Conversely, taboo subject matter is frequently juxtaposed with concepts of love and family. Color plays a large role in expressing the ideas in the work, so I spend time ensuring it is executed with great integrity.