Saturday, May 25, 2013

Kathy Miller - Watercolor

Kathy Miller

Name:  Kathy Miller
City/State: Northfield, MN
Website: profile: Kathy Miller
Facebook page: Kathy Miller

Kathy Miller is a watercolor artist living in Northfield, Minnesota, who devotes a great deal of time to painting and teaching watercolor classes.  She is passionate about painting nature, capturing moments in time when the magic of light changes the ordinary into the extraordinary.  When choosing something to paint, Kathy always looks to the beauty of the world around her and is especially attracted to subject matter that portrays a dramatic sense of lighting, as evidenced in her numerous floral, landscape, and still life paintings that glow with a warm radiance.

Kathy earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education, and spent 20 years as an elementary classroom teacher.  Shortly before retiring in 2007, she took her first painting class and since then has taken numerous watercolor workshops throughout Minnesota, as well as Wisconsin, New Mexico, and Giverny, France.

Kathy is a Signature Member of the Minnesota Watercolor Society (MWS), and her paintings have earned numerous awards, including Best of Show at the MWS Spring Juried Exhibition in 2013.   Also in 2013, Kathy received a McKnight Individual Artist Grant awarded by the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) for an 18-month watercolor endeavor.

Kathy’s paintings are currently shown in various galleries in Northfield, Zumbrota, and Red Wing.   All of her artwork can been seen on her website at

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects? 

For over a year, I have been working on an extensive body of work for a project entitled "Visual Explorations: A Voyage of Discovery", made possible by the SEMAC grant awarded in March as previously stated. The impetus behind the project is a quote by Marcel Proust, "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but rather in seeing with new eyes."  It has caused a major shift in how I see my subject matter and how I portray it in my artwork.  In this new body of work, I have explored four nature themes - Peonies, Water Lilies, Reflections, and Aspen Trees - and created a series of watercolors on each from varying viewpoints that range in scope from intimate close-ups to broad panoramas.  In addition, I have experimented with alternative formats, including squares and elongated horizontal and vertical rectangles.  I have painted in sizes that are atypical for me as well, some as large as 30" x 66".  

The Capstone Event for my grant project is the exhibition "Voyage of Discovery and Reflections" at the Northfield Arts Guild, running from June 12th to July 22nd.  The Opening Reception is Friday, June 14th from 7 - 9 p.m.

How did you decide to become an artist?

In 2007 I retired from a career as an elementary classroom teacher.  One year prior to that I had a strong urge to take a watercolor class; as I told my fourth grade students, "I feel that there is a painting in me somewhere."  Upon taking the class, I instantly fell in love with the medium.  This has evolved into a new career that involves painting daily and teaching watercolor classes in communities in and around Northfield

What was the best advice given to you as an artist? 

Keep painting!!!!!  Don't give up!

Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art.  How do you sell your work?  How do you market yourself?
I began by doing local art fairs in Northfield and surrounding communities.  I continue to do those, including the Riverwalk Market Fair that is held in downtown Northfield every Saturday from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.  This is a wonderful opportunity to make connections with the public and to develop my presence as an artist.  Besides original watercolors, I sell cards and prints of various sizes, thus offering a wide range of price points to the public.

I also have a website ( and send out a bimonthly email newsletter to nearly 300 email addresses that I have gotten from those who have signed my guest book at art fairs.

My work can also be see on Northfield's local art website, Arts Town ( and Mn Artists (

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?

Charlotte Laxen (
Dan Weimer (
Karen Knutson (
Fred Sommers (

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?

Of course, at the top on the list has to be the Minneapolis Institute of Art; it's been a favorite place of mine since high school and college.  I never tire of revisiting the artwork of the classics from all time periods.  And for contemporary art it would be the Walker Art Center and the University of Minnesota's Weisman Art Museum.

And then, I also love going to the local exhibits at the Northfield Arts Guild.  The shows   feature the works from local and metro artists, as well as our local high school and colleges (Carleton and St. Olaf), including potters, fiber artist, jewelers, sculptors, and a broad range of 2-D artists.  (

Another gallery that I enjoy is Groveland Gallery, located in a beautifully restored 1890's mansion on the edge of downtown Minneapolis.  The gallery features the work of contemporary Midwest artists and specializes in representational 2-D artwork.  A number of local artists from the Northfield / Dundas area hang their pieces in this gallery. (

In addition to, where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise? 

- The new Northfield Arts Town website (
- Fine Art Views Newsletter - (
- MNArtists - (
-  Minnesota Watercolor Society (

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
Fast approaching is the Northfield Arts Guild exhibit "Voyage of Discovery and Reflections" that I mentioned earlier (June 12 - July 22); this will consist of about 27 new pieces of work, as well as the photography of Rochester photographer Ena Cisewski.
After that I will be showing about 40 paintings in Aberdeen, South Dakota, at the Dacotah Prairie Museum.  The show will run from August 24 to October 4 in the Lamont Gallery.

Kathy Miller

Northfield Art Guild

Image List:
1.  "Serenity, in Monet's Garden"
2.  "White Peonies"
3.  "Pink Peony"
4.  "Final Days"
5.  "Leafscape"
6.  "Looking In"
7.  Image of artist

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