Kathleen Veenstra paints expressive Northern New Mexico landscapes, creates functtional stoneware pieces for the home as well as beautiful clay pieces for the garden.
Kathleen Veenstra received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Michigan State University and her Master in Fine Arts from Miami University.
She studied and taught at Interlochen Center for the Arts, Calvin College, Trinity College and in The Netherlands.
Her work has been exhibited at the Karen Wray Gallery, in Los Alamos, NM, as well as the Museum of New Mexico Shops in Santa Fe, Fuller Lodge Art Center, in Los Alamos, Andrews Gallery in Los Alamos, The Hate Show in Espanola, Los Llanos Gallery in Santa Fe, Trinity College in Chicago, Calvin College in Michigan, Appalacian National Drawing Competition in Appalachian State Univeristy in Virginia, Miami University in Oxford, OH, College Art Association in Detroit, MI, and Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan.
I am inspired by the vivid colors, enormous skies, and layered textures of the New Mexico landscape. I paint expressive oil landscapes and also do three-dimensional work in stoneware clay. These two directions seem to balance and compliment each other in my work.
The outskirts of Santa Fe, White Rock Overlook, and the Sangre de Christo and Jemez mountains are all frequent subjects of my work. I often take photographs or sketch outside and then complete the piece in my studio.
Color is one of the most important elements of painting for me. I want my colors to look fresh, spontaneous, and as if they just "floated" off the brush on to the canvas. It may take many brush stroke layers to achieve the effects of effortlessness that I want to achieve. I am seeking a balance between abstract expressionism and realism in my work.
Much of my ceramic work is wheel-thrown stoneware, functional pieces that are designed for daily use in the home. These functional pieces are complemented by slab-built sculptural pieces. The emphasis on color and texture in my paintings is echoed in the clay pieces.
I began making relief faces in stoneware that I called "Garden Sprites." When my son died in 2016, I began turning those sprites into angels.
I hope that people enjoy my work and that it enriches their lives. I subscribe to William Morris' theory that we should have nothing in our home that is not useful and that we do not believe to be beautiful. My goal for my work is that it achieves both of these ideals.