Kentucky Crafted Artist Page

Kathy Conroy

Painting

 

Wildlife art is a passion for many artists and art aficionados. People like to spend time drawing, photographing, painting and sculpting wildlife of all sorts. I believe this is an attempt to feel closer to nature in the midst of a fast-paced lifestyle in a concrete jungle.

I have been a wildlife artist my whole life. I have used many different media to depict what I see and what I experience. The most amazing medium I have encountered – which is now my exclusive medium of choice — is Scratchboard (also known as clayboard etching). I start with a piece of hardboard covered by a thin layer of hard white china clay and black India ink. After sketching a rough outline with chalk, I use sharp instruments (utility knives, scalpels, fiberglass brushes, needles, etc) to scratch the image through the black India ink, exposing the white clay. After many hours of scratching, I’m left with a black and white image.  I then decide on whether to leave the image as is, or to add varying degrees of color using special scratchboard inks. I apply the color with a paint brush (as in watercolor painting) and will frequently use the scratching tools to continue to shade and refine the final image. When completed, I apply several coats of clear acrylic, protecting the finished piece. This eliminates the need to place the work under glass, which allows the viewers to experience the details.

The finished product is unbelievably lifelike. The fur and feathers have a three-dimensional look and feel that I have never experienced in any other medium. It is also archival quality, guaranteeing a piece of art that will last indefinitely. Whereas many artists find scratchboard too tedious, I get great satisfaction from the incredible detail and beauty of the finished product.

 I have a very large photo archive that I’ve developed over the years, providing me with subject matter. I also receive photos from customers who want me to provide a beautiful lifelike painting of their favorite pets (dogs, cats, horses, etc.) I can also provide prints, note cards, stationery, mugs, etc. of any piece of art that I have done.