********** Please note: If you are interested in purchasing artwork or cards, please contact me at: KathleenHebert@kathleenhebertartist.com **********
Welcome to the kathleenhebertartist.com website (formerly artkatcards-paintings.com). I am an artist living, painting, teaching, writing and gardening in Worcester, MA.
Not so talented! That's right. I was doing paint by numbers when I was 10 years old and copying model poses out of my Millie the Model comic books. Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York is where my fascination for drawing and painting started to open up as I pursued a B.F.A. in Fashion Design. Art classes were a required part of the four year curriculum. But I was not talented, neither in fashion nor in any of the art classes I took and my work was often made the example as "what not to do." Though disheartening I loved how I felt when drawing and painting. Besides, being a rank beginner, if I kept working at this I could only get better.
The problem solving of how to make things look real was enticing, something worth studying. Truly, there was never any talent exhibited, and every teacher I ever had would attest to that. My graduation from Pratt with a B.F.A. was in 1973. Fumbling along I kept taking art classes. It wasn't until the 1980's after I purchased a copy of Betty Edward's Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain that I started to figure out how to "look" at things like an artist.
This was a breakthrough concept. Until this book, a student showed up for class, maybe a teacher came around two or three times. And that was it. You had to learn on your own and if you were having trouble understanding, too bad. You just had to keep at it and hope for the best.
A career counselor helped to direct me to a path I would follow for the rest of my life. Through some testing, lo and behold, I was an artist! That is still a shock when I think about it. The counselor helped me design a Beginning Art class for adults like myself - people with no talent.
In February of 1986 I began to teach Beginning Art. It's now 2017. Still teaching beginners (adults) how to "see" like an artist. Beginning Art led to Painting for Beginners and then a book written for people like me - people who always wanted to draw and paint but were afraid to try: No Talent Required: from Paint by Numbers to Art Instructor
What do I paint? Simply put - everything! I wasn't very good at painting either until I found Helen Van Wyk of Rockport, MA in the summer of 1993. Her teaching inspired me and filled in all the gaps of my many years of trying to learn to draw and paint. It was Helen that made it possible to create the artwork I paint today.
If I'm enchanted (I think that's the draw for me) with the color, or the light and shadows, or the subject matter, or all these things - I want to paint them. After all these years of painting there is still so much more for me to learn.
Me and "Kya" during a Zoom class!!!
photo by Jean St. Denis Studio
All the years of struggle and looking for answers are all worth it when I see my art students enjoying drawing and painting as I do. Being able to open their eyes to the language of art is truly fulfilling.
And then I built this website. Besides my own paintings, my students have a chance to exhibit their own work they have completed in class, once they have taken Beginning Art (which is all the fundamentals of drawing).
And there's my blog. I never know what is going to be in that.
Could be something about art or my lawn mower. I never know.
Enjoy your visit and remember, you can learn to draw and paint. If I can do it - so can you.
Kya and Taj are sisters who live at Southwick Zoo in Mendon, MA. I was so fortunate to visit with some of my photography/painting mates and spend the day marveling at all the animals. The stripes almost blinded me but I still had to paint one more - Mata from ZooTampa in Florida. Almost done. And then I'll give up painting stripes for a while. - Kathy
This is a painting I did of my Mom, Christine Auer Hebert and her great-granddaughter, Yvette. Working from a photo I took at a family gathering, there were many challenges to overcome. Making each person look like themselves, getting the lighting just right, and that dress! Was a marvelous experience with a few moments of high anxiety. All part of the painting experience. After all these years I still look at each finished painting completed and remember what I couldn't do in college. It's hard to believe that I painted this. Always magical to me, each painting feels the same way. Lots of trials and many errors but that's how we all learn. In painting, the mistakes sometimes turn out to be brilliant strokes of genius.
Most of my landscapes are from Massachusetts, Vermont and Florida. Lake Champlain, Bolton Fair, Leaves on the Deck, Fireworks. Nature's wonders are a treasure to paint. There is always something to learn. The textures, the colors, atmosphere and light are ever-changing.
Portraits are a challenge, both people and animals. I enjoy the challenge. For me it's the joy of putting a puzzle together, finding a likeness, getting the light in the right place. Becoming the subject matter, having empathy with the subject is the key. Trying to imagine what that Koi is thinking makes painting the subject that much more fun. Empathy with the person - what is the mood, the shape of the head the tilt of the shoulders, the mystery locked in the center of their being. That is what I try to capture.
I adore flowers. Creating the beauty I see in them is the challenge. My teacher, Helen Van Wyk, told us - if you want to learn to paint - paint still life. Flowers, flowers and more flowers. If I practice enough I can only get better. Imagine trying to create something so beautiful. And flowers just grow that way - they don't have to work at being beautiful. But I have to work hard at understanding their beauty.
Abstract painting. A lot of fun but harder than it looks.
There are rules but there aren't rules. I'd love to master this someday, but again, I need to practice more. So much to learn, so much to paint.