About My Art
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 send 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 I create. 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. To illuminate the way everyday issues get co-opted and distorted through a marketing lens, I use digital images. Underlying tension exists beneath luminous colors, representing the way real issues quickly become marketable. I am particularly interested in the power imbalance in social systems, overall and at the granular level. Every piece references a human condition with winners and losers; oppressors and the oppressed. Figures appear out of context, juxtaposed against contradictory backgrounds or situations, and without explanation. In fact, this intentional placement aspires to reveal the underlying conditions, struggles, and power of the figures. Glowing colors, unusual, possibly festive scenes, or fashion references connect to multiple world issues. It is through the contradictions that I hope to open a space where we all can ask questions about our relationships to these different structural imbalances.
The real world effect of the printed artwork is striking. That is why I exclusively use Giclée prints. The high quality ink and the museum quality paper meets archival standards. When purchasing a Giclée print, you will own a work of art that, when cared for properly, will last for decades to come.