BA, Hillsdale College, 2002, Summa Cum Laude
MFA, Academy of Art University, 2017 (expected)
Just as life is lived as much in the moments between as in the great events of birth, marriage, and death, so I find beauty in the small, everyday, and subtle. I am increasingly drawn to portraying the gentle sweep of a bare cornfield, for instance, rather than the showy majesty of a mountain peak. There are color harmonies and textures all around me that I long to translate into the lush brushstrokes of oil paint. My master inspirations are Velazquez and Vermeer.
As a youngster, Katharine Taylor had no formal art coaching, but grew up painting and drawing imaginary scenes, people, and landscapes whenever she had free time. Her artistic leanings were encouraged by her parents, who provided paper and art supplies and visited museums whenever possible.
Taylor majored in art at Hillsdale College, studying the traditional techniques of oil painting with Sam Knecht. Her paintings and drawings won awards in the semi-annual Hillsdale College Juried Student Art Show, as well as in the Mid-Michigan Small College Art Competition. She graduated as valedictorian of the class of 2002 with a bachelor of arts degree, summa cum laude. After graduation she continued to paint, completing several portrait commissions for private clients.
For the next six years, Taylor worked as a professional graphic designer in St. Louis, Missouri, but never gave up painting and drawing, keeping numerous personal sketchbooks and occasionally working on small commissions. Upon returning to live in Michigan in 2008, she was asked to teach a few classes as an adjunct member of the Hillsdale art faculty, and discovered a love of teaching. Taylor’s duties at Hillsdale include teaching Drawing I and Oil Painting I courses. She has also taught graphic design at nearby Spring Arbor University.
A transplant to the Midwest, Taylor has gradually fallen in love with the gentle beauty of the local landscape, from the rolling farm fields to the old barns and oak woods. She also relishes the challenge of portraiture and portraying light and shadow on a human form.