Kathy Blankley Roman Solo Exhibition: “New Explorations”

December 1st Opening Reception from 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Show Open: December 1st – January 2nd

Chicago artist, Kathy Blankley Roman has been making art of one kind or another as far back as she can remember. Mostly self-taught, Roman learned her craft through classes at local art centers and workshops. Her personal art making was mostly relegated to spare time status until her retirement in 2010, when she finally had the time to pursue art for herself. It was then that she stumbled on a course in expressive, nonobjective painting and has never looked back.

Her preference for an earthy palette reflects a connection felt since her childhood introduction to the prehistoric cave art of Lascaux. She still carries with her that first sense of awe and wonder and references to it often appear in her paintings. Influences from Kathy’s background in calligraphy are also evident in her work. She uses acrylics, encaustic or oil with cold wax medium, scraping or dissolving back through the layers to reveal what lies beneath, exploring gesture and contrasts in texture and color. Her expressive paintings pulse with energy, history and a sense of depth, often evoking feelings of peace and calm.

ARTIST STATEMENT – This collection is a compilation of works resulting from experimentation with new materials and processes…encaustic and oil on paper, acrylics on TerraSkin (a paper made from stone), monoprints, ink brushwork and the combination of some of these elements. Essentially, as with all of my work, the paintings are about gesture and memory and often evoke a sense of place. Words, feelings, and “aha” moments: things that make an impression on me become the source that I draw from when I paint. Responding intuitively to random marks, I am driven by an exploration of the materials as much as by my emotional response to the evolving painting. Ultimately, it is all about the process: finding a sense of order, refuge and letting go, becoming immersed in the moment, the visceral physicality of engaging the surface and then finding just the right balance between intention and intuition to bring the composition to a satisfying conclusion. I don’t plan a painting when I start. I respond intuitively to the marks, strokes and textures that have been laid down, editing now and then for composition and what “feels right.” Mostly, I let it take me where it will. I’d like to think that others might respond to the dance and the meditative aspects of my work and perhaps be drawn past the surface and into the painting, to experience it through their own personal filters.

Kathy’s paintings have appeared in juried, solo and small group shows nationally and online. She was awarded finalist status in the Annual Competition of The Artist’s Magazine 2014 and 2016 in the Experimental/Abstract Category and was accepted into the highly competitive biennial National Art Encounter 2015, von Liebig Art Center, Naples, FL. She recently won the Bronze Award in the Abstract issue of ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal, Vol.26, August 2017. Kathy currently has work on exhibit in the 14th Annual Regional Juried Exhibition of the Freeport Art Museum, Freeport, IL.

5216 North Damen Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60625