“Snowy Afternoon Walk”, Oil on Linen, 16×20, by Katherine Galbraith, Winner of the Best of Show Award at the 2019 NOAPS Best of America SMALL PAINTING Exhibition at the RS Hanna Fine Art Gallery in Fredericksburg, Texas.
There are many aspects of Katherine Galbraith’s painting that are impressive, but one of the most striking is the apparent effortlessness in the work. The strokes are sure and confident, the colors undulate between warm and cool, the edges are varied, and there is detail only where needed. And although each of the dogs is facing outward, the connection of the dark masses holds the viewer in the picture.
“Before the Storm”, 36×27, Oil on Linen, Collection of the Artist.
Katherine Galbraith began her study of art at a very early age; she began art school and subsequently private art lessons at 11 years of age. She continued her studies, and after winning a Merit Scholarship to the prestigious National Academy of Design, she studied under Daniel Greene and Robert Phillip.
“The White Horse”, 16×12, Oil on Linen, Collection of the Artist.
Learning has been an integral part of Katherine’s motivation; she has devoted study to Masters such as John Singer Sargent, Vermeer, Rembrandt, Renoir, Sorolla, and Levitan. Contemporary artists continue to inspire her as well; the work of David Leffel, Jill Carver, John McDonald, Jeremy Lipking, and Matt Smith to name a few.
“Blue Hat and Coat”, 28×18, Oil on Linen, Private Collection.
Galbraith paints primarily in oil, and her favorite subject matter tends to be people and animals, where she finds the sacred beauty of everyday living beings. She paints both from life and from photos. To begin, she uses a notan or a thumbnail sketch to divide her subject matter into values and basic shapes. For portraits, she draws a charcoal sketch first, then presents a monochrome painting to her client for approval. After the initial sketches, she draws her image on the canvas, and does a monochromatic underpainting before committing to color. She works on portrait grade linen, using a variety of brushes, both bristle and soft synthetics. Her palette consists of Lead white, titanium white, cadmium yellow light or lemon, cadmium orange or cadmium yellow deep, yellow ochre, cadmium red light, alizarin crimson, terra rosa, ultramarine blue, cobalt turquoise, sap green, French raw sienna, raw umber, burnt umber and ivory black.
“Lillian”, 36×30, In Progress, and Finished Painting. Oil on Linen, Private Collection.
Katherine Galbraith considers the ability to continue learning about her art to be her greatest accomplishment, although she has indeed won many prestigious awards and recognitions. Among these are Best in Show from NOAPS, First Place from the Portrait Society of America, and Second Place from American Women Artists. She is a Signature Member of both American Women Artists and Oil Painters of America.
A most important aspect of lifelong learning, says Galbraith, is to “be true to yourself. Choose mentors and workshops from artists you feel can teach you the most without losing yourself…work diligently on your own and try to incorporate those lessons that show you how to improve your painting. Being a painter is a lifelong calling.”
Katherine Galbraith is represented by the Castle Gallery, Fort Wayne, IN; the Grand Bohemian Gallery in Birmingham, AL; and the Grand Bohemian Gallery in Charleston, SC. To see more work by Galbraith, visit www.KatherineGalbraithFineArt.com.
To see more work from the NOAPS Best of America SMALL PAINTING Exhibition, visit www.noaps.org.
Written by Patricia Tribastone, NOAPS Blog Editor