Kathryn B. Phillips
Asheville artist Kathryn B. Phillips has always challenged her surroundings. Her art mimics her life: by letting go of others’ expectations, as well as her own, Phillips has found harmony in the constant struggle to nurture freedom while still respecting the boundaries of good design.
Phillips grew up in Eudora, Arkansas, exploring the wooded banks of the Mississippi River, collecting treasures from nature that very often became small vignettes in her family’s home.
Her mother fostered in her the love of visual beauty, by transforming their gardens with her natural sense of design. Phillips was encouraged to participate in private art classes at a young age, and she eventually majored in Fine Art at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston.
Following her formal education, Phillips received further inspiration and tremendous encouragement from M. Douglas Walton. Waltons’ two-week intensive Watercolor Encounter courses allowed her the freedom to experiment and to explore the medium further. Phillips has worked to promote art in underserved communities, and has taught and attended workshops on composition and painting techniques.
Since 1975, Phillips has participated in multiple juried exhibitions, as well as numerous group and solo shows, and has been featured in several interior design articles.
By focusing on the intricacies and the inner workings of her subjects, she creates striking forms that are simultaneously exaggerated and yet true-to-life. Inspired by the works of watercolor artists Emily Carr and John Marin, Phillips documents the visible patterns created by her compositions’ basic elements.
The strength of her work lies in her ability to take inflexible structures and transform them. Her freedom and spontaneity delivers color, and fluidity to the playful shapes and surfaces. Phillips ignores the temptation to conform with her art; instead, she embraces her own unique perspective and allows the medium to guide her creative process