Born in Idaho in the mid-1940s, Kathryn Stats has lived most of her life in Utah. Though her family moved a lot in her growing years, she spent her teenage summers in Kaysville, Utah with her grandmother, the sister-in-law of LeConte Stewart, the famous Utah landscape painter. Surrounded by the rural landscape outside and his wonderful paintings in the house, it isn’t surprising that Kathryn would eventually start to paint. In her late twenties, living in Brazil with her husband and children, she began a career that has been both successful and gratifying. Her earliest lessons came from the books of such painters as Emil Gruppe and John F. Carlson and she later studied with Utah artists Ken Baxter and Frank Erickson.
Her floral studies and the distinctive landscapes that have become the hallmark of her work are in private and public collections worldwide. She has also garnered numerous awards from the growing list of exhibitions in which she has shown her work. Her most recent awards include “People’s Choice” and “Artist’s Choice” in the Rising Stars Juried Invitational, Wickenburg, Arizona, 2002, “Best Oil, 2002”in the Maynard Dixon Country Invitational, Mt. Carmel, Utah, and “People’s Choice Award” in the Merrill Johnson Gallery, Denver, Colorado, 2001.
“I think a good painting is like a good musical composition.” Kathryn states, “It has harmony and rhythm, contrast and theme, sometimes even soloists. Those elements rarely just occur in a natural landscape. I find that I emphasize with detail and color, omit some things, mute others, even rearrange elements to create a composition that conveys my visual experience, my joy, to the viewer. It is this challenge that keeps me painting.”
“The reason you keep doing it —painting every day — has to do with the viewer. You want the viewer to experience the same joy you feel—and nature sometimes makes it hard. So it’s a process of adjusting, of emphasizing, softening, even omitting, to make what you paint convey the right message to the viewer. Sometimes it’s a long process—other times the problems are easy to solve—but always—it’s a joy.