Kathleen Murphy Willer Studio
Menomonee Falls, WI (near Milwaukee)
"Birds On Birds" 60" x 48", West Palm Beach, FL
"Fifteen Trees" 36" x 60", Chicago, IL
"I paint how I see the world in my mind. I’ve been accruing visual images and colors in my head for as far back as I can remember. Even spoken words have color to me."
"Wildflower Landscape" 48" x 72", San Antonio, TX
"Paper Bag Trees" 24" x 30", Western Springs, IL
"Unusual Landscape" 48" x 60", Delray Beach, FL
a c r y l i c p a i n t i n g s
"Five Trees By The Water" 48" x 60", Saint Petersburg, FL
I want the viewer to be IN my work - to step up VERY close, like close enough to make an art museum guard nervous. To encourage this, there is a profuse amount of detail, sgraffito, tiny resist drawings, and mark-making in the background of my work. My 6-year-old self imagined room-sized paintings and attempted to create them on my own bedroom walls. Maturity and an art degree led me to work on canvas - the larger, the better.
My recent work is inspired by my (illegal) outdoor childhood play area - acres of wildflowers and weeds on city-owned land in Milwaukee where I grew up. Because I want the viewer to feel like they've entered my world, I prefer to work large. Recently, I've begun using 2 or 3 canvases to make each very large work. I like the vertical seams created by the abutting canvases, like the seams in installed wallpaper. I have a goal of making a truly room-sized painting, so my 6-year-old self will calm down.
Each of my paintings, no matter how big or small, is a little environment - the result of hours and hours of layers and techniques that have evolved with me as an artist over the past 26 years. There is nothing like the feeling when a piece finally looks “whole” to me. I add processes as they come to me, and let others fall away, sometimes without even realizing it. I can’t wait to see what sneaks itself into my work next.
As for the origin of the little drawings and scribbles (sgraffito) inherent in my work, all I know for sure that they have to be there. I believe I was born making little drawings – I can’t remember not knowing I was an artist. I was the kid who got in trouble for drawing on the desk in school, and on the walls at home. I’ve been accruing visual images and colors in my head for as far back as I can remember (even spoken words have color to me). All of this is continually regenerating in my mind - a constant supply of visual inspiration – lucky me! Also, isn’t it wonderful that all of these little scribblings entertain up close, yet serve a purpose (visual texture) as you view my work from a distance?
I have a bachelor’s degree in fine art from Mount Mary University in Milwaukee. I’ve shown in hundreds of fine art fairs (and won many awards) around the country; I also work with galleries, dealers and designers. My work is collected by numerous private collectors, business and corporations on five continents.
I like that people are intrigued by the originality of my work, yet feel a familiarity in its sophisticated naivety.
"Eight Pairs Of Dipped Birds" 36" x 48", Saint Petersburg, FL
"Field Compostion" 36" x 48", Saint Petersburg, FL
Four 10x20 paintings, Saint Petersburg, FL
"Flower Landscape (With Emerging Houses)" 36" x 48",
"Field Flowers With New Birds" 48" x 60", Palm Harbor, FL
"Landscape (I Can't Forget The Boats)" 48" x 72", Lake Mary, FL