Memories reclaimed from childhood (most recently, an overgrown city lot we played on as children) combined with my imagination are the inspiration for my work. This mix-up of childhood memories and the endless stock of visual noise in my head creates vivid, abundant compositions in my mind, which I challenge myself to recreate on canvas.
The complicated, brightly colored visions I have bode well with my tendency to be a “heavy-handed” artist (all my life). Over my 26 year career, I’ve gone from using one or two processes/layers in my work, to using ten or more. All of this takes quite a bit of time, but there is nothing like the feeling when a piece finally looks “whole” to me. For materials, I work with acrylic paint (applied with brush or mono-type drawing), and some oil pastel and pencil. 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 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’ve been accruing visual images and colors and ideas in my head as far back as I can remember (even spoken words have color to me). All my life, as I’ve let all of this come out of my head onto paper or canvas, (or, despite getting into trouble, on my bedroom walls and desk surface in school during my early years), it seems to be forever 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, architects and designers. My work is collected by numerous private collectors, business and corporations on five continents.
Kathleen Murphy Willer Studio
Menomonee Falls, WI (near Milwaukee)
"Birds On Birds" 60" x 48", in its home, West Palm Beach, FL
"Fifteen Trees" 36" x 60", in its home, Chicago, IL
"I paint how I see the world in my mind. All the little background drawings
are images I've collected from things I've seen around me and in my imagination my entire life."
"Wildflower Landscape" 48" x 72", in its home, San Antonio, TX
"Paper Bag Trees" 24" x 30", in its home, Western Springs, IL
"Unusual Landscape" 48" x 60", in its home, Delray Beach, FL
"Birds With Tattoos" 36" x 48", in its home, Plano, TX
a c r y l i c p a i n t i n g s