Kathy Collins
Thursday, May 5th, 2022 Demo Artist
10:00 am - 2:00pm

" Boats, Flowers & Still Life""

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Biography - Kathy Collins

      Kathy always had a pencil in her hand while growing up, sketching pictures of her surroundings in Seattle and environs.  Later as a college student she was fascinated by the natural environment including people, animals, and plants and studied both biology and art.  Hiking in the mountains of Washington was a favorite activity.  


     Having grown up in a family where art was considered frivolous, she was encouraged to study something “practical.”  So after graduation in Biology at the University of Washington, she went on to enroll at Dartmouth Medical School and later transferred to the University of Michigan Medical School in order to be near her fiancée who would be doing an internship in Internal Medicine.  Kathy received her MD degree, she and Steve married, and they moved to the Washington DC area where she trained in the specialty of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She and Steve (who had earlier completed his training in Oncology) and their growing family of 3 boys moved back to Washington State. Steve headed up a research lab at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Kathy practiced medicine part-time while they raised their sons. She limited her practice to the diagnosis of nerve and muscle injuries.


    While the study of science was interesting and she enjoyed the contact with patients and staff, the day to day practice of medicine did not provide an outlet for creativity.  Kathy felt that she had missed her calling.  She picked up a pencil again, and in the mid-1980’s studied Scientific Illustration at the University of Washington.  Her love of the outdoors led her to paint precisely rendered images of the natural world, especially botanical subjects.


     As her boys grew and left for college and careers, she had more time to devote to painting. Kathy’s style evolved to more impressionistic images inspired by sketches made while she and Steve hiked the mountains and shores of Washington State and on their many bicycle trips in the US and Europe.  Painting became her primary focus and she began showing her watercolors in juried shows, achieving Signature status in The American Watercolor Society, The Northwest Watercolor Society, and Women Painters of Washington


    She and Steve were very proud of their sons: the oldest, Jeff, completed his PhD in Physics from the University of California at Berkeley and works for a multinational firm in data analysis; Greg graduated from West Point, served his country in Iraq, and now is the owner of a web design business as well as on-line sporting goods company; James is a Structural Engineer with a company that is currently working on King County Light Rail.  Sadly Steve became ill, his condition gradually worsened, and he passed away in May, 2017.


    Kathy’s painting has been therapeutic for her at this difficult time. She is currently adding collage and encaustic (wax) media to her watercolor techniques. She teaches classes and workshops at Tsuga Fine Art in Bothell, participates in local arts groups, and exhibits her work in galleries and juried shows.  She continues to hike and bike and  enjoys spending time with her friends and family, which now includes 4 grandchildren.


     Her next show opens at the Gallery here in the Lake Forest Park Town Center on Thursday, Feb. 22nd 5-7PM. The show will be up through March 31st. Her work can be seen at www.kathycollinswatercolors.com


  • Watercolor Paper: 140# cold press, Fabriano Artistico or Arches, 1 or more sheets, plus Gatorboard or other non-absorbent board and tape or clamps to support and hold the paper


  • Watercolor Paint: Winsor & Newton preferred, but most brands will work —French ultramarine blue, cerulean blue, alizarin crimson, raw sienna, burnt sienna, sepia or burnt umber


  • Brushes: large flat 1 ½” or 2” (I use synthetic), one small brush such as a rigger for fine lines


  • Palette: preferably one with large wells (eg Sterling Edwards) to accommodate the large brushes


  • Water container and small spray bottle for “spritzing”


  • Towels or large sponge (for sopping up extra water) – important!


  • Sketchbook/pens (eg Sharpie ultrafine point) for value studies


  • Photos or sketches (to paint from) -  optional


  • Pencils, kneaded eraser


  • Drafting tape (not masking tape)

Kathy Collins, Boats.jpg
Kathy Collins, flowers.jpg
Kathy Collins, Still Life.jpg