Hello Atelier 031

Kathy Liao

August 23, 2018

Artist Kathy Liao paints her subjects from a distance as her family is spread about the globe. She keeps them near with her paintings and collages.

Hello Atelier 031

Painter Kathy Liao

It was a plant that first introduced me to painter Kathy Liao’s world. Or, I should say, a painting of a plant (which you can see in the gallery on this page). There was just something about that snake plant that drew me in. Maybe it was the colors – the light blue background and myriad greens of the leaves dominate the painting, but tiny pops of orange tempt you to look closer and see what other details you’ve missed. I love it (and have mentally hung it in the house – I have just the spot for it).

The snake plant is also known as Mother-In-Law’s tongue, which is kind of coincidental when you realize how much of Kathy’s work is actually inspired by her family members. Her grandmother appears in several of her paintings. Through hazy layers of color and texture you see her in the kitchen, sleeping, or peering into the camera of a computer, talking to her granddaughter thousands of miles away.

Kathy’s mother also makes appearances, as does her father. In fact, we were able to view a recent work entitled Without (also in the gallery) – a vast charcoal collage depicting her parents and grandmother sleeping. It was beautiful from far away. But like the plant painting, it beckoned you to come closer and see the tiny details hidden in each frame.

Listen in as we talk to Kathy about how her family influences her work, the importance of learning new techniques and how painting self-portraits grounds her in a space.

In this episode:

  • KathyLiao.com: Check out more of Kathy’s work on her website.
  • KathyLiao.art: Follow Kathy on Instagram to follow her progress on paintings
  • StudiosInc: Kathy’s lovely studio has been provided by Studios Inc. as part of their residency program.
  • Missouri Western State University: Want to learn from Kathy? She is an Assistant Professor of Painting at Missouri Western.

If you enjoyed this episode, check out our interview with painter Glyneisha Johnson.

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