Kay McKinley Arneson began her professional career as an artist with her eye to the lens of a camera. A professional photojournalist, she sojourned throughout America’s west before returning to her Midwestern roots. A passion for color, however, has led Arneson to her greatest joy – painting in pastels.
Set against Cottage Row Framing & Gallery’s whitewashed walls, Arneson’s brightly colored work will be featured in a special exhibit entitled “A Few of My Favorite Things.” The public is invited to attend an artist’s reception on June 27, from 10 am – 1 pm.
“As a photographer I have a love of light,” said Arneson, “I like to think that appreciation comes through in my paintings. The things I look for in a photograph – expression, a sense of movement, and solid composition – also translate to my painting style.”
Arneson’s decision to paint pastels began with a serendipitous visit to a photography client’s home. “While setting up a portrait, I noticed a pastel done by the client’s mother. I was drawn to its’ energy, the line-work, the drawing aspect of it.
Arneson started taking classes in pastels at the Peninsula School of Art 10 years ago, and although she has called Rockford, Chicago, Milwaukee, and “points west” home over the years, she regularly visited Door County.
“There is something about the atmosphere of the peninsula that drew me in; my husband and I felt a pull to live here,” Arneson recalled. Several years ago, the artist and her family permanently relocated to Door County where she currently serves as the Peninsula School of Art’s director of marketing and exhibitions.
“A Few of My Favorite Things” will feature ten new works, including a triptych. “I paint the things that interest me at the moment,” Arneson said. “Now hummingbirds and fireflies are two of my favorite subjects. Chinese lanterns are another; their light and shadow create a romantic, summery feeling. Ultimately, the subject doesn’t matter. I just love to paint.”
Cottage Row Framing & Gallery will next feature watercolorist Bridget Austin. “Something New” will open on Saturday, August 1 with a reception from 10 am – 1 pm.
Located a half of a mile south of Fish Creek in the big red barn at Orchard Country Winery & Market, Cottage Row Framing & Gallery is open during the summer Monday through Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm, and Sundays from 10 am – 3 pm through October. For more information call 920.868.2626.