Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday Feature: Kathryn Ragan

"Bruno" 13" x 10" watercolor by Kathryn Ragan
Hi Everyone,  

It's Friday Feature time!  Today I have Kathryn Ragan as my feature.  I have followed Kathryn and her  
blog (Studio At The Farm) for a very long time.  Her blog is full of fun anecdotal stories of her life on the farm starring her cast of hilarious animals and of course her art is featured. Her connection to animals and nature shines through in her beautiful paintings.

Here is Kathryn's bio form her fine art america site; Kathryn lives on a small farm in southwestern British Columbia, Canada. She has been painting in watercolor for about ten years, and is self-taught. Finding her inspiration in the life around her, she strives to interpret to the viewer her love of the visual world. 

To see more of her work visit her facebook page and  fine art america site.

How did you get your start?  What’s your artist journey so far?
From what I’ve heard, I was always drawing when young, and I remember being happy when drawing. I kept up the art through high school, and then put it aside for many years, while at university and later when working. I started again when in my early forties, and then fell in love with watercolor painting.
"Trigger" 14" x 9" watercolor by Kathryn Ragan
Where were you born?
Toronto, Ontario

If you could live anywhere where would you live?
I must admit, I am in a gorgeous part of Canada now ... except for the winter rain. If I could spend 8 months here, and 4 months somewhere hot and dry, that would be heaven.
"The Laughing Labrador" 17" x 12" watercolor by Kathryn Ragan
What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?
I have always enjoyed painting florals just because of their beauty, and now I also love having animals as subjects. It gives me so much pleasure and satisfaction to re-create an animal’s appearance and to imbue the portrait with a sense of its spirit.

Could you talk about your painting techniques?
My techniques are fairly traditional. I use primarily staining  pigments. I try to do as much of the initial work in wet-in-wet. And I do a lot of glazing with thin washes to keep the glow of the work.
"The Little Red Hen" 6.5" x 6" watercolor by Kathryn Ragan

Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites?
I am very much attracted to quinacridone burnt orange and quinacridone sienna. My palette tends to the warm, and the Daniel Smith brand is predominant. 

Do you have a favorite artist?  Who has been your biggest inspiration?
I prefer the old masters [and mistresses, in the case of the 17th c. Dutch woman painters], and could lose all track of time viewing Velasquez, Caravaggio or Hals.
There are a lot of contemporary watercolor painters who are creating some fabulous work. Personally, I was initially influenced by Jacqueline Gnott’s glorious florals, and Catherine Anderson for her unbelievably exquisite washes and glazes.
"Carmella" 22" x 15" watercolor by Kathryn Ragan
What have been some of your crowning achievements?
Really, any painting that I have done for a client, and then watched their face as they look at the work - their joy. That is what I consider a crowning achievement.

What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)
Really big? I would love to be able to buy a small equestrian farm, with a studio hidden in there somewhere. I could then blissfully indulge in my two biggest passions - horses and art.
"Eugene's Rose" 13" x 9" watercolor by Kathryn Ragan

What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?
It is trite but true - make art that you love. And always be conscious of improving your eye, your hand, your skills.

What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?
I always tend to be a bit cautious with color intensity. I still remember, in one series of classes I took, the instructor always commenting “Darker ... darker”.
"Old Boots" 10" x 12" watercolor by Kathryn Ragan

Chocolate or vanilla?

Your dream vacation spot?

Book or movie?

Favorite author?
Can’t say - I am a voracious reader, fiction and non-fiction

Favorite movie?
Another hard question - probably “Dr. Strangelove, or How to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”

Romance or comedy?

Favorite dessert?
Ice cream, with chocolate chunks and nuts and ...

Night owl or morning person?
Morning definitely

Thank you so much Kathryn:)


  1. i love her work! thank you Carrie-- >> for sharing insight to the painter....

  2. I have been following Kathryn's work forever...and I love her work! thank you Carrie for sharing her with everyone else! Now I'm off to buy some ice cream with chocolate chunks and nuts and.....

  3. I'm so glad to see you feature Kathryn! She not only paints beautifully but she is a wonderful person as well.

  4. Carrie, thanks so much for featuring Kathryn on your beautiful blog! She is such a talented painter and a fun personality too! I really enjoyed the interview!

  5. Kathryn Ragan is an outstanding watercolorist; I've been following her blog for years and her work keeps getting better and better. This is a lovely tribute to a lovely gal. Great post.

  6. She definitely keeps the glow in her work. It is beautiful!

  7. I've been following Kathryn's work for a long time and it's good to read a little more about her - and see some work I had not seen (or had forgotten).

  8. Great interview Kathryn! I hadn't seen Carmella before...Gorgeous!!! :0)