Secrest, Kathleen

Community: Whidbey Island
Phone: 360-341-3826
Media: pastel

Past exhibits and events with Northwind

2017 Showcase artist (click to see all 2017 artists) | 2016 Expressions Northwest

Artist Statement

For me, painting is an exploration. Whether I’m painting an abstraction or en plein air, painting is solving a puzzle. I make a mark and it creates a problem that will need to be solved with the next mark. The next mark creates a new problem. And so I work until I can find no more problems to solve.

My subject matter relates to nature and my love of making marks. When I was a child, I drew on the sandstone sidewalk with a stick. And I’ve always been fascinated by the lines that occur in the environment—the crisscross of branches, the curl of a dead leaf, the lines in a spider’s web. I haven’t changed much. I still collect natural objects and treasure them more than gems. I bring home nests, feathers, stones and bones. I like being outdoors and painting the landscape, the sky and the clouds. My observations while painting outdoors and the treasures I collect are jumping off points for my abstract art.

Working from nature reminds me this place is one organism, everything connected. I paint as a way of honoring the organism and the natural beauty around me.


A painter for more than 30 years, I work in both oil and pastel and have received regional and national awards. I am a signature member of both Northwest Pastel Society, and Pastel Society of America. I am also a juried member of Women Painters of Washington.

Working for the past 20 years as an art director, graphic designer and illustrator. I’ve been honored with national, regional and local awards. As Art Director for the University of New Hampshire, I received several CASE awards. As graphic designer for the ad agency Robideaux in Spokane, WA, I received several local and regional ADDY Awards. As a co-owner of Forman & Company, I am currently involved in video communications and graphic design. Two of the children’s videos I produced were national American Library Association top 10 picks.

My studio is on Whidbey Island.

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