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by Kathleen Menéndez

Pyrography News From Around the World

Newsletter No. 27, Page One of Three


Page One:
- Kathleen Marie Wilson: Drawing from Nature

Page Two:
- Peter Drewett: His Art and Story, part one

Page Three:
- Peter Drewett: His Art and Story, part two
- Ilanna Sharon Mandel: Peace Offerings

Kathleen Marie Wilson: Drawing from Nature

Clear and Present Danger
by Kathleen Marie Wilson, 2003

Pyrography on Texas Walnut wood panel

"the idea for the picture clearly came from the wood.
I love watching people's reactions when they first see this piece."

Image courtesy of the artist

Drawing Inspiration

American artist Kathleen Marie Wilson lives and works in Johnson City, Texas, in the rugged hill country. [ref. 1]

What is remarkable about Kathleen Marie's art is how she has integrated all the aspects of it. The source of her inspiration is the beauty of the wondrous landscape that surrounds her. Within that setting, she explores the flora and fauna, and uses fire to reveal all those images hidden deep inside the wood.

Her pyrography "is a superb blending of realistic rendering within the abstract character of wood grain. Like a sculptor, she sees the pictures and stories in the wood and literally draws them out . . ." [ref. 1]

Especially for this article, Kathleen Marie is sharing some of her newest works with you. She tells about them in the captions.

Essence of Tiger
by Kathleen Marie Wilson, 2003

Pyrography on Curly Maple wood panel detailing of eyes and mouth in color

"I tried something a bit different with this one
and represented the tiger with only its stripes and features.
No other detail was included.
The only color added is the eye and a bit of white pencil in the mouth.
The curly grain accentuates the visual feel of tiger stripes
and the viewer's eye fills in what is not there."

Image courtesy of the artist

Drawing Hope

Kathleen Marie's story is one of survival. She left home at age 16 after enduring a very painful childhood. She credits her love of art and the solace she found working in art for her survival and her sanity. It offered a positive outlet for her rage and hope that things would one day get better. [ref. 2]

Skilled in many art media, she began working in pyrography in 1979. It was in 1997 that she opted to make pyrography the focus of her art work. [ref. 1]

In her article entitled An Avenue of Hope: God's Gift of Art, Nancy Slack wrote:

"She had developed an unusual art form that combined both her passion for trees and her love of animals . . .but as Kathleen began attending art shows, collectors and judges weren't sure what to make of her.
Why couldn't she use paint like other artists?" And the answer came back:
'"Wood [burning] is my passion. Painting is someone else's passion."' [ref. 2]

Hovenweep Castle
by Kathleen Marie Wilson, 2003

"This is a monochrome burning of an 800-year-old ruin in Utah.
I found this place accidentally while exploring."

Pyrography on sycamore wood panel

Image courtesy of the artist

Drawing Acclaim

Her talent, dedication and integral approach have brought Kathleen Marie wide acclaim. Here are a couple of highlights: She was one of only six artists invited to exhibit her work at the 2001 Texas State Inaugural Ball in Washington, D.C. Her work was selected by the Kennedy Foundation's "Follow the Dream" tour promoting the creative power in people with disabilities. Her work is now collected throughout the world. In 2003 alone, she was featured in three magazines. [ref. 1]

Beyond Awesome: The Heart-stopper
by Kathleen Marie Wilson, 2003

Pyrography ". . . done on Spalted Hackberry and left with natural edges.
I used a white pencil on the antlers and breath but the rest is monochrome burning and natural grain."

Pyrography on spalted hackberry wood log

Image courtesy of the artist

Drawing to a Close

Kathleen Marie was recently interviewed for a television show called The Texas Country Reporter (on CBS), which she says, was all about the woodburning. Although that show will air only in Texas, Kathleen Marie believes a lot of folks will see it, so it will be a good thing for introducing more people to pyrography.

"Getting out of my self and into nature saves me and stabilizes me. Those moments when I catch my breath because I am suddenly struck with the beauty that surrounds me, this is when I feel closest to God. My art is rooted entirely in love. It remains, as it began, a love of the subject matter which is nature, a love of artistic expression, a love of wood and a love of discovery, challenge and sharing." [ref. 1]

References and Related Sites of Interest

To see a selection of additional works by Kathleen Marie, visit her Salon in the E-Museum of Pyrographic Art.

1. Kathleen Marie Wilson's story, artist's statement, technique, and other examples of her art work are all available on her own exceptional website at www.kathleenmariestudio.com. You can contact the artist by e-mail at katbird8@moment.net.

2. Linked here is the article entitled An Avenue of Hope: God's Gift of Art by Nancy Slack. It tells the story of Kathleen Marie's painful childhood, the solace she found in art growing up, and the hope it gave her to find God. Note that this article is also linked from within the artist's website.

Click here to go to page two>>>

2004, Kathleen M. Garvey Menéndez, all rights reserved.