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Sep 1, 2016

Kathleen Speranza is a painter from Massachusetts. She earned her BFA from Boston University and her MFA from Yale. She teaches painting and drawing at Rhode Island School of Design.

Her current obsession is portraits. Portraits of flowers. And according to Kathleen, flower paintings are sometimes akin to stepping on the third rail. There are so many stereotypes that go along with this subject that tackling it can be dangerous. Particularly for a female painter.

But Kathleen, I think, is fluent in the language of color. She understands their subtleties and arranges them masterfully on her canvas. Allowing each its place so that the subject sings.

I am completely fascinated by, the topic of color so I grill Kathleen on her palette organization, her interest in the Munsell Palette and when she chooses to use it.

We talk about life, and yes, having one informs our art. As much as we’d like to lock ourselves in an ivory tower and paint 24/7, it just doesn’t work. We circle back to this topic a few times - as it relates to taking a break so that we have the opportunity to distil the stimulus into a painting. Maintaining an art practice after having a child, and how that actually makes you a better painter. We get into a little aside on artists who have more than one kid and how bad ass we think they are.

This episode is just chock full of wonderful bits of wisdom. I don’t want to list them all; I just want you to hear it from Kathleen herself, but one last jewel I want you to keep an ear out for: Kathleen’s insights on asking for help and how she became comfortable with frustration when she paints.