Artist of Month Pickett Expresses Passion for Watercolor

Kathleen Pickett enjoys teaching her craft and sharing the wonders of watercolor with others. ...

Kathleen Pickett enjoys teaching her craft and sharing the wonders of watercolor with others.
By Bill Zimmerman
President, Arts Council Menifee

Have you ever tried watercolor painting? If you have, you know why so many artists consider it to be “the most difficult medium”.

Here in Menifee, there is a watercolor instructor who makes it easy.

Each month, Arts Council Menifee selects an “Artist of the Month”, and the recipient for September is Sun City resident Kathleen Pickett.

The non-profit art organization appreciates all of its patron members, but Pickett is held in the highest regard, not only for her artistic talents and teaching role, but also for her loveable personality.

All of her life, Pickett has enjoyed portraying the bold beautiful colors of nature through visual art. She has learned to welcome that magical mystery of surprise when water, pigment and paper are married by her brush.

Pickett describes the process as an emotional journey.

"Watercolor is a mysterious medium that takes you away from all the realities of everyday life," said Pickett. "You enter into a fantasy world not knowing what will happen next when you put water and paint together on a piece of white paper.

"The explosion of colors onto the wet paper gives way to an excitement of emotions, watching the creation of various mixes of colors and the unusual forms that appear right before your eyes. This is the magic part of learning those first basic techniques in this mysterious medium."

In the 1970’s while attending formal classes in watercolor, Pickett excelled to the point that she was asked to take over the class. There began her art career.

Pickett has taught watercolor classes and workshops in Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and California since 1978. She had the privilege of showing her work in many exhibitions, winning numerous awards. One of her notable honors was being juried into the prestigious North Carolina Watercolor Society. She also won first place in the popular Fallbrook Art Association show.

Although these accomplishments are the kind that would qualify an artist as a master, Pickett sees herself as a continuing student seeking to conjure that innate creativity that will inspire her next piece.

Pickett has a heritage of Osage Indian, a tribe from Oklahoma, of which her mother was a member. Today some of Pickett’s favorite subjects to paint are Native Americans, rustic barns, lighthouses and trees. She likes to paint her subjects using a creative background of textures on French watercolor paper, the more bold the color the better.

In 1996, she chose Sun City as her place to retire while continuing to nurture her a