Watercolor painting is a Siren of the soul. It has no beginning, no end. There is no turning myself around and heading back to sea because watercolor is the sea. It is me.

Unlike the Siren’s song, though, painting marks a passageway. It leads me through narrow, frightening places back to the heart of myself. Always before me, it leads the way, testing the depth, discovering how to get past the jagged rocks and huge whirlpools. Sometimes it leads through gentler seas, too, so I can rest and discover what I have learned, but always it moves.

The lark on a branch, a mockingbird’s song, they all beg me to paint. Color and texture and God’s random touch flow through my soul, my heart, my arm. My brush. Is that a peony there, hanging on a bough pulled down low by its luscious weight? How do I paint that? And there is a man caught in remembrance of something he wishes he’d done long ago. Now nothing can bring that choice back. How do I paint that? I cannot go through life’s deep, rich days without constantly wondering how I will paint what I see, what I feel, who I am. Without wondering who else it will touch.

Because if it hooks my heart and will not let go, if I paint it…it can touch someone else. Maybe you. It will pull at your heart; it will ease your soul and point the way. Not my way, of course. How would I know what path your heart needs? But honesty speaks to the hungry heart. By viewing my journey you will touch your own secret heart, and my job is done. No matter what you find, what you choose, you have seen something of me. You have seen yourself. My job is done.


About Kate Aubrey, Painter

A devoted watercolorist for over 40 years, Kate Aubrey has studied with such notable artists as Charles Reid, Don Andrews, Lian Quan Zhen, Ted Nuttall, Jeannie McGuire, John Salminen and Stephen Quiller. She has won numerous awards in her travels and was named a finalist in The Artists Magazine’s Over 60 Competition of 2013 for her painting, “Invisible”. Most recently, her painting, “From the Heart” was accepted for publication in “Splash 21 - Capturing Mood”, and “What I Know Now” will be featured in “Splash 22 - The Creative Spark”.

Arriving in Tennessee’s Knoxville area in 2014, Kate teaches workshops in Tennessee and Nevada, is a member and past Vice President of the Knoxville Watercolor Society, a member of the Artists Guild of Tellico Village, the Fountain City Art Center, and the Arts Alliance of Knoxville, locally. Farther afield, her paintings have earned awards and signature memberships in the Southern Watercolor Society, the Northwest Watercolor Society, and the Tennessee Watercolor Society as well as qualifying her as a Master Artist at the Cape Cod Art Center in Massachusetts. Her work has appeared the Tennessee Watercolor Society’s 35th, 36th, and 37th Biennial Juried Exhibitions, winning Best of Show in 2016 and the First Tennessee Bank $1200 Purchase Award in 2018, as well as the Watercolor Society of Alabama’s 2019 Award of Excellence. Her work has appeared in “Watercolor Artist Magazine”, “American Art Collector Magazine”, and the popular “American Watercolor Weekly” e-zine.

When she is not teaching, she can be found in her studio concentrating on her figure and floral paintings with a dash of landscape or still life thrown in.

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