Today Kathleen lives a bohemian life style, spending half of the time in her Artist’s salon above the gallery in Puerto Vallarta and half of her time on the coast in San Diego, in a charming cottage overlooking a lagoon, with a lovely outdoor studio which can be visited by appointment. Kathleen spends a month in Europe each year doing a week long workshop and then explores some of the most magical locations that show up time after time in her works of Whimsical Architecture. Research is in the works to spend another month in the beautiful island of Maui where she intends on creating an additional week long workshop. Questions can be directed to her contact page on this website.
Kathleen Carrillo went to college while she raised her family living in Oklahoma. She was grateful and honored that her multi-cultural heritage and perseverance allowed her to receive scholarships and complete her education. This taste of concentrated art was the beginning of her art exploration that took over 17 years. She received a Masters Degree in Painting and Printmaking because of her broad interest and fascination with the multiple aspects and mediums of the art industry. Today it is clear that the influence of her printmaking and color education have a strong impact on her art.
In the 4th grade Kathleen was lucky enough to have an art teacher that came to her classroom once a week. The art materials she was given to experiment and play with filled her with a joyful sense of well being. The first time she used watercolors, she created a small painting that moved like music and it took her breath away! The colors swirling on the paper were mesmerizing and she loved it. Her art teacher was so full of praise and surprise by what Kathleen created that she took it, had it framed and gave it to the principal to hang in the school office! It may have seemed inconsequential to Kathleen at the time, but today she realizes it was the beginning of her life’s journey and love affair with paints and brushes.
Growing up in Southern California, Kathleen had the good fortune of having parents that encouraged her. They both had the magic of a creative spirit and passed it on freely to their daughter. Her father was an amazing furniture maker and gardener who created beautiful nurturing spaces in their home. He even built her an elaborate playhouse, complete with furniture! If there was a school assignment that needed a creative touch, he was there with enthusiasm and creative hands to help.
Kathleen’s mother was an animator working at the animation studios in Hollywood for over fifty years. On many occasions, Kathleen would tag along with her mother and be completely mesmerized by all that had to be done to make one movement! Her mother worked for all the major studios: Hanna Barbara, Warner Brothers, DePatie Freleng, Kurtz & Friends, Disney. Each of these experiences continues to be a strong influence on Kathleen’s artistic spirit today.
Always amazed by the creativity, Kathleen never takes her talents for granted and is grateful for the encouragement she was blessed with as a young girl that gave her the ability to “Create Colorful Magic.” Her work is inspired by her joy for life – artwork that evokes the fullness of life in the 21st century. Her paintings are so bold, healing and triumphant that they lighten the spirit – with ideas taking many directions before they land in her heart and out onto the canvas. Once an idea takes hold, the magic flows through her brush and onto the canvas with ease. A masterwork is the result of her exploration, inspiration, and all of life around her.
Her creative explorations benefit us with a collection of several series, including “Smok’in Jazz”, “Architectural Whimsy”, “Goddess in Everywoman”, “Bathing Beauties”, “Jungle Spirits”, “Friends”. Many of the works about women are inspired by Kathleen’s own personal journey and her passion for the empowerment of the feminine spirit. Her several series of works about women depict women and their life’s loves and challenges – many times using her many friends and their stories as models and muse. The latest series called “Friends” captures the encouragement and motivation received from the lasting and empowering groups of women that are in our lives.
In each and every painting Kathleen creates, there is an underlying message of divine connection, the color and design influenced by her studies of Feng Shui. And, of course, each image must speak of the Colorful Magic of Life. This is the ultimate message and meaning she hopes each person feels when they hang their Kathleen Carrillo paintings on the wall!