About artist Kathryn Beals
I'm a self-taught painter and former forester from British Columbia, with no formal training in art. I've been selling my artwork professionally since I was thirteen. I now live in Mountain View, California with my husband and three young children.
My landscape style is influenced by many beautiful places I have lived in the Canadian north, my former career in forestry, and the places we've seen in our little orange tent. We have backpacked sections of the Pacific Crest Trail, the John Muir Trail, the West Coast Trail, and many remote areas of northern Canada. Because I love the outdoors, and because I’m grateful to be a cancer survivor, I share my art sales with nature nonprofits.
I attribute the color and movement in my paintings to my synesthesia and migraine auras. These conditions have shaped the way I see the world, and enhanced my development as an artist. You can watch the Insider video about me here, which went viral on Facebook in 2018 and received over 6M views.
My primary medium is acrylic on canvas, but I also work with resin, metal leaf and wood. In 2017, I discovered fluid abstracts, and immediately fell in love with the way fluid paintings come out looking like something in nature; from cells to rocks to aerial photos to galaxies. I also add resin and metal leaf to merge my abstract and landscape styles, which you can see in short videos on my Instagram. In 2019, I made my first online course on a metal leafing method that I developed in my garage through trial and error.
About My Family
With my mother and grandmother as painters, I am a third generation female painter in our family, and my young daughter is the fourth. My children like to help me in the studio and at the post office, and I’m proud to teach them about running a small business as well as helping them develop their own style.
My two oldest children both sell their paintings now as well, and you can shop their art store here. My daughter (right) sold her first painting at age 6.
My New Studio
In February 2019, I had grown my business enough that I was able to rent a real art studio. You can see the studio pictures here. I prefer independent work to showing with galleries, but if you’re local, you can shop my work at another great local business, Bumble Los Altos.
About my Aspen Leaf Logo
My educational background is in forestry, and before becoming a full time painter, I used to research aspen trees in northern Alberta.
I see aspens as a symbol of community; what appears to be one single tree is part of a larger individual that can stretch for hundreds of miles, connected through the roots underground. These amazing stands can live for tens of thousands of years, and may be the largest living things on our planet.
As a self taught artist, I am part of a larger community of artists learning from each other across space and time, supported by a larger community of people who love art. Thank you for being part of this journey, supporting my development across different mediums and making it possible for me to have this amazing job that I love.
I want to remember my connection to forestry and the outdoors in my work, so I use my art to raise funding for conservation nonprofits. As a cancer survivor, I want to give back, so I plan to do a benefit series every year with my artwork. I have raised over $20K so far for nonprofits with my small business, and would like to reach $100K in my lifetime.
Visit me on Instagram:
For the past ten years I have been a Small Business Partner of Leave No Trace, an international nonprofit dedicated to environmental stewardship and education. In addition, I donate partial proceeds to organizations such as the Nature Conservancy, the Sequoia Parks Conservancy and Doctors Without Borders. Read more about my art benefits, or visit the abstract gallery or landscape gallery to purchase art.