Moving to the West in 2005 was a life-changing event that brought Kathryn Stedham face-to-face with a true calling: painting the infinite spaces of the American Southwest. Little did she realize at the time, that this would combine two personal rudiments: painting and contemplation. Forever fascinated with stories about the West and Westward Expansion she explains, “I would happily board a time machine, if there were such a thing, to experience first-hand this important period in American history and our connection to the land.”
Feeling an urgency to portray this space, rooting out the mystic snippets of a quickly vanishing landscape, Stedham seeks to capture its raw elegance in the rapidly changing light, vast distances, rugged escarpments, colorful mesas and hidden arroyos—to excavate the bones of existence in this terrain where the West is still wild and free and to be an explorer of this ineffable mystery.
Trained as an Academic Realist, Stedham began her career as a figurative painter. But her interest evolved, through a period of pure abstraction, into the gestural Alla Prima painting style for which she is known today. This approach combines representational landscape forms with an expressionistic modernist sensibility.
Stedham has exhibited as an artist for over 35 years and her paintings have been featured in public and private collections throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, and Canada. She is a long-time student in the Sanbo lineage of Zen Buddhism. In addition to her studio practice, Stedham travels internationally, rides horses and teaches oil painting workshops. Stedham currently lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico.