Katherine Bourdon

Profile | Statement | Biography


Katherine Bourdon • Profile

For Katherine Bourdon, visual art and music are intertwined. Art is rooted in her experience as a musician to such a degree that she describes rhythm as pattern and melody as color.  With simplicity and flatness, Bourdon’s abstract shapes seem initially to emphasize design.  Bold and captivating, her paintings draw the viewer into the surface texture, where close-range pattern and irregularity create depth and history.  She playfully pushes boundaries, creating distortion through proportion and color. Painting with spontaneity and freedom, she begins the process by inscribing and scraping to reveal glimpses of earlier layers of paint.  Unintended shapes taking form in the paint are often the spark which begins each new painting: striped patterns become planted fields, and curved forms develop into gardens of flowers, or simple birds. 

Katherine Bourdon graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Central Michigan University.  After teaching music for 30 years, she pursued graduate studies in art at Western Michigan University.


Katherine Bourdon • Statement

As in any journey, I am continually excited to start a painting because I never know exactly where the painting will take me – it is the delight of surprises discovered along the way.  It is somewhat like heading out on a trip without an exact itinerary, knowing that some of life’s best moments are the unplanned ones.  Unintended shapes taking form in the paint are often the spark, which begin each new painting:  striped patterns become planted fields, and curved forms develop into gardens of flowers, or simple birds.  I strive to create compositions, which exist with a degree of independence from the real world.  The need to explore, discover and investigate possibilities while continuously searching for new solutions is the driving force in my art.

The versatility of acrylics combined with collage elements allow me the spontaneity and freedom I need for creative exploration.  The prospect I enjoy the most in painting is the chance of discovery.  I begin the process by layering, inscribing and scraping back paint to reveal hidden layers.  The ability of acrylics to create multiple layers, forming texture, depth and a history beneath the surface is fascinating.  Constantly altering my initial inspiration, I prefer to leave glimpses of early layers, as a reminder of my original thought.

My work is constantly evolving in the spirit of exploration and spontaneity.  Discovering how to express the processes of nature and the passage of time through the patterns and irregularities found in the surface texture is my current preoccupation.  I believe a painting should read strongly from a distance, yet when viewed at close range, the textures and layers of the surface become the primary interest.  The creative journey, while not always direct, is invariably a delight, regardless of how many detours or how much backtracking occurs along the away.  Each painting is a snapshot from the adventure that is my artistic journey.


Katherine Bourdon • Biography

EDUCATION

1989-1991           
Graduate study in Painting and Drawing, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI

1979                      
Bachelor of Music Education, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

1991-1994       
Painting and Paper Making Demonstrations, Grand Valley Artists, Grand Rapids, MI,

Muskegon Fine Arts Guild, Muskegon, MI, Lakeland Painters, Grand Haven, MI

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2017
"Freshly Considered", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2016
"sELECTED Works", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"ArtPrize Eight", Women's City Club, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"Toast", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan

"Everyone in the Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan

"Collective Alchemy", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2015
"Let's Get Started", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

"Toast", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI

"Everyone in The Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI

"Lookie Here", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

2014  
“Annual Fall Celebration”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

“URBAN/RURAL Michigan Outlook”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI

“Regional Exhibition/All-State Edition”, Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI

“Festival of the Arts 2014 Regional Arts Competition”, Grand Rapids, MI

2013  
“Color Tour”, Art Cats Gallery, Muskegon, MI

“Plains of Existence”, Bettye Clark-Cannon Gallery at The Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts, Muskegon, MI

“Summer Colors”, Art Cats Gallery, Petoskey, MI

2012  
“Michigan Made 3”, Art Cats Gallery, Muskegon, MI

2009 
“Regional Exhibition”, Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI

2007 
“Regional Exhibition”, Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI

1993  
“Paper Patchworks II”, Solo Exhibition, Bettye Clark-Cannon Gallery at The Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts, Muskegon, MI

“Regional Exhibit”, Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI

1992  
”Paper Patchworks – Paintings on Handmade and Embossed Papers”, duel exhibition, Black River Gallery, Holland, MI

“Regional Exhibition”, Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI

1991   
“All Creatures Great and Small”, solo exhibition, Black River Gallery, Holland, MI

1990  
“Desperate Acts/Desparate Acts”, duel exhibition, Black River Gallery, Holland, MI

1989  
“Making Light of Things”, solo exhibition, Black River Gallery, Holland, MI

COMMISSIONS

2014  
West Michigan Symphony, Muskegon, MI

1994  
Haven Reformed Church, Kalamazoo, MI

North Ottawa Community Hospital, Grand Haven, MI

1993  
FMB Corporate headquarters, Holland, MI

Midland Resort and Convention Center, Midland, MI

PUBLICATIONS

2013  
Artwork featured on Cover, Northern Michigan Concierge Magazine, Fall/Winter 2013  

HONORS/AWARDS

2015
People's Choice Award, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, MI

2014  
Curator’s Choice Award, Muskegon Regional Exhibition/All-State Edition, Muskegon, MI

West Michigan Symphony Commission Competition, Muskegon, MI

2009 
Friends of Art Award, Muskegon Regional Exhibit, Muskegon MI   
        
1993  
1st Place Award, Muskegon Artists Guild, Muskegon, MI

Honorable Mention, Holland Friends of Art 30th Annual Juried Art Competition, Holland, MI

Recognition Award, 37th Annual Spring Art Show, Lakeland Painters, Grand Haven, MI

1992
Purchase Award and Recognition Award, Krasl Art Center – All Michigan/ All Media Show, St. Joseph, MI

Honorable Mention, 25th Painting and Sculpture Competition, Lansing Art Gallery, Lansing, MI

1st Place Award, Muskegon Fine Arts Guild 18th Annual Exhibition, Muskegon, MI

1990  
Purchase Award, Drasl Art Center, All Michigan/All Media Show, St. Joseph, MI

1989  
The Theme Award, Winterfest 1989 Show, Grand Haven, MI

GALLERY REPRESENTATION

LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids & Douglas, MI

Art Cats Gallery, Petoskey, MI

Art Cats Gallery, Muskegon, MI