I graduated with my Bachelor’s in Fine Arts in Spring March of 2020 (yup, right when poop hit the fan for the world). I originally started my arts degree back in 2013, but paused after a year to go experience life itself. I lived on the East Coast, in Maryland, for most of my life, but for 3.5 years I lived in Los Angeles, California. What a culture shock that was!
I lived with my Vietnamese adopted family and had friends of all different cultural backgrounds to teach me a variety of knowledge in many different areas of life. I gained so much life experience during those lesson-rich years that my perception of the world changed drastically in a positive open-minded way. The change in my world outlook caused me to view people more like the wise animals we are but pretend not to be.
My travels also took me to briefly live in rural Vietnam, and enjoyable trips to rural Brazil and Hong Kong. During every trip or stage of my life, I made sure to study the people and surrounding art. Trying to figure out what humans bond with the most, even if they don’t share a language. Food and animals. These are the elements of life that people of any age or background can connect with without sharing a language. I took all of this to heart, and when I returned to Maryland in 2017 to continue and complete my art studies. I decided to focus on a message of inner peace and one’s connection to nature through the love of animals, specifically birds.
I am Katherine Lenehan, and I am just like you. Although I like to express myself artistically by using color and symbolism within my art, I spend each day working toward happier times. This endeavor alone is a never-ending journey for all of us, but we often rush so quickly towards that ultimate goal that we forget to slow down and appreciate what we already have along the way. This is a very important lesson to always hold onto, especially during tough times, but so many of us lose sight of this wisdom in times of doubt.
Within my art, I like to highlight the importance of acknowledging the stressors of life, but I believe it is equally important to recognize current positives within out lives and surroundings, no matter how small. One without the other leads down either a path of sadness or denial. By bringing the two together within my art, I feel this creates an opportunity to become humbled and grounded during times of uncertainty.
Watching a colorful songbird or a small, graceful fish reminds me that if such a fragile creature can thrive with so little, especially with no possessions of their own, everything in the grand scheme of things will be okay. If they can flourish and live freely without worry, so can we. It reminds me that we all have a lot to be thankful for as humans, and with that in mind, we are more than capable of moving towards a brighter future by taking it day by day.
On the other hand, we must also acknowledge the negatives of life, which is the first step toward figuring out how to change it. This part alone can be the hardest step. Nothing is ever perfect, of course, but life’s general goal is to work towards happiness. Hard times are unavoidable, but how we work through them can determine much of out future. The other side of my artwork aims to connect with people who may be amidst troubling times but are not acknowledging them properly or openly. My hope for all my viewers is that my artwork will start them on the path toward bettering their future while also sending them a gentle message: it will be okay in the end.