"Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art".
- Leonardo da Vinci
After moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, Katherine worked for over 15 years as a commercial and editorial illustrator, specializing in watercolor paintings of flowers, fruit, and still lifes. During this time she gained a national reputation as one of the best illustrators in her field. Her clients have included Del Monte, Sun Maid, Heinz, Kraft, Barilla, Knudsen, Smuckers, Dreyer's, Ocean Spray, Gallo, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Beringer, Tobler, Jackson and Perkins, Helene Curtis, Simon and Schuster, Yardley of London, Colgate-Palmolive, Chevron, Crane, Caspari, Cartier, and others. Among her awards are "Best in the West," 1988, two golds and a silver at the San Francisco Show VII, 1993, and selection for inclusion in the prestigious Society of Illustrators 36th Annual National Exhibition, 1994, and Page One, 1995, See: www.katherinesalentine.com
Katherine earned her Masters Degree from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts and was a successful artist in Poland. She received national awards for her work and national publicity, including articles published by the well-known artist, writer, and art critic Henryk Waniek. She later moved to London and then to New York where she continued to show her art and develop her superb watercolor and gouache technique. She now resides in California and paints primarily in oil. Katherine has been known previously as Barbara Kucharska, Basia Kucharska, Kasia Kucharska, and Katherine Williamson.
As a child, Katherine was encouraged to be a careful observer of nature. This early influence and her study of the old masters are evident in her work. Her still life expresses her passion for detail and the splendor of nature in its full abundance, with all its secrets, faults, insects, and unpredictability. Her love of nature, antiquities, and beautiful objects of art can create a magical and inspiring emotion in the viewer, a moment when time stops. She often says that she does not really paint a still life, rather a state of mind.
For the last twenty years, Katherine's work has been inspired in particular by G. C. Jung's studies of the subconscious and the teachings of the mystic and writer G. I. Gurdjieff which incorporate the ideas of eastern religions and the ancient Egyptian, Greek, and middle eastern mysteries. From this influence her paintings strive to achieve a balanced sense of unity, peace, and harmony.
Katherine frequently visits the Louvre and other European and American museums to study the original, ancient works of art that she includes in her paintings as accurate representations of the originals. The floral and fruit compositions are made with delicate, translucent layers of oil. Her experience is evident in each of her pieces, allowing her to approach her subject matter in a refined, classical manner.
The artist's work is highly symbolic. To Katherine, open fruit is an open heart and water droplets represent the soul. The element of light is also significant. For Katherine light is a reminder of the force of our being that stands in opposition to darkness.
To Katherine, without love, painting would not have life and without life it is merely a decorative object. Therefore, it is her ultimate intention to pass on to the viewer the mystical beauty she observes around her. Katherine's work is in private collections in England, Poland, and the United States.