Let the Art Speak

Plein air painter Kathie Odom calls herself a “Nostalgic Impressionist,” which is clearly seen in her new book of 112 reflective paintings, “Let the Art Speak.”

Page after page displays quiet scenes of rural life that some of us will recognize, and others will yearn for. Her works show us barns full of history and tall tales, fields full of wind-touched grass, and streams that must be full of crawdads and minnows.

Preview “Let the Art Speak” here to see a glimpse of the plein air paintings and Odom’s comments, taking us in for an even closer understanding. ~CherieDawn Haas

Plein Air Paintings by Kathie Odom:

“Down River”

Ah… Elkmont in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. After pulling our camper through the entrance we always roll our windows down, take a deep breath, and say to each other, Welcome home! I painted this piece at campsite J-8 with my feet in the water. The collector told me this painting looked just like a place she went to with her family while growing up. Come to find out, it is the same place!

Plein air paintings - Kathie Odom, “Down River,” 2016, 15 x 24 in., plein air
Kathie Odom, “Down River,” 2016, 15 x 24 in., plein air

“Log Some Time”

As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to paint John Oliver’s homestead in Cades Cove. We hiked in early one morning before cars were allowed access and, doggone it, I left every brush at home! I scrounged deep into my gear box to find one that had been given to me… a short, thick-bristled unused brush. It was nothing like my airy, scraggly #279 Masters Choice Long Flats by Rosemary & Co., but I had the best time with that one little brush anyway. The paint did exactly what I wanted… it just flowed. Toward the end, I bent over and plucked a few blades of grass at my feet to use for painting in the hair-like weeds in the foreground. What insecurities I can have when missing the tools I’ve grown to love. Where there is a will, there is a way!

plein air paintings - Kathie Odom, “Log Some Time,” 2018, 12 x 12 in., plein air
Kathie Odom, “Log Some Time,” 2018, 12 x 12 in., plein air

“Ferris Huff’s Place”

It is common to begin meaningful relationships with someone who purchases a piece of your art. I was truly flattered and touched when a highly respected artist and his wife bought this plein air piece. One year later we were able to borrow it from them to get a photo for this book and then deliver it back to them in Alabama. We saw their home. We saw where he paints. And we saw where this piece hangs, amidst so many other beautiful paintings. I wouldn’t trade my life for anything!

Kathie Odom, “Ferris Huff’s Place,” 2019, 12 x 20 in., plein air
Kathie Odom, “Ferris Huff’s Place,” 2019, 12 x 20 in., plein air

“Sun Day”

In early 2020 my husband Buddy and I moved to a small mountain farm in Walland, Tennessee. All of a sudden, I no longer had any motivation to stand behind an easel because I was now living in a painting. So, I pulled out the largest canvas I could find and a photo of sunflowers, some even drooping and bent to the ground. The simple joy of color completely reenergized me and helped get me out of the painting funk I was in.

Kathie Odom, “Sun Day,” 2020, 25 x 40 in., studio
Kathie Odom, “Sun Day,” 2020, 25 x 40 in., studio

“Elkmont’s Winter”

“Here I am in one of my favorite places on earth with my feet in the snow,” Odom says of ‘Elkmont’s Winter.’ “What fun! This is the first plein air piece I painted without instruction and the very first piece I ever sold. This cabin no longer stands, which makes me treasure the moment even more.”

Plein Air Paintings
Kathie Odom, “Elkmont’s Winter,” 2010, 12 x 24 in., plein air

Get your copy of “Let the Art Speak” at kathieodom.com/books.

And, learn more about Odom’s painting techniques for “nostalgic impressionism” with the art video workshop, Bold Brushwork (available here).

Visit EricRhoads.com to find out all the amazing opportunities for artists through Streamline Publishing, including:
– Online art conferences such as Plein Air Live
– New video workshops for artists
– Incredible art retreats
– Educational and fun art conventions, and much more.

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