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kathleen palmeri

Hi! My name is Kathleen Palmeri. I use the name KPalm to sign my work. The “K” stands for Kathleen and is representative of my mother Kathleen and my father, Ken. The Palm is a shortened form of my married name and it is a symbol of victory, triumph, peace and eternal life.  Palm trees are very special to me, I incorporate them into much of my work, because we live at the beach, vacation at the beach and just love all things beachy! I studied Fine Art at Mason Gross, Rutgers University.  Following graduation, I worked in advertising, getting my initial taste of creativity in business. Soon thereafter, I received my Masters in Counselor Education from New York University and became a counselor to middle school students that attended a program focused on the Arts.

Now back in Rumson, New Jersey, I am a devoted wife and mother of five children. Living in a home filled with a constant buzz of creativity, I am continually inspired by my little artists.  Among our children we have a jewelry maker, a digital artist, a beat creator, a chef and a singer/songwriter. The arts may not turn into careers for our children but maybe they will. The fact that they love and find comfort in the arts is so important to me, and to my husband, Dennis (who sings and plays guitar). 

So much of my subjects are women who are changing the world with their kind, genuine, compassionate and courageous spirits. There are a few reasons women are at the heart of so much of my work.  Both of my grandmothers were single. They worked and raised their child(ren) in a time when it was not accepted to be divorced or to be the soul breadwinner.  Growing up, I was the middle of three girls. As a child I was shy and anxious and art helped me find myself. I had no brothers and I didn’t have any male cousins my age. I started to develop my confidence and find my voice because I was good at something, drawing and painting. Whenever I could, I’d draw and the more I shared my work the more confident I became. I would no longer call myself shy, being a mom of five took care of that, but I still wrestle with anxiety.  Creating art calms me and I like to think having my art in other people's homes helps them to feel more peaceful and happy too. I attribute much of my confidence and drive to my grandmother, Eileen, my Nanny. Nanny was there for me no matter what, her love for me was unconditional and it knew no limits.  She was small in stature but she was stronger than anyone I knew. Her nickname was gator because she was snappy like an alligator. Looking back, I realize how difficult her journey was.  She never complained, she loved working, taking care of us and laughing.  I still talk to her everyday and I know that she talks back. Honestly, every time I paint I feel like she is right there with me, cheering me on as I paint inspiring, powerful and beautiful women. Today, the most important lesson I can teach our 3 girls (and 2 boys) is what I learned from Nanny and from the women I paint- to live life fully, with kindness, spunk, heart and determination.

Over the years my artistic style transitioned from abstract expressionism, to realism and back again to abstraction. I work mostly with palette knives to create layer upon layer of color and texture. The juxtaposition of colors and shapes becomes a process that is organic, intuitive and calming.  When I am not using knives I use my hands, they are one of my greatest tools. I often use text and scratches to portray a message, some are clear and some are hidden. My work is grounded in emotion and has so many hidden messages to uncover. Stepping into my studio, from the moment I smell the paint, I feel a sense of freedom and peace that is innately mirrored from my soul onto the canvas.  Art is truly a window into my heart.