Kathy Ogden can’t sit still. A member of the Anderson Artists Guild since moving to Anderson in 2014, she has long enjoyed oil painting, watercolors, drawing, photography, and jewelry making—all while traveling via sailboat and RV.
A native of Concord, North Carolina, Ogden studied communications at East Carolina University and completed a master’s degree in human resources at Central Michigan University. Then she went to work for Ford Motor Company in Detroit, starting in labor relations before moving into salaried administration. She met and married her husband, Joe, a district manager for Ford, and both retired from there.
And what a retirement it’s been! They bought a 54-foot sailboat, and for half of each year they lived on it while sailing around Florida and the Bahamas. “It was one of the most fun times of our marriage,” she said. After selling the boat, they bought an RV that they drove everywhere from the Florida Keys to Alaska, where they spent the summer of 2008. Once they sold the RV and their house in Michigan, they relocated to South Carolina to be near family.
Ogden discovered a passion for drawing early on. “I got up in the morning and started drawing and went to bed drawing,” she said. Her foray into painting started with oil and then moved to watercolor. “I still do both,” she said, “though they tell me not to do that. With watercolor, I tend to paint as I paint with oil. I just put it on there. I don’t do washes and all that.” Her style blends impressionism and realism, and she says there’s nothing better than a flower for watercolor and nothing better than animals for oil. One of her pictures hung in the Michigan capitol for a year. She’s also an avid photographer and has sold many of her pictures of birds. She makes jewelry, too. “Practically half the ladies on the island where I lived in Michigan wear my jewelry,” she said.
She continues to enjoy all of these artistic pursuits in between trips to places like New Orleans. “I have my fingers in a lot of things,” she said. “It’s hard for me to focus on one thing for a long period.”
Kathy Ogden’s paintings are currently on display at the Anderson YMCA through May 31, part of the “4 Dimensions of Art” exhibit that also features three other AAG members.