Kathe Harris Uses Acrylics Like Oils
New Anderson Artists Guild member Kathe Harris had a long career teaching art, with stints in Spartanburg District 7, Homeland Park Elementary, South Fant Elementary, Centerville Elementary, and Hanna High School. She also served as an assistant principal at Homeland Park. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education from West Virginia University and an Interdisciplinary Master of Art degree from the University of South Carolina.
She enjoyed coming up with ideas for the classroom and became adept at using found objects due to lack of funds. “I made life-size sculptures with fifth-graders from paper towel rolls, liter-size soft drink bottles, and milk jugs,” she said. She incorporated math and history and had students write about their creative process, all based on the guide Elements and Principles of Design.
She ended her career at Hanna, where she met fellow AAG member Kathy Moore. “When I hit the high school, I had not made real problem-solving, involved art,” she said. “Kathy was a tremendous influence to kick start what I had buried so long. I had to make examples and honestly perform in front of my students. It awakened my skills.”
When she retired in 2014, Harris immersed herself into making her own art again. Her medium is acrylics, which she uses like oils. “When I apply the paint, I like to paint realistic, semi-impressionistic landscapes,” she said. “I love the light’s effect on color, which I layer.”
She has also painted plein air under the direction of artist William Jameson in Saluda, N.C. “You have to be fast,” she said. “You don’t spend a lot of time trying get exact. You’re all over the canvas all the time. Compositionally, you have to see it when you start. You’re in the zone so quickly. You have other painters with you. There are so many different views of the same thing. It’s just magical to me.”
Some of Harris’ work is on display at Strickland Fine Art on North Main Street in Anderson.