Kitty Holtzclaw Follows Where God Leads


New Anderson Artists Guild member Kitty Holtzclaw majored in elementary education at Presbyterian College in Clinton and taught middle school math for 10 years. But after her son was born and she had been a full-time mom for a while, she sought a job as a church choir director to make some extra money. And that’s when it happened.


“One day we had a guest preacher,” said Holtzclaw. “She was walking up the steps of the church. I had never seen a female pastor before. It was like seeing a unicorn. I felt like I was supposed to do that. It was that burning bush moment.”


That was 25 years ago. It caused her to attend seminary and then take on a series of appointments, most recently as the pastor at a church in Anderson. She embraces her role in helping parishioners to see the vision that God has for them and to live in that vision. “I like helping people get aligned with God’s purpose and God’s love, helping them realize who they are in God’s eyes,” she said.


Holtzclaw had always intended to take a painting class after she retired, but the opportunity came earlier than expected. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, a member of her church—AAG member Wesa Neely—started teaching a weekly watercolor class via Zoom. “Wesa’s class is a ministry to us, touching and opening up parts of us that have given hope in a confusing time,” she said.


Holtzclaw has taken additional virtual classes with watercolorists Herman Pekel and Alan Shuptrine. “What I like about watercolor is that you can’t control it,” said Holtzclaw. “You can suggest something to it, you can encourage it to do a certain thing, but once it’s down, it’s down. You have to give up a certain amount of control.”

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