Kathy Lowe

Solitude, Serenity, and Stillness


April 9  until  June 1


April 11  4:00-7:00

Oil painter Kathy Lowe’s exhibit “Solitude, Serenity, and Stillness” debuts at the Montgomery Museum of Art and History, 4 East Main Street, Christiansburg on April 11 with a reception for the public from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.  “My parents and family were my mentors, especially my father,” reveals the artist.  It is rare to find an artist otherwise so free of outside influences.

Kathy Lowe’s artistic talents were obvious even when she was a young child in Petersburg.   However, she was also interested in science and studied at Howard University to be a professional electron microscopist, which culminated in a career at the Virginia Tech Veterinary College electron microscope lab.  The art of electron microscopy contributed to her artistic talent. Paint brushes are daily tools used to pick up specimens, for example.

Whether you are a professional artist or an enthusiastic observer, Lowe’s uses of contrast and color are worth studying.  The contrast between light and dark in these paintings is exceptional.  The landscape with a mountain on one side and sky and water on the other uses contrast to create a mood of serenity.

Some of the paintings exhibit almost photographic realism except that the colors are beyond what nature can do.  There is a painting of trees with an unusual yellow background; another work shows mountains with a pink glow.  A painting of elephants and trees with beautiful sky and clouds is permeated by an orange light.  Such blues!  Lowe is fond of painting water and sky.  A sunset painting is almost half sky and half water.  A winter painting in blue will make you shiver.  The glow of a predominant color somehow leads us to the feeling of serenity and solitude that is a hallmark of these works.  The painting of barnacles and driftwood has less color and could almost be an abstract if you didn’t know what it was, but it still has that famous contrast.


Another of Lowe’s favorite subjects is lighthouses.  The rounded contours of these buildings make them seem three dimensional.  One lighthouse picture shows only the top part, while another painting of a lighthouse has sea oats in the foreground.  Again, contrast is a hallmark of these works. Says Lowe, “Creativity and the art of painting according to the artist, serve as a singular act of existence in making statements about the emotional connection to life and the many subjects that influence us all.”