Kathryn Beam Troxler paints to capture radiance
The Sandra Neerman Art Gallery at the Greensboro Public Library will host a reception and talk with Greensboro artist, Kathryn Beam Troxler on Friday, Aug. 9 from 5 to 7 p.m. Troxler’s “Landscapes of North Carolina” paintings are there on exhibit until Sept. This exhibition is free and open to the general public.
Troxler, a California native, was born into a musical family that encouraged her artistic expression. She said she had been an artist from the time she was first given crayons and pencils at 2 years old. She became the artist in the family through her painting, singing and poetry; she has continued to express herself with all three of these outlets. Her mother’s Italian violin teacher had a classically-trained friend who told Troxler to do black and white drawings for three years. She began taking her art more seriously after he helped her realize that “value studies are everything.”
Troxler first studied art at the Peninsula School; a progressive school that encouraged free expression in Menlo Park, California. She went on to graduate from the University of California Berkeley but first thought about art history in high school.
“I was deeply interested in just about everything,” Troxler said. “I majored in humanities and social sciences because it gave me a way to put all that I was working on in context.”
She stayed an extra semester in college to finish a decorative arts class on the history of ceramics, where she learned how the “image captures the historical.” This gave her a visual correlation for everything she did and helped her remember it all much better.
“The summer of doing expressive work in Massachusetts got me really excited about painting, which is why I went to the San Francisco School of Fine Arts,” Troxler explained. “Studying with Dorr Bothwell there has served me well all of my life, but the emphasis on abstract expressionism didn’t suit me, and back to college I went. It was on vacations much later when I had kids that I started doing watercolors again.”
While she still works with oil and watercolors and is inspired by the early Dutch and Renaissance painters, she has been doing more pastels lately due to her involvement as a board member with the Pastel Society of North Carolina.
Troxler also studied classical voice and performed as a church soloist for 15 years in the San Francisco Bay Area. She moved to Greensboro in 1982, with her husband who grew up in Greensboro, and their two daughters to be with grandparents. Troxler has sung in Bel Canto, Greensboro Community Chorus and the New Garden Friends Meeting Choir, the Spiritual Renaissance Singers, and has volunteered in civic organizations.
When her children left home, she became a psychotherapist and a clinical hypnotherapist (she obtained her Master’s Degree in clinical psychology from Sonoma State College’s Humanistic Psychology Program) and retired from her 20-year practice in October 2015. During that time, her teachers included Lyn Diefenbach, who taught her to bake her pastel art in the sun before framing and most notably, Albert Handell and Elizabeth Mowry. She participated in numerous juried shows with her first solo show at The Artery Gallery in March 2018.
Troxler now shares a studio with two others in Suite 143 at Revolution Mill. She is in presently in a show with other Revolution Mill artists through fall 2019 with an opening reception on Aug. 15.
“Art is where you focus, and I respond to what I see,” she said. “I paint whatever inspires me. The impulse to draw is to understand the world and to understand the structures and how they work. I love painting outdoors and painting flowers, nature, animals and people, and it’s really fun to capture their personalities. It’s a way of celebrating what is meaningful to me and to share it so it may be meaningful to others. It’s nice to know that you have communicated somehow. Everything in the exhibit celebrates a special moment in the way the light falls across the object, tree, animal, or person. It’s all about the radiance!”
Troxler co-founded the New Garden Poetry Group in 1999 and credits this group to working and producing as much poetry as she does. Her poems have appeared in magazines and several collections. She self-published her first book of poetry, “Tuning” to commemorate her father’s 100th birthday in 2016, which received a Readers’ Favorite Five Star-rating and a Silver Medal in Inspirational Poetry for the 2017 Readers’ Favorite Contest.
“I love writing poems when they come, which is most often at night through what I like to call the stratospheric channel,” Troxler said. “Both painting and writing poetry are forms of meditation for me to connect more deeply with whatever the inspiration is, and express what I am seeing. I have always used nature as inspiration; it forms healing and renewal for me and provides a way to help us clear out and process energy.”
TERRY RADER is a freelance writer, poet, singer/songwriter, wellness herbalist, flower essences practitioner and owner of Paws n’ Peace o’ Mind cat/dog/house sitting.
Landscapes of North Carolina exhibit, Aug. 1 – Sept. 3 plus reception and talk on Aug. 9 from 5-7 p.m., both at Sandra Neerman Art Gallery, Greensboro Public Library, 219 N. Church St. Revolution Mills Artists Reception is Aug. 15 at Revolution Mill. Pastel Society of NC (PSNC) Members Exhibition is Sept. 6-28 at Ambleside Gallery, 528 S. Elm St. Kathryn Troxler’s studio by appointment only, Revolution Mill, Revolution Mill Dr., Suite 143 in Greensboro, (336) 541-3540.