My Art Story
These days, you'll find me painting in the loft of our house near Montreal. My gently cluttered studio is full of tubes of paint, brushes, stacks of beautiful paper and my ever-changing nature collections. You'll also find art books, paintings by me and my friends, and photos of my garden and travels. There is usually a vase of flowers on my painting table and a mug of tea or coffee. With my iPhone playing music in the background, I lose myself in the beautiful colors, textures and details of each new painting.
My name is Kathleen Maunder. I am a full-time artist and live in the Montreal suburbs. I have a dedicated studio in the loft of our house.
I started painting when I was eighteen. I was enrolled at the University of Toronto as an English Lit major and needed a creative outlet. It was in a small neighborhood class where my painting passion was born. I couldn’t believe how much I loved to paint.
For many years, I worked during the day in Communications and Public Affairs and devoted myself to my art on evenings and weekends. I took art classes. I painted as often as I could. After twelve years as a corporate writer, I grew weary of big companies. At the same time, my art took a major shift. After years of painting in oil, I discovered watercolour. I loved the way it allowed me to create paintings that were both detailed and delicate. With this new medium, something blossomed inside of me.
With a deep breath, I quit my job and, in 1993, launched my own company, Florescence, to produce greeting cards based on my watercolours. I took part in trade shows in New York, Toronto and Montreal. I had sales reps and retail customers across North America. It was a wonderful experience but after seven years, I found I was spending too much time managing my company and not enough time painting. When my second daughter was born, I decided to put my card company to bed for a while.
Being a mom to my two beautiful girls became the center of my life for a number of years. While I expressed my creativity in different ways (gardening, woodworking, cooking, piano lessons and decorating), my painting table gathered cobwebs.
In 2011, I went back to painting on a full-time basis and I created my online art business, Trowel and Paintbrush. It's been such a joy to create with my watercolours again. When I paint, I feel true to myself. I feel happy. Best of all, my daughters (now 28 and 24) are among my biggest supporters.
My paintings tend to be inspired by my garden, backyard visitors, daily walks in nature and my travels. I also have a thing for hearts. I work slowly. I build my washes gradually and often flesh out my composition as I paint. Even after decades of painting, I still find it thrilling to be able to move paint and water around on a piece of paper and bring a subject to life.
A Little Bit More About Me
> I chose the name Trowel and Paintbrush to represent my dual passions of gardening and painting. I love to paint and my garden is one of my strongest inspirations.
> I live in the suburbs of Montreal in Canada. Previously, I lived in Toronto, Ottawa, Cleveland and Winnipeg.
> When I am not painting or gardening, you might find me walking our new puppy, listening to music, reading a novel, watching movies with my husband or consulting our 300+ collection of cookbooks.
> I am left-handed.
> I live in a bilingual household (English and French). I speak French with an English accent and my husband speaks English with a French accent. :)
> I began painting in watercolour thirty years ago. I painted in oil previous to that so have been painting for over forty years.
> I use professional-grade watercolour paint and a variety of beautiful papers to create my paintings. I have never left an art supply store empty-handed!
> Because of the detailed, delicate way I paint, I spend hours and most often days on one small painting.
> I am grateful to all of the lovely people who have bought my art over the years. It is so nice to think of it being appreciated in homes and workplaces worldwide.
Where To Find Me
Although I don't post as often any more, my blog is a great place to see some of my paintings in progress and to get a glimpse into my studio and garden. You can visit my blog here!
I sold my art on Etsy for several years (thank you to all who purchased art from me there!) but now am very happy to have the creative control of having my own website and shop.
♡ Thank you for visiting my art shop! I hope you see something you love here. ♡
All paintings and photos © Kathleen Maunder