A few years ago I was asked to create a piece on the Nativity story, so I painted this scene:
Light in the Desert, 20″x 24″ acrylic on canvas, copyright © Kathryn Beals
I wanted to create something peaceful but mysterious, with a dark sky. I decided to keep the composition very simple and limit the palette to mostly blues and purples, to make the focal star more striking.
As my style developed as an artist, it kind of split into two styles; abstract/surreal and more realistic landscapes. The more realistic landscapes tell a story or recall a certain place, the surreal ones are more emotional and abstract. I love hearing others’ impressions of these pieces, and I’ve found that viewers interpret the surreal landscapes in very different ways.
For me, this painting shows a vast desert – sand dunes in the foreground, the star in the sky – and has a dark but hopeful feeling. Other people have told me that this painting is the moon over huge ocean waves, and it has kind of a scary but captivating feel. Others have said it is snow-covered mountains, cold and stark. I like that these images can be different things to different people.