Kay Witherspoon

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Kay Witherspoon

United States

I guess you could say I am a cliche' of the little girl who fell irrevocably in love with horses.  I drew horses, read books about horses, sand sculpted horses out of paper mache’. My first oil painting at age 13 was a paint by number of running pinto horses. One could conclude that my entry into the art world as a professional artist began with equine paintings and realism.


I attended the University of Montana where I graduated with a BA degree in secondary art and social studies education. I accepted a job teaching high school art and American history in nearby Hamilton, Montana in 1971.  After two years of teaching I left for Denver, Colorado, where I earned my realtor's license, invested in several properties, and began painting again.  I entered paintings in a national exhibition and sold a painting of my forest service mule, for $4,600 - more than half of what I had made as a high school teacher.  Shortly after that, my work was featured in an article in Southwest Art Magazine and I was getting orders from dealers around the country and from artists wanting to know if I was planning any workshops they could attend. 


Courtship with a divorced father with three led to marriage and a sudden new role as the mother of four.  Completely overwhelmed I enrolled in the Marriage and Family and School Counseling Psychology master's programs at the University of Colorado where I focused on counseling the gifted.  I earned several scholarships and two degrees in Counseling Psychology.  Two years later, I embraced being a professional fine artist and never looked back. 


My polo painting of Littleton's Columbine Polo Club pro won the top award in the American Academy of Equine Art national exhibition in Kentucky's International Museum of the Horse.  That led to attendance at the World Championship Polo Tournament in 1998 in Santa Barbara, and to the completion of five more polo paintings whose images have appeared in national and international magazines and on numerous polo event programs.  That same year, I created my website,  

I expanded into landscapes, portraiture, and wildlife paintings and earned Signature Member status in the AAEA, the SAA and AFC.  I earned two Awards of Excellence from the SAA and A 46" x 64" landscape painting hangs in the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library in Atlanta, GA.  Twenty-six commissioned landscapes hang in the residences of the Little Nell in Aspen, CO. Thoroughbred horse racing paintings have graced wine labels in Lexington, KY and Kentucky Derby Day event posters and programs.  Works are owned by private collectors including include the founder of The Wildlife Experience Museum, the Federation of International Polo, and sponsors of the 1998 FIP World Polo Championship.


In 2006 I purchased a newly constructed 1800 sq. ft. condominium to serve as my studio, storage space and art school where I teach realistic oil painting classes.

* This statement has been provided directly by the artist in association to their 16th International ARC Salon entries. This content has not been edited for typos or grammatical errors and has not been vetted for accuracy.