Katherine Strause

Notice anything different? For this month's cover, in lieu of our typical, art-directed (and rather stunning, if I do say so myself) photo shoots, we wanted to pay homage to the deep well of artistic talent represented in our city.

Before you check out our comprehensive guide to Little Rock art galleries, take a minute to get to know Katherine Strause, the painter behind the remarkable piece on our cover, "Bow & Arrow."

Tell us about "Bow & Arrow."

This painting was made as part of a series I created about the Home Demonstration Clubs in Arkansas. This work is about being true, transcendence, transformation, courage and strength.

How would you describe your style?

My painting style is expressive and I use a lot of high key colors. All my paintings are about women, their work, struggles, aging, social constraints all experienced by each generation, past and present. I want to create compositions that provide us with candid, colorful, psychological glimpses into the lives of young girls and women. I approach the photographs as subject matter and create my own relationship with these individuals. I want these portraits to possess a look of determination and hope. I want them to represent us all.

Where do you currently draw inspiration?

I use discarded or found photographs as the basis for my compositions. Vernacular snapshots are the best. I like to give the individuals in my paintings another life and dimension after they are gone. The photographs have furthered my interest in memory and how memories are made and people we love kept alive.

Where are your favorite places in Little Rock to refresh the mind, body and spirit?

Pinnacle Mountain, kayaking in any body of water, The Root Café, any yoga studio in town and my house.

Who were the three most influential artists in your life?

Carroll Cloar, Arkansas native and genius painter. If you‘ve ever seen a Carroll Cloar painting in person you’ll understand that art is about looking and about a collective consciousness or memory. His work has a magical appeal and visual technique especially with color that I borrow from constantly.

Alice Neel, figurative painter. Neel has been a huge influence in her manner of painting, her compositions, as well as color palette. Her early subjects were the people in her life, her neighbors in Harlem in the mid-to-late 20th century.

David Jukes, songwriter. I am married to David and I watch him write and record music in our home. He’s diligent and a master. His creative technique addresses much of the same subject matter, the feelings of the everyman, that I try to emulate in my own work.

"Bow and Arrow" by Katherine Strause, oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches, part of the Central Arkansas Library System collection.

Katherine Strause is represented by Gallery 26 and Matt McLeod Fine Art Gallery, and has an exhibition opening at the Historic Arkansas Museum Nov. 9. | KatherineStrause.com