After majoring in graphic design in college, Kay spent 14 years at a commercial art studio in Minneapolis, but continued to search for her own artistic medium. In 1983, she met a “sumi-e” (Asian ink painting) artist and instantly knew she had found her visual voice. Asian paintings are simple in composition, yet full of harmony, balance and peace. Kay studied sumi-e full-time for about four years, and continues studying and teaching across the country.
Her focus now is P’o Mo, (translated as “splash ink”), though an ancient Chinese technique, the results look contemporary. Materials used are bamboo-handled brushes, ink, watercolor and absorbent rice paper or gold covered board. Thickened watercolor is poured onto the surface and allowed to bleed, blend, then dry. Kay continues the painting by defining areas with brushwork to reveal a more recognizable image. The spontaneous look of P’o Mo disguises the skill required to master the difficult medium and its special tools.
Now, she applies a wide range of techniques honed by years of practice and experimentation to the subjects she loves in life: the mountainscapes that surround her Wyoming home; cranes sailing across a sunset; a frog bathing in a marbleized pool.