Orchard. Intaglio Print on Gampi Paper, Adhered to the egg surface with wheatpaste

Orchard. Intaglio Print on Gampi Paper, Adhered to the egg surface with wheatpaste

Orchard. Intaglio Print on Gampi Paper, Adhered to the egg surface with wheatpaste

Kathy L. McGhee

Galloway, OH



2000  MFA  Printmaking, The Ohio State University
1997   BFA Drawing and Painting, summa cum laude, 
                         The Ohio State University
1997   BS      Plant Biology, summa cum laude
                          The Ohio State University

Group Exhibitions

2014   Brainstorms - Living with Epilepsy, Riverside Methodist                   Hospital, Bing Cancer Center, Columbus, OH
2014   Ohio Annual Exhibition, Zanesville Art Center, Zanesville,                OH
2014   Pennington Custom Art Service/Gallery – Relief Print                          Exhibition, Columbus, OH
2014   Axis Gallery 9th National Juried Exhibition, Sacramento, CA
2014   Ohio State Fair Art Exhibition, Columbus, OH
2014   Los Angeles Printmaking Society - Layers of Identity, Arena                  One Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
2014   Kingdom, Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, OH
2014   MAPC Members Exhibition, South Bend Museum of Art,                     South Bend, IN
2013   Naked, Hammond Harkins Galleries, Bexley, OH
2013   Impression Exhibition, Wolfe Gallery, Toledo, OH               2013   Ohio State Fair Art Exhibition, Cox Fine Arts Center,                             Columbus, OH
2012   Two Printmakers, Zanesville Museum of Art, Zanesville,                   OH
2012   Residenten Internationaler Kunstleraustausch, Alte                               Feuerwache Loschwitz, Dresden, Germany

Solo Exhibitions

2011    Camelot Cellars Gallery, Columbus, OH
2009   A Collection of Impressions – Works by Printmaker Kathy                         McGhee, Leeds Gallery, Runyan Center; Art                                    Department, Earlham College, Richmond, IN
2009   The Works of Kathy McGhee, The Gallery at Whitewater                    Hall; Indiana University East, Richmond, IN
2004   Visions Unremitting, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning                             Commission: Art in the Halls, Columbus, OH
2000   A Master of Fine Art Exhibition, Hoyt L. Sherman Studio                     Art Center; The Ohio State University; Columbus, OH

Selected Collections

Pizzuti Collection (Columbus, OH)
Zanesville Art Museum (Zanesville, OH)
Southern Graphics Council International (Terre Haute, IN)
Grafikwerstatt (Dresden, Germany)
Ohio Arts Council (Columbus, OH)

Artist Statement

While thinking about what imagery I wanted to put on my egg, I considered several ideas but kept returning to trees.  Often trees and other foliage are included in my prints and in some cases they have been the primary subject matter and the gateway to exploring other ideas.  Beauty and a sense of the discovery are present in the textures and patterns created by my subjects. Trees by their very nature are expressive and gestural – each type has a different character and personality and can be identified at distances merely by their structures and the patterns created by their limbs as they grow.

As a printmaker, I wanted to incorporate some sort of printmaking process into my egg.  I considered printing directly onto the egg’s surface via a transfer method, but I was concerned that the image would not be as clean and controllable as I would wish.  I then considered attaching the print directly to the egg, but I wanted the image to be fluid and cohesive.  The curved shape of the egg would be a challenge to this.  I also thought that the egg’s surface was beautiful unto itself, and I didn’t want to conceal all of it with layers of paper.  To resolve this dilemma, I decided to print on the thinnest paper in my arsenal, carefully cut out the negative space, and construct the image out of what was left.

So I set about printing trees on gampi paper, which is almost like onionskin.  I printed these from intaglio plates and created quite a pile of trees and tree parts to cut up and manipulate.  Meanwhile the egg was growing larger and larger in my mind.  I had stored it away safe and still wrapped in many layers of paper and packing material.  As deadlines approached and I prepared to begin, the egg had grown to a size of a football.   As I sat down with my many sheets of paper, I unwrapped the egg, and unwrapped, and unwrapped.  I was astonished that the egg was so small.  In my nervousness at approaching the project (I had worked mainly in two dimensions for years), I had printed enough tree parts to cover many eggs, and some of my trees were way to large to be accommodated by the egg.  The oak trees had to be laid aside and I decided to work with the apple trees.  They were smaller and their shape more conducive to the curve of the egg.

I began cutting out lacy branches in preparation.  After much cutting, I was able to begin draping the branches and trunks into patterns and began to create an image in the round.  Like a real tree these trees have been trimmed and grafted into a new form.  I was reminded of how I used to trim and prune my parents’ apple trees in their orchard.  In some ways, the experience was not dissimilar – which branches needed to go in order to keep the tree healthy and productive.  I shaped the trees and the prints.  Once order and pattern was established, I adhered my trees to the egg with wheat paste.  Gently pushing and prodding limbs into place, smoothing them to the surface of the egg, and watching as the tree began to conform to the space granted to it.

Once finished, I felt very satisfied with the results - just as I did after hours of work in maintaining an actual tree in my youth.  Stepping back and saying ‘This seems right.  Now I am finished.”  Time to move on to the next tree.