This is Kathi Fox
Kathi Fox grew up in a rural setting outside Perris, California. “I remember in second grade, always drawing that environment; house, tree, horse in a corral.” Even at a young age, she continually studied drawing from books from the library. “I would say I am mostly self-taught. I always had some form of art or another going.”
Junior High art class was required for seventh graders. “That class stands out as having taught me a lot about drawing techniques and the principles of art. I had an excellent teacher.” It was then that Kathi discovered she enjoyed lettering and made her first attempt at figure drawing. Her grandfather dabbled in oil painting and with his instruction, helped her paint her first oil painting, at age 14. Several other pieces followed over a number of years.
In 1978, Kathi met and married her husband Joe Fox. Together they have a daughter, Michele. As an adult, Kathi was away from the creative process for about ten years while their daughter was young. In 1987 she took up drawing and painting again as a hobby.
The Foxes built their dream home in the country and shortly after moving in, Kathi developed health problems. During her recovery, she took a home study course in art from ICS. “1989 was a difficult time for me. Having the structure of learning and creating art helped to keep my mind off myself.”
Kathi studied Naturopathy in a retraining program, and began practicing in 1992, after going through her own healing process. During that time of personal growth, she realized the value of creating art. Having been away from art, when she returned to her passion, she realized “I always feel so much better when I am doing something creative. Even during stressful times in my life, I could feel something happening in my brain that convinced me of the beneficial nature of art. That personal experience made me a firm believer in the healing power of creating art. I see drawing and painting as an adjunct therapy in my Naturopathic practice.”
Studying and painting, on her own and in local classes, Kathi continued to develop her skills as an artist. In 2002 she realized that she desired a career as an artist and determined to get a more complete education. The biggest opportunity came in being accepted to enroll in a distance education course. “I was drawn to the Fundamentals of Art from Art Instruction Schools in Minneapolis, Minnesota, because of the obvious quality of the materials and teachers. AIS”s claim to fame is that Charles Schulz was one of their students, as well as one of their teachers. I had a deep feeling that this was very important to me.” Kathi finished her studies in 2007.
Her first painting after graduating from AIS was an abstract in pastel of the Biblical icons of the Holy Spirit. Sale of that painting, “Move of the Spirit” came in May 2008. “I was so thrilled, my first sale as an artist.” Several more sales followed.
Kathi continues painting, studying with master artists, teaching and showing. She is a member of the Arts Council Menifee, who recently honored her as Artist of the Month for August 2015. Even though she does her art to express her inner self, she says of this award, “It is nice to be recognized for one’s hard work.” Read the Valley News article about Kathi and this award here.
Having discovered the healing power of creativity for herself, Kathi says, “Now I want to share that experience with others, so that is why I teach classes. It is very satisfying to hear people say how much fun it is, how learning art has changed them and to see how they have improved and progressed.”
“I sort of fell into teaching. I was looking for a teacher or a group of people to paint with. I was given a name and went to class at the Kay Ceniceros Center in Menifee, California. I expressed a desire to be mentored, which looked like it was going to happen, then the opportunity fell through. After several more classes, the teacher announced that he was retiring somewhere else and that he was leaving in two days. “I jumped at the chance, despite never having taught art, and have been there ever since. I marvel every now and then, that I get to do something that I really love doing and get paid for it. As for how art affects my own health, I will never be without it again.’