Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Artist Finds She Is 'Compelled to Paint'; an Exhibit of Her 50 Years of Painting Is on Display

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Artist Finds She Is 'Compelled to Paint'; an Exhibit of Her 50 Years of Painting Is on Display

Article excerpt

Byline: SANDY STRICKLAND

There was a time when Kathryn Hannan Milkey didn't paint.

The Arlington resident had four children in four years, ran out of art supplies and didn't have money to buy more.

But the lure of the canvas and paint brush was irresistible. So she and her husband went to the Beaux Arts Ball in her native South Bend, Ind. She dressed as a South Sea islander in a sarong with a tropical flower in her hair, and he dressed as the artist Toulouse-Lautrec. They won for best costumes, and she used the prize of a $50 gift certificate to an art store to replenish her supplies.

She's been painting steadily ever since.

"I like seascapes, landscapes and barns, and I like people, too," said Milkey, the number of favored subjects coming in rapid-fire order. "I like antique chairs, artists and musicians and people in action like jockeys on horses."

Milkey has produced hundreds of paintings in more than 50 years at her easel. Recently, Janice Bernstein, a long-time friend, hosted a retrospective exhibit and sale of Milkey's work at her riverfront Arlington home.

"It was a real thrill to have 125 of my paintings, all framed, hanging in one place," said Milkey, 76.

Bernstein said the show was a gift to her friend.

"She has a large body of work, and she paints a lot," Bernstein said. "It just needed to be done."

As a small child, Milkey recalled having a thick coloring book and crayons that she carried with her until she had every page colored.

She studied painting at Indiana University's extension campus in South Bend, but found working in oils too slow for her. She found her medium when she took a plein air (open air) watercolor class. She still has that first painting, which she exhibited in the show.

Through the years, she's won various awards, including a first prize for her painting of a barn which went to the South Bend Art Association Gallery in 1953. …

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