Toni Arnett & Karen Dreyer
A Mother and Daughter Paint
July 6 – September 1, 2018
John F. Lott Gallery
Art has always been a passion of mine. I have always felt happiest when I am creating something beautiful. Throughout my life that creativity has taken many forms until I settled into painting.
I grew up in Lubbock, Texas. I came to Kansas City in 1985 to attend nursing school at KU. After graduating, I was a critical care and emergency room nurse for thirteen years before retiring to stay home with our two children.
My mother, Toni Arnett, is the reason I first became interested in painting. She is also an artist and is very well known in her community. Growing up, we had the aroma of turpentine always in our home. To this day, I find that smell very familiar and comforting. After school I can remember going to check on my mother to see what she had been painting that day. She always asked for a critique and when she actually took my suggestions it made me feel very important.
After I married my husband, I moved to where he was living in Illinois. There, I began taking art classes at the local university along with working as a nurse part time. We started having children which put my art career on hold until they were older and independentenough that I could resume painting. It has been over six years since that time and I have been painting steadily and loving every minute of it with my mom being my greatest teacher and supporter.
I paint with oils on canvas or hardboard. I would describe my work as realistic with a contemporary flare. What inspires me are bright, vivid colors and how the light plays off of them or enhances them. It is gratifying to look for the subtle and unpredictable colors informs and add them to my paintings. I believe that is one of the things that makes a painting compelling. I love to paint animals and elements that are beautiful and intrigue mesuch as flowers and landscapes. I strive for my paintings to be lively, colorful
and interesting to induce the viewer to linger for awhile.
Art has been an important part of my life from as early as I can remember and on into today. There were no early lessons, so time was spent learning from observation. School was boring for me but I was fascinated by the colors in the room and various angles of the lines and how they created perspective in my mind. I found this highly entertaining, but it didn’t help with the grades- college was better. A lot of my art education came from exposure to works from artists I admired and what it was that pulled me to them. I decided that it was that they had soul. They weren’t just paintings, they had that special something that set them apart and made them art. It was soul. Soul will pull you to a piece and hold you to it and you may not even know why. It speaks to you in some way. Art has been with me through all of my life experiences: Hard times, happy times, growing times. Many times it was my best friend and sometimes my only friend. It is one of my major purposes in life, along with helping others discover their gift. It is who I am. Thank God for the joy, purpose, and challenge it brings me.