Fantastical Birds: Artist Kathleen Lolley

“A Good Time to Be Careful” by Kathleen Lolley

There are many things I love about living in Kentucky and my home-city of Louisville. (While you may think that all of Kentucky is Appalachia, I assure you, it is not so, though an hour’s drive in any direction will take you to gorgeous, green, tree-filled rural America. Sometimes less.) One of those things I love is our art scene and local creators—artists like Kathleen Lolley.

Lolley received her degree from the California Institute of the Arts in 2001 and has since done many solo shows, created animations, paintings, comics and other graphic productions. She sculpts and makes home-crafts, too. Her work is a combination of the things I adore; birds, owls, faerie-people, strange fantastical nature… The palate is usually earth-toned with bursts of bright color to draw the eye.

Her website contains images of many of her paintings and other works. She also has a Flickr stream with photos of herself working, new paintings, gallery shows, etc.

There’s something so fantastical and pretty, yet occasionally creepy, about her paintings and the owl-people. Sometimes the owls seem to be a positive part of the image, sometimes they lurk and stare like predators. Their strange, lovely owl-faces on human bodies combine with the fairy-tale-esque sense of perspective Lolley employs.

I can certainly see Lolley “going places” with her beautiful work and interesting sculpture projects. Her vision is unique and instantly recognizable, which is worth so much today. I can’t wait to see more of what she’ll do. (And hey, she’s a Kentuckian like me—can’t deny that makes me smile.)

Some favorites of mine, linked:

Can’t Let Go”

“Moth Stump”


Her work is available for sale at gallery shows such as the upcoming September group show at Meltdown Comics & Gallery in Los Angeles, CA. Prints are available of some works at her Etsy shop.

Brit Mandelo is a multi-fandom geek with a special love for comics and queer literature. She can be found on Twitter and Livejournal.


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