Katherine Plumer Fine Art

Well, it all started quite a number of years ago with crayons and coloring books, like a lot of other kids.  I liked the ones with horses and unicorns best, of course.  And then there came a time when I didn’t just want to color in other people’s drawings, I wanted to make my own... Yes, it’s safe to say I wanted to be an artist from the moment I first started using crayons.  It’s been a life-long dream, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work in several media over the years.  My love of colored pencil started early.  Like most other kids I had those cheap ones you can buy at any old school supply store, and they drove me crazy.  And then one day in elementary school, I must have been in maybe third grade, an illustrator gave a presentation at our school about her work, and I was utterly transfixed.  I don’t remember her name, or where she was from, but I’ll never forget seeing her vibrant and lush colored pencil drawings projected onto the screen.  That was what I wanted to do.  I wanted colors that bright!

It was several more years of frustration before I somehow found out that there were “artist quality” colored pencils, and was able to convince my parents that by golly I needed them.  Oh what a feeling to finally be able to create the look that I wanted!  It would be a few more years before I found out about a good paper though!

I was blessed with many teachers throughout the years who loved art and encouraged me, from elementary school through a wonderful art program in high school.  Drawing was always my thing.  I didn’t care too much for painting, hadn’t tried much in the way of sculpture, and didn’t know much about the wide range of other media out there in the world.

It was a no-brainer that I would study art in college.  It was what I had always planned and always wanted, except for a brief childhood stint of wanting to be a veterinarian.  I’m pretty sure I also wanted to be Barbie at one point, and perhaps also a pony.  But it always came back to art. ;-)

There were two colleges I had to decide between.  I’d been accepted into the University of Wyoming, and I loved it there.  It was where I first learned about stone lithography while on a tour of the department, and I was fascinated.  Little did I know at the time how important to me lithography would become.  I was also accepted into the University of California at Davis.  I chose to attend UCDavis, largely because I was also able to study Avian Sciences there, and the connections I made at UCD have led to wonderful things!

I had the opportunity to take all sorts of exciting classes in college: photography, ceramics, printmaking, drawing, and painting.  I focused primarily on printmaking and ceramics.  I enjoyed the heck out of sculpting and sometimes miss that, but I’m not set up to do that anymore.  Printmaking really appealed to me because it had such a strong foundation in drawing, but allowed me to create multiple original images.  I did some etching, some relief carving, but most of all I loved stone lithography.  I think my professor told me that most people end up hating it.  Well, I always pick the difficult things I guess!  I even kept working in the print studio for several years after I graduated (BA in art, 2001). Here are a few things I did in college:

After college I really delved into western art, began attending art shows, and pushed the illustration aspect of my work.  In a several-years-long job for the American Poultry Association, I had the honor of creating many of the new illustrations for The American Standard of Perfection (what eventually became the 2010 edition).  I REALLY got comfortable with colored pencils in that job! :-)

I kept on making western art, put a bit more emphasis on pet portraiture, and though I’d always insisted I was NOT a painter, I decided to start painting.  It started with a lot of time spent staring a blank canvas, having no idea what to do.  And then it flowed, and kept flowing, and turned into a completely unique style combining loose brush stokes and the tight lines I’d learned to make as a printmaker.  I enjoyed painting, but didn’t love it like I loved to draw, and felt that stretching myself too thin might be doing more harm that good.  I’d rather refocus on what I loved, so when I had to rearrange the studio to accomodate the new engraving equipment, I packed up the easel. But these are some of the paintings I did:


Around that time a friend had dropped the suggestion that I look into scrimshaw engraving.  I knew little about it except in a historical sense.  I had no idea people were still creating scrimshaw, I somehow imagined it to be a lost art.  I looked around and researched it, thought it sounded intriguing, tried it, and oh my gosh went head over heels for it.  Like a moth to a flame.  There was no doubt in my mind I’d found my niche, and that I was meant to do that.  Though a form of engraving, I find it so much like drawing!

Graphite taught me how to use grayscale.  Colored pencil taught me how to layer colors.  Printmaking taught me the use of lines.  It all comes together, and I’m thrilled to be able to work in the two media I love most: drawing and scrimshaw engraving.  I enjoy traveling to art shows and love meeting people who appreciate my art work.

Thank you for taking the time to look around my website.  I promise you’ll be seeing my name for years to come!  To my friends and fans (past, present, and future!), thank you!  This wouldn’t be possible without you.

copyright © 1998-2010 Katherine Plumer, all rights reserved
images may not be used with written permission of the artist