Artist Kate Dardine

An example of fine art by Kate Dardine

Photo of Kate Dardine


I was a child of nature, more comfortable by myself in the woods than in the social experiment called school. I spent long hours alone in the woods, listening to birds, watching squirrels and chipmunks, discovering salamanders and snakes. But more than anything, I loved horses: I studied them, drew them and wrote poetry about them. I felt a spiritual connection to horses that I didn't find in the rituals of religion. To me, they represented freedom, beauty, bravery and honesty.
I was “that kid” in elementary school – the one who doodled on every surface and was asked to draw things for my classmates. And yet I was plagued by insecurity and so I decided that, even though I loved to draw, I was not “good enough” and concentrated on writing – and ended up taking creative writing and journalism classes in college. But on a whim I took an elective drawing class and my instructor saw something that I didn’t see in myself and with her encouragement I took more art classes. I ended up majoring in Illustration and graduating with honors with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
And yet all through my training, I felt something missing. I didn’t feel connected to what I was painting. I was painting for someone else, painting to please someone else. And then a few years ago, I had a breakthrough. Four things happened. 1.) My son-in-law committed suicide, an event that set off a period of darkness and fog for me, when I re-evaluated everything I thought I knew about life and 2.) I began working with a creativity coach who encouraged me to just paint – like I did when I was a child, before the censorship of my “critic” caused me to doubt my own vision. 3.) I was turned on [...]

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