Painter and educator Katie Rickman is a native Marylander and a graduate of Maryland Institute, College of Art (M.I.C.A.) with both her BFA in painting and her MFA in teaching. Guiding others to develop the skills to “see through the eyes of an artist” to observe and record the world around them is a gift a favorite art teacher and mentor gave her as a teenager. That experience sparked a life-long passion for painting and teaching.
Her ideas often come spontaneously throughout her day as something catches her eye: the way light hits a form, a reflection, a cloud formation, the curve of a road, the haze of distant space, or a fluid movement- she strives to capture these glimpses to share with others.
Rickman is drawn to contrasting elements- darkness and glowing light, smooth and textured surfaces, old and new, organic and geometric, and more subtly masculine and feminine. While primarily working with paint on canvas, she also explores the addition of fabric, paper, small found objects, and other elements, playing with surface texture and then back to painting to reinforce a sense of form and space. She also likes to honor her history by repurposing and collaging sections of old paintings into new works.
In recent work, Rickman has explored glowing shapes of light as a nod to a string of red lights on a fire escape that was a beacon of hope in a very dark time in college. She uses them to honor and celebrate the survival strength her younger self developed in what felt like a hopeless situation and as a reminder of how far she has come. Always an educator at heart, Rickman draws on her own experience to offer back hope for those that follow behind her with a glow to light their way.