Pet Portraiture


Artist Statement

Kathy Ellen Esch is a professional artist who specializes in animal portraiture. In her work she is especially interested in examining and representing the special bond between humans and companion animals. In celebrating this special connection that enhances so many lives, she works in a variety of media, choosing the best suited to capture an animal's unique character.

Born with a love of animals and the talent to draw them, Kathy's professional interest in animals dates to 1992, when she started Prairie Hill art Studio, in Spring Prairie, just north of Madison. There while raising her two children, running a hobby farm, and working in sign shops and green houses, she discovered her calling in animal portraiture. Although she has developed her own personal style of realism, her work builds on the traditions of animal portraiture  established by such artists as Rosa Bonheur, Edwin Landseer, George Stubbs, and Gustave Courbet.

 Kathy has training in illustration, photography and painting. She has degrees in Commercial Art and in the  Liberal Arts, from Madison Area Technical College and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In addition to her work as an artist, she teaches oil and acrylic painting, watercolor painting, drawing and photography classes in the Adult Continuing Education Department at Madison Area Technical College, and Madison School and Community Recreation, and other venues.

Her illustrations, paintings and photographs grace the walls of hundreds of homes and businesses across the country. Her work is featured on the cover of "Crossing the Rubicon" a collection of stories that explores the human/animal bond.

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Tree Art

The trees that surround us sustain us. They give us oxygen, shade, wood to build stuff and heat our home. They are filled with energy from the sun and the earth, they fill our lives with beauty, food and next years soil. The vast array of tree shapes and sizes seems endless. They are one very important part of the climate change solution. In Oregon I have coordinated tree planting projects that planted over 900 trees. I hope you can help shade this warming earth and either allow a tree to mature or plant one new. Enjoy my art!