Arts, Featured

Kwangsook Schaefermeyer: A Passion for Painting

The artist at work
By Michelle Strubeck for Seward City News –

With a dab of paint and the stroke of a brush, local artist Kwangsook Schaefermeyer creates beautiful works of art using acrylics, oils and watercolors. To look at her work you would think she is a trained painter, but in reality she only dabbled with artwork as a child and didn’t become an artist until 5-6 years ago when her second child, who is now seven, was a year and a half old. She turned to painting as an outlet to help cope with her postpartum depression. After picking up a paint brush, not only did Kwangsook find painting to be therapeutic, but she also found that she has a natural ability for painting.

Kwangsook was born and raised in South Korea. As a child she remembers being around an older cousin that did some painting. She remembers the smell of the oil paints and the sun coming through the window in the studio. This caught her eye at the age of five. When she was in high school Kwangsook took after school art classes. Upon graduation she wanted to attend art school, but couldn’t afford it. She moved to Alaska in 2005. Married with three children, she completes a majority of her work later in the evening after the kids have gone to bed. She said her husband and children always encourage her and they are her biggest supporters.

Original artwork by Kwangsook

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Kwangsook is self taught. She refers to You Tube videos and art books as points of reference. When she gets inspired by other artists she will research their work and their techniques. She has fun with her work and makes her style her own.

Kwangsook’s preferred medium is watercolor. She enjoys watercolor for the numerous color combinations that can be made and she said acrylics are fun too. Using acrylics allows her to create paintings with texture. Her next step is to start painting on black and white ceramic tiles with alcohol paint. If you have any black and white ceramic tiles you would like to donate, the materials would be appreciated.

If you aren’t familiar with Kwangsook’s work, her talent can be seen at a few places around Seward. She has painted a several murals, her work has been displayed at the SeaLife Center and at the Anchorage Museum Rasmuson Center and she has also donated her work to the SeaLife Center Gala in Anchorage. She has participated in First Friday and the Seward Music and Arts Festival. In June she will have a show at Rez Art and another show at the SeaLife Center in August.

Currently Kwangsook is teaching painting classes to children and adults. I recently stopped by one of her painting classes where we painted a nighttime cabin scene. There was classical music playing in the background and enjoyable conversation. Even though we were painting the same picture, its amazing to see how everyone’s style differs. It was an enjoyable, relaxing evening and I even found myself getting caught up in the moment and forgetting about my worries for awhile.

If you are interested in painting classes or commissioning Kwangsook for a piece of artwork she can be reached at 907-422-0367 or kpsgallery@hotmail.com. Her website is www.kpsgallery.com.

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