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Mapping a New Course

Katonah-based artist, writer and photographer Kelly Schwark, who creates gorgeous watercolor paintings of maps, was hesitant to use the medium at first. After her friend and owner of Katonah Reading Room suggested she try the store’s new sets, Schwark says she had them for weeks before giving them a go. “On a whim, driven mostly by guilt for taking so long to fulfill my promise, I finally sat down at my dining room table with the small palette of primary colors and gold, a glass of water, and one single brush. One stroke and I was in love,” she says.

Maps have been a theme in her life for more than a decade, starting after her divorce, when she used maps and a list of places she calls “pinpoints of pain” to create art, eventually visiting many of those places to work through her experiences. “For me, maps, at first, were about healing, and city names were once my rally cries,” she says “Now, when I look at maps I see pinpoints of joyful and loving experi- ences, of friends scattered across the globe leaving their own marks. Maps can tell us where we have been and where we are going, and at the end of the day, I want to help people celebrate and commemorate each part of their journey.” See her work on display at Chroma Fine Art Gallery in Katonah through July 17, or at her Etsy store. 

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