Artists are born, trained, created, and transformed through many layers of invention and growth. For artist Katrina Dolislager, the endeavor of life inspired creation. For each stroke and shade of paint she moves, the emotions and experiences of her life become manifest. Dolislager has participated and presented at Art on the Green located at 1100 Bob Courtway.
As a child, Dolislager was a young artist, but lost the spark as she grew older. As an undergraduate student at Wheaton College in Illinois, she worked to obtain her bachelors degree in History, which allowed a limited amount of artistic stimulation. Yet, the thought of creation was always in the back of her mind. Dolislager came from a family where art was paramount, her father, the main motivator for her to return to the world of art is also an artist and works throughout the U.S. promoting his art and the art of fellow artists.
When she began rekindling her artistic ability she was completely untrained and self taught. She felt the pastels and the way they moved on the canvas, which became a form of therapy for her.
"When I’m home in my study it’s my time. I’m able to shut out the world and be with my thoughts. On my walls, I have photos of old trips to remember my travels or photos of passed loved ones to remember the happy memories through the pain," said Dolislager.
The river of experience runs deep within Dolislager. At a young age, her son Calvin was diagnosed with sever autism and her other son, Kent was diagnosed with Tourettes Syndrome and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
"Although we had two physically healthy, beautiful boys, I fell into a dark time of resentment and mourning for what they were unable to do, the enormous challenges they would face. I was angry for sometime, angry at God and other parents of seemingly normal children, said Dolislager, "I just made myself stop thinking about what wouldn’t be and start focusing on all they are right now."
Despite these dark times, Dolislager appreciates her experiences in life because the have taught her how to love deeper and to hold on to love a bit tighter.
"My boys are my heroes and along with my husband Thomas, my greatest joy," said Dolislager. "I can view all the layers of my life and my art, and see a pile of rubble or a mountain of hope. The choice is mine. My mountain is full of bright colors and sharp edges and I embrace the challenge of each piece of the climb."
Dolislager’s experiences have led her to hone her skills and acclimate to the Outsider Artist Movement. This form of artistic expression is art that is outside the official culture.
"I like the medium weight oil pastels because they achieve the colors and layers of textures that I want in my paintings to reflect," said Dolislager, "there is something so satisfying about the feel of pressing oil pastels into the canvas. The most expensive pastels yield their colors too easily and the cheapest pastels don’t hold their colors enough on canvas."
Dolislager has been featured at several venues, but she explained, "I’m not looking to sell my art for a form of steady income, I mean that would be great if so, but I want people to enjoy it," said Dolislager.
The artist has donated her work to the Arkansas Festival of Wines in Little Rock where her art was featured in the premier auction. The creation, entitled, "Winter Grapes" was bid on and ultimately sold for $1,375.