Abstract and landscape marry. By Amanda Bedgood • photos by Robin may
Dr. Tami LaGraize remembers the first time she saw a Kelli Kaufman painting. It was in the Lafayette artist’s dining room.
“I asked, ‘Who painted this?’” LaGraize recalls, standing just feet from her own newly commissioned Kaufman piece.
LaGraize and her husband were visiting the Kaufmans’ home when a piece caught her eye. And it’s clear now why LaGraize took note. Kaufman’s work often marries abstract and landscape in a way that is, simply put, art.
Kaufman, who originally hales from New Iberia, has painted since high school. The wife of a surgeon, she got more serious about her painting while her husband was doing his residency.
“It was our first house and we had no money. I did it to put art on the wall,” she says, amused by the memory.
The newlyweds lived out of state for years before returning to Acadiana in 2005. It was then that Kaufman became more serious about her work. About four years ago on a trip to The Big Easel art festival in River Ranch, she felt she, too, could have a spot at the art event.
“Some of mine are as good. I could have a booth,” Kaufman says of her first inklings.
Kaufman stills remember how unusual it felt to call herself an artist as she approached the man in charge of The Big Easel — Jeffery McCullough.
“I said, ‘my name is Kelli and I’m an artist.’”
After emailing some of her work, she was in for the next year’s event and by 2010 was really selling her pieces. Today, McCullough is her agent.
Kaufman usually paints in the mornings after her two children are off to school, and she draws inspiration from what she knows best.
“I love painting what’s familiar. What’s Louisiana. Marshscapes,” Kaufman says.
And it is those marshscapes that often have clients calling. She typically chooses muted colors. And her work is something that is kind to the soul at the end of a long day.
“Helps you wind down and calm down from life,” she says. “The art of creating it is meditation. I’m not focused on anything but the present moment.”
It is her hope that the feeling she has creating the work is just what those who see it feel.
“Escape into a calm scene in your home,” Kaufman says.
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.
AUG 29 Everyone who cares about Louisiana should take time to peruse this story about coastal loss from Bob Marshall of The Lens. It's not enough to call it a story; it's an interactive experience packed with data and amazing graphics, timelines, history, photos and excellent writing. Set aside some time, because you can't go through this one in a few minutes.
JUN 29 This bizarre story from the Advocate on the shooting of a Baton Rouge television personality reads like the script of a soap opera - but not a good one. The allegations against him include sexual abuse of children, including the alleged shooter, and a sham immigration marriage involving his own daughter. The other side? He was a chaplin for the Sheriff's Office in Baton Rouge and preached in a local church.
AUG 29 Here's a story from CBS News about a killer amoeba found in the water system of St. John the Baptist Parish. The story made all three networks (CBS, ABC, NBC) as well as Fox "News," although they have not yet found out how it is Obama's fault. Seriously, the good news is that so far officials know of no one sickened by the water.
AUG 29 Huffington Post has a blog called Love Letters, which is grandly described as "an anthology of reflections on places the world over." This entry is from LSU Football Coach Les Miles, who, it appears, loves Baton Rouge. (Of course he does; he's a rich straight white man.) And certainly Baton Rouge loves him - unless he loses (ask Curley "Golden Flake" Hallman about that) or leaves (ask Nick Saban).
AUG 29 Blogger Bob Mann comments here upon Governor Bobby Jindal's federal lawsuit about Common Core. Mann calls it a "thinly veiled campaign document" and that might be the nicest thing he says in this post. Most troubling for Jindal and his aspirations, Mann has unearthed what Bobby said just a few years ago when he first decided to shove Common Core down our throats.
AUG 29 Blogger Tom Aswell has several developments here related to the so-called Edmonson amendment. The most entertaining one is possibly Tom's acknowledgement that a State Police official is (allegedly) calling the bloggers covering the story some colorful names. Listen up, cowboy: You really think two veterans like Tom Aswell and CB Forgotston care if you call them idiots?
AUG 29 Gotta love those journalists who write something with the enthusiasm that implies they're the first one to figure something out. Mostly, they're not. This is one of those times; the post on Slate Magazine says that Bobby Jindal's Common Core lawsuit is a political stunt. Well - Duh.
AUG 29 This story by WVLA tells us about a guy who got busted for speeding in Baton Rouge. Who cares? This guy took that infraction to new heights by going 129 miles per hour on Nicholson Drive. Poor fella - he probably has spent so much time sitting in Baton Rouge traffic he just had to cut lose.
AUG 28 As the controversy surrounding the Office of Group Benefits intensifies, blogger Tom Aswell gives us some background on the current problems. The OGB, which handles health insurance for current and retired state employees, is deep in the red since it was privatized by Jindal, and Aswell gives us the skinny: this great plan was designed by ALEC. The company handling it? Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana - a longtime member of ALEC.
AUG 28 Blogger CB Forgotston has a concept for a new reality show: the wives of the "Dork Dynasty." That's the name that some troopers have given to State Police Commander Mike Edmonson and his inner circle. The ladies CB has picked for his cast are not just housewives, however, and the connections here are pretty interesting.
AUG 28 Blogger Ian McGibboney is writing about the strife in Ferguson in this post, and articulating what many people down south are saying. There's a fairy tale about how there's tons of racism in the South, but it's all hunky dory up North. (Really? Look again.)
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly