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.
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NOV 26 Zach Kopplin, who we came to know and love when he was a Louisiana high school student lobbying for the continued inclusion of science stuff in science class, pens this post in The Atlantic about a "textbook" available for social studies instruction in Texas that discusses how Moses contributed to the Constitution. (Oy! Texas rednecks love Jews. Who knew?)
NOV 26 Finally, mad people on the interwebz is a good thing! World wide webby outrage has caused the village of Moreauville to reverse its plan to confiscate pit bulls and Rottweillers and euthanize them simply because of their breed, WAFB reports here. The plan? They're going to enforce the leash law. Well, that would have been a good place to start.
NOV 26 Jim Brown, like many of us Louisiana voters, seems fed up with out of town know-it-alls trying to tell us what to do. Bill Cassidy can't make it through the day without flying someone in to "tell us political retards" how to vote, he says.
NOV 26 Blogger Tom Aswell is writing about the behavior of the two finalists in the 6th Congressional District race: Edwin Edwards and Garret Graves. Edwards has come out swinging, but Graves' campaign seems bent on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, Tom says.
NOV 26 Unless you're in Virigina, you shouldn't count on seeing our Governor on Election Day. Mark Ballard writes in the Advocate's political blog that Bobby will be appearing at a GOP love fest of some kind there, instead of spending the day here.
NOV 26 This post on The Lens takes a look at the ongoing dispute in New Orleans over the banners about the upcoming tax election for the school system. The banners are hanging on schools, and some feel they are promotional, which is not allowed, instead of educational - which is allowed.
NOV 26 Not all college students are focused on football games and parties at this time of year. This post on DIG Baton Rouge recounts an LSU student group that tries to make sure that those who are hungry and homeless are not forgotten by those of us who aren't.
NOV 25 Edwin Edwards took off the gloves on Monday, this post on WAFB tells us. At a Press Club appearance, he wondered how his 6th Congressional District opponent, Garret Graves, could be an expert in all the areas in which he claims to be - when he has no college degree in anything. (Five years - FIVE YEARS - in college, but no degree. Huh?)
NOV 25 Blogger Mike Deshotels offers this primer on predatory charter schools and how they operate, specifically in Louisiana. They're not just profiting from our tax dollars, they're using children and shortchanging them to do so, Deshotels says.
NOV 25 Here's a link to the petition that has been created to save Zeus, a family dog who is targeted for death by the learned fathers of the Avoyelles Parish village of Moreauville. They passed an ordinance based on nothing that outlaws pit bulls and Rotweillers. As of Tuesday morning, the petition had more than 230,000 signatures - a number that's a wee bit higher than the village population of 929.
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