A USA Expat who has created art in 18 countries, now residing with her husband in Perth Australia, Katy McManus is a highly passionate Artist manifesting works channeling conscience needs, utilizing various mixed media platforms. This practice helps her reflect her insights and interpretations of the world and the space around us. She creates with the belief that these works of art will both inspire others and honor the subject matter of each creation.
Born in Pittsburgh PA, spending summers in Santa Rosa California with my Father, and creating collage art, camping, exploring, fossil hunting or reading alone was most of my childhood in a small town with not a lot to do other than go bowling or roller skate down at the Tarentum Roller Rink. I knew from a very young age that THIS was not the place I would spend the rest of my life in, thinking there had to be more out there, people like me to find and the sooner I found that place the better.
While most 8 year olds wanted Barbies and makeup I was getting my first subscriptions to National Geographic and Life magazines and asking my grandfather about war and mercy. It was then that I was introduced to life outside Western culture, ancient rituals, sacred places, open sources to death and life in the name of politics, sex and religion. At that point I realized I would need to save a lot of money to find my home on this planet, my tribe or die trying.
I have been working since I was 9 when my Grandmother said I was tall enough to reach the counter at her Custard Stand, still open to this day, Del's Custard in Natrona Heights, my home town, population 11,604, 1 Steel Mill, 1 Anchor Inn and 1 Do Drop Inn for date night and 1 very impatient Katy McManus.
Painting abstract mixed media pieces has been a passion of mine since 1991. After college and one uneventful solo exhibition (my first and last to this day) I stopped creating art, fell into a successful career and I lost myself and focus and I did not find inspiration again until 2014.
While locked in a corporate job, that I had an aptitude for but did not love, a family friend introduced me to a painting technique that once again ignited my passion for art. The ideas just started pouring out, at 34 I changed everything I was doing; I quit my job, moved to a private 95 acre property and I began managing a Tattoo and Art Gallery & I quickly began learning everything I could again about love, life, and art.
In rediscovering my love for the world of art I found that I became calmer and more intuitive, and closer to my main goal of fully embracing HOPE which I maintain is the root of all unique and original thought. Without HOPE there is no potential, creativity or the prospect of change which is essential for a peaceful life and the calm one needs to quiet the mind and focus on artistic manifestations.
Two years later, I began Artistry Approach to inspire others to use their imaginations to their fullest potential too.
Since January 2017 I have been traveling the World seeking a place I did not know. I've always felt this anxiousness, likened to the feeling when you finally hit the road but there's a nagging feeling that you've forgotten something vital or the sensation of arriving late somewhere but it did not know the location of where I was meant to be. Iceland, Japan, Indonesia,China, Philippines & a dozen more but nothing felt right until I met my husband in Kuta Bali.
I was living in Ubud Bali at the ShiSha villa, living my best version of myself and staying organized living a minimalist lifestyle. Everyday was the same: make coffee, watch the workers in the rice field out of my bedroom, make art while dancing, foster a puppy and greet the gardener\house attendant Wayan, leaving my evenings free to wonder with friends or usually on my own in silent awe and meditation of the island and the bounty of creative energy there.
All of this: eliminating the mundane tasks of life and materialistic fancies opened me up to see my higher self in an entirely new light. I was free and finally open to love again after years of casual dating and REALLY invite someone new into my world. My husband gave me so much more than his heart, he showed me the wonders of the untouched landscapes of Australia and everything precious about our world was revealed to me.
It's one of the last beautiful natural places on Earth. I saw coral and sea life for the first time in 20 years not coral bleaching and roads that wind through the outback for days free of litter, power lines, or any indication of the massive human footprint taming our wild. Looking up at a sky without chemical trails and drinking from a stream I know is free of pollution and eating food grown naturally free of pesticides has done wonders for my health and mind.
I have found my spot on this Earth, some magical space between here and the center of the small island of Bali, all inspiring. I still battle with depression but I take all of that energy and channel it into artwork. It has taken my 40 years to get to this point, thank you for reading and I hope you'll still around for the next 40.
Thank you for exploring my artistic journey, K
I don't have a specific style & I'm always trying new things. I mainly paint with acrylics & oils on canvas and create mandalas. I also enjoy making frames in my studio at Meros Technis, the property where Artistry Approach is located. My favorite and most inspirational artists are Leonardo Da Vinci, Mark Ryden, Aloria Weaver, Morgan Mandala, Martin Bridge, Aubrey Beardsley, Carl Bridge, Lucas Hong-Jie Zhao, Ally Grimm, Ryan Gardell, Chris Bohlin, & Mimbi Rose...just to name a few.
My advice to anyone seeking a career in art is to save your money on art school & think outside the box. You can attend workshops & surround yourself with like-minded people who will inspire & challenge you to do your best outside of a standard curriculum. I applaud anyone with the time & means to attend art school, however I have opened Artistry Approach to assist people like me with the passion & motivation to learn but not the money or years to spend in a traditional classroom. Reaching your maximum potential, I am learning, does not always include the most conventional avenues.
When I'm not making art you can find me playing with my dogs, reading in my hammock near water, gardening, hiking, surfing Netflix, baking, building a campfire, or riding my bike through the trails of Meros Technis.
If you ever want to attend a workshop or need a commissioned painting please feel free to contract me directly.
Thank you for supporting my artistic journey.