Dr. Kathy Root Pitts comes from an artistic family. Her father, Benjamin Allen Root, Sr., always had a painting project underway. He loved Southern subject matter. Benjamin’s was an impressionistic, sometimes surreal style. He would lay oil on canvas so broadly and thickly with a palette knife that his paintings would often take weeks to dry. Kathy came to learn from her father the impressionistic techniques of contrasting light and shadow for drama.

Her mother, Dorothy Louise Norwood Root, received art instruction from Karl Wolfe. She worked on the “sea life mural” in the lobby of the old Lamar Theatre in Downtown Jackson. It was from Dorothy that Kathy learned the brilliant blending of complementary colors along with brush stroke technique to give her subjects three-dimensionality. Dorothy’s still-lifes, seascapes, and landscapes appear to stand out from her canvases.

As an adult, Kathy was impressed by her sister-in-law’s vibrant work. Lynn Green Root, like her mother Myra Green, was a celebrated Mississippi artist. Lynn created dynamic and expansive canvases with her bold and Byzantine use of brightly juxtaposed planes of color. Lynn would likewise take classical and romantic themes and translate them into powerfully modern — Southern gothic — acrylic studies.

Kathy was attracted to the art world even when choosing a husband. William Pitts, the designer of The New Southern View Ezine, advises Kathy on her paintings and drawings. He studied under famed Mississippi artist Marie Hull. Later he earned his Fine Arts education at the celebrated Delta State University Fine Arts Center in 1975. William has a keen eye for graphic design, artistic composition, and photography. Since the Summer of 2001 he has produced our state’s first online magazine, The New Southern View Ezine, an attractive and compelling website, and a true asset to Mississippi!

Dr. Kathy Root Pitts renders landscapes, seascapes, and still subjects with an eye for the living power and spirit inherent in physical reality. Her canvases become the essential distillation of “place.” The observer feels attracted to the canvas. Like the discovery of a mysterious, bright, and unexpected door in a lightless wall, the observer cannot help but turn the handle.

Kathy is also a confident portrait artist. She knows that, although technique is essential to compelling portraits, the artist must be able to call up a mental rapport with the face that she is painting in order to evoke the essence of that individual. Only then does the portrait become "true." Kathy reaches beyond photographic representation when examining an individual subject for rendering. Because of this, her portraits appear to the observer almost alive and seem to make a personal connection with the observer.

Place or face, the moment of intense artistic observation becomes magically real. Kathy’s works of art make it seem possible to see the soul in people and things. You will catch yourself just standing and staring.

COPYRIGHT © 2009-2010 KATHY ROOT PITTS |2/24/09