Fay Kahn Works

Fay Kahn

Artist Statement:

I am a joyful person. Optimism and delight in the world around me are part of my makeup, and I aspire to reflect this outlook in my paintings.  I like to play with and juxtapose colors. Working with compositional elements lets me create paintings that display harmony, balance, imagination, and joy.

The beauty of nature is what inspires me. Wherever I am, I’m always on the outlook for images that are unique, and captivate me with their beauty, humor, or charm. My sketchbook tools, paints, and camera are always ready to help me record these moments of inspiration. Turning the initial images into paintings is a personal challenge and a joy.

Most of my paintings in this show are transparent watercolors. There are two batik paintings, which are done on Japanese paper. Molten wax acts as a resist on the layers of watercolor to create the batik pieces. At the end of the process, the wax is removed from the paper.

The paintings on display are a reflection of who I am, and what I find worthwhile and beautiful. They are an affirmation of my life and heart’s delight.



I spent my childhood in upstate New York, where I developed an appreciation for nature and enjoyment of the outdoors. Gardening, art, sewing and cooking were skills that I learned during my school years that I still enjoy today.

I graduated from Hope College in Holland, Michigan in 1970 with a BA degree in Humanities and an elementary education teacher certificate.  I also attended Naples Mill School of Arts and Crafts in Naples, New York, where I studied ceramics, photography and drawing. My career in education included teaching 4th grade, remedial reading, and community education programs. I developed and taught a preschool art program for six years at Pumpkin Shell Preschool in Vancouver, WA.

I have traveled extensively in the United States, camping and hiking in many of our National Parks and forests. I finally settled in the Northwest in 1979. The treasures found in the landscapes here, and in destinations afar, continue to inspire me in my artwork.

Since retiring from teaching in 1999, I have been working as an artist full time. I love all art materials, so I enjoy and find purpose in several different mediums. Watercolor, batik on Japanese paper, collage, and pen and ink are the areas I enjoy the most.  I often combine some of these processes. My work is almost always based on the natural world, whether it is a literal or imaginary rendering. I am a member of local, regional and national watercolor groups, and a signature member of Western Colorado Watercolor Society.  I am fortunate to have taken workshops and classes from many local and national artists.