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Beynette in her Studio.

Kathy DeZarn Beynette

Artist Spotlight



Like her characters, Kathy DeZarn Beynette exudes kindness and sympathy for others—both human and four legged—in equal measure through humor and mischief. In her narrative oil and acrylic paintings, you can always find a friend and, often, a story.

Beynette paints in her public and private studio spaces in Alexandria, Virginia, where she mines inspiration from everyday encounters, finding the meaning behind offhand moments. There, a visit from a tired little Boston terrier led to a set of paintings, a show, and a breakthrough as the artist began to combine art with the written word. “He was quite comical and political in my imaginary world. In one painting, he encourages folks to spay and neuter their cats. In another, he is the ringmaster in a cat circus.” The original Jellybean appears in Pomegranate’s 2016 calendar with Beynette’s thoughts on the endearing pup, on which she mused, “Night and day. Day and night. Jellybean Jellybean Jellybean.”

Living Green Again
Living Green Again
(detail)
The artist’s animals often reflect everyday human concerns: Mrs. Squirrel admonishes Mr. Squirrel. A zebra considers checks instead of stripes. Batman and Robin show up from time to time, along with regular people, and even a saint. Beynette’s Facebook followers may remember her works devoted to the patron saint of cats: “I created a couple of paintings about Saint Gertrude, including Saint Gertrude of Nivelles, when my cat Willie was seriously injured last year. All of my thoughts were about him during this time, so it would have been hard to paint about anything else. The other painting depicts the surgery as I imagined it, and says:

Saint Gertrude of Nivelles
Saint Gertrude of Nivelles
Dear Saint Gertrude,
I humbly beg
For you to fix
My kitty’s leg
.”

An accomplished writer of fiction and poetry, Kathy weaves these storytelling talents into each intricate painting. She is devoted to her ongoing series called Living Green, “complex, large paintings about loving the world we live in.” The idea drew the attention of the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, which commissioned Morning, among others, to provide inspiring art to the families in their care. Like so much of Beynette’s art, the menagerie of colorful creatures narrates the lives of others with her particularly charming blend of whimsy and heart.
Jellybean
Jellybean (detail)
Mr. and Mrs. Squirrel
Mr. and Mrs. Squirrel



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