Born in 1951, Kathleen SULLIVAN Eckel grew up along the Buffalo Bayou and Memorial Park in Houston, Texas, where her curious nature and love for exploring the great outdoors with all of its varied inhabitants began. Always imaginative and expressive, she wrote poetry and drew people and animals in their surroundings at a very early age. During her teens, she worked in an art gallery and switched schools to study art under Houston based artist Henry Gadbois. During the summers of her college years, she taught horseback riding and other sports on the shores of Lake LBJ in the hill country. It was during those summer evenings that her fascination with light and color began. After long days in the saddle and chores were all done, she would stretch out upon the barn’s tin roof feeling it cool beneath her, observing the sun setting and flooding the harsh Texas brightness with soft edges and a multitude of hues.  
Kate Eckel

After getting a bachelor degree in fine art at the University of Texas at Austin where she specialized in studio art and art education, her odyssey of travel began. Her first stepping stones were within the USA, living in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the north shore of Oahu Hawaii, and the District of Columbia. During this time she free-lanced in illustration, designed businesses and interiors, managed an art gallery, and took odd jobs to save up money for a year of travel. Her goal: to see the stunning original art of history books, and to study cultures, their art, and the lands they represented. And although she loved and appreciated her American heritage, she never really settled back in the USA for long again.

She spent the next eighteen years traveling in Europe and Africa. She lived first in the capital and jungled foothills of Cameroon, then where the Blue and White Niles meet at Khartoum in Sudan, and finally among the desert dunes on the coastal shores of West Africa in Mauritania. She illustrated and painted on commission, designed clothes and made jewelry, taught art in cultural centers and at the International Schools, and eventually opened her own private art school in Nouakchott. She lived a very integrated life involved with both the African and international communities, which were a constant source of stimulus for her. She has lived the last twenty years out of Africa, learning more intimately the cultures of Europe, mainly Austria, and Asia, mainly Mongolia, and reconnecting with America in the United States. Currently, she spends most of her time between the Austrian Alps, Charleston, South Carolina, and the Texas hill country.

In her early years, Sullivan’s art was mainly in watercolor, acrylic, graphite and conté. While living in Africa, she developed a style of painting huge, realistic, acrylic finger paintings on wood. Through a fluke of fate a few years ago, she met and was able to study under several well- known artists in Charleston, where she was reunited with the art of oil painting. She has been painting in oil ever since. One sees the influence of her previous work in more transparent mediums, as there is a layering, a fine sculpting as depth and image emerge in her paintings. Whether painting the landscape of a mountain range or contours of a face, it is the play of light that continues to fascinate and draw her to a subject. Her style can be described as realistic with a nod towards impressionism.

Member of the Portrait Society of America
Exhibiting Member of the Charleston Artist Guild
Member of the Mount Pleasant Artist Guild

2013  Piccolo Spoleto Juried Art Exhibit
2013  Blessing of the Fleet --- Second Place, and First and Second People’s Choice Award
2013  Charleston Artist Guild Juried Signature Exhibition --- Second Place
2013  Charleston Artist Guild Exhibiting Members Show --- Honorable Mention
2012  Blessing of the Fleet__First Place
2011  Piccolo Spoleto Juried Art Show
2011  Blessing of the Fleet__Second Place,  and Honorable Mention
2011  Charleston Preservation Society __ Spring Silent Auction
2011  Charleston Artist Guild  Exhibiting Members Juried Signature Show __Honorable Mention
2010  Mount Pleasant Artist Guild Water Front Park Exhibition__ Honorable Mention

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