“I mostly do paintings. I use all kinds of mediums, from oils to acrylics to watercolor to collage to pen and ink. I just sort of work with everything. I think I have a style, because people tell me – no matter what it is – ‘I can tell that’s a Kathy Stiffney.’ But I don’t have ‘a’ style; I paint all ways and all subjects, from more abstract to more real-life. It’s a very wide variety, and it could be kind of a fault that I haven’t developed a series of something that sort of defines me. I just haven’t done that yet. I like to experiment. I like the challenge of trying something different.
Part of my art is working with space and creating space in buildings and homes and at retreat centers. I’ve done a lot of that. The art of space is really important to me, and I love how Goshen is developing its downtown in terms of the architecture, in terms of the streetscapes, all of that. I think that is art. It distinguishes Goshen a little bit.
I did win an award at a show over in Elkhart. I’ve sold things in juried shows; That always feels good. In terms of accomplishment, I think I have some favorite pieces that I’ve done. One story that was really cool…it was during the Lent season for Christmas. At our church, South Side Fellowship in Elkhart, my good friend was putting together a service. She said, ‘How would you like to paint during the service?’ And I said, ‘Oh, sure.’ I’d never done anything like that before. She gave me the Scripture and our pastor was going to talk. I actually ended up painting during most of the service. It just went really well! It was very soulful and spirit-led. I did some prep in the beginning. It was on yupo, which is a fairly tough thing to paint on. It just came together beautifully. That was one special memory.
Obviously, there is opportunity with the painting guild, and lots of places where people have studios and that kind of thing. I appreciate that we are a town that is becoming known for our art, for our recognition of the arts, our valuing the arts. And there’s certainly good support among the people and beyond. The guild’s a great place to collaborate and be with other artists. I love my studio because I can really focus and be alone there, although I have other artists with me there, also. It’s thriving, and people care.”