Kay’s passions for painting and nature have combined to provide her with a lifetime of inspiration. Her landscapes of the Pacific Northwest, where she lived much of her life, or of the east, where she now lives in the lovely Tennessee River Valley in southeastern Tennessee, or of western South Dakota, where she spends her summers, show a sense of place rarely seen. Her paintings reflect a love of her subjects that can’t be missed.
Kay paints only with oils and employs some of the techniques used by the old masters. Her major paintings take several weeks to complete because she paints in thin layers and each layer must dry before starting on the next layer. Glazes are used throughout the painting process to give the image depth and brilliance.
When not in the studio, Kay and her husband, noted artist Ron Holyfield, can usually be found studying, photographing, videotaping and sketching wildlife and the habitat that surrounds them. Together they have observed more wildlife behavior than many research biologists.
Since 1994 Kay and Ron have spent every summer in the Black Hills of South Dakota as artists-in-residence at a historic resort where she shares her talent and love of the natural world with visitors from all over the planet. A number of Kay’s paintings are her impressions of the prairie, hills and the multitude of wildlife in that part of the country. There is no doubt that many people are impacted by the power of her art as well as her views about the absolute necessity of nature in the environment.