Born in Berkeley, California and a long time resident of Woodstock, NY, K. L. McKenna divides her time between the Hudson Valley and the American West. Her luminous landscape paintings reveal a profound attachment to the natural geology and essence of place in her paintings of Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, Utah and Arizona. Monumental rock formations meet flat plains; angular roads eerily cut through landscapes seemingly uninhabited; endless sky and natural geometries dominate. McKenna's influences are evident; Gauguin and van Gogh in color and line; Bonnard in flattened pattern; and Georgia O'Keeffe in the skillful fusion between the abstract and the figurative. "My goal is to create indelible images that are uniquely individual, each with their own identity, personality and purpose while at the same time exhibit a recognizable voice."
McKenna's inspiration is rooted in childhood experiences with her paleontologist father, whose expeditions with the American Museum of Natural History in New York exposed her to the American west, a territory that represents to her the concept of wide open spaces, dirt roads and the last frontier. Museum exhibitions include the Rockwell Museum of Western Art, the Booth Western Art Museum, the
Yellowstone Art Museum, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, the Museum of Northern Arizona and the Desert Caballeros Museum. She exhibited with the State Department's Art in Embassies Program in Burkina Faso, West Africa as well as at the Rubin Museum, NY, National Arts Club, NY and the Clayton Center for the Arts, Maryville, TN. McKenna's paintings happily reside in permanent collections of the Rockwell Museum, the Museum of Northern Arizona, the Booth Museum, the Woodstock Artists Association & Museum and at the Desert Caballeros Museum in Wickenburg, AZ.
K. L. McKenna recently won the People's Choice Award 2015 at Cowgirl Up! Exhibition at the Desert Caballeros Western Museum.
K. L. McKenna has a BA in American Studies with a concentration in Anthropology from Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, and a Masters of Industrial Design from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY. She has worked in a variety of disciplines over the years, including museum exhibition design, computer user interface design, and color consultation. She currently teaches painting and color at the Woodstock School of Art in Woodstock, NY. She serves on the boards of Pratt Institute, the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild and the Arts Society of Kingston, Kingston, NY.