“This is what I feel like when I race… I can hear Katie’s paintings.”(Jockey Julie Krone)
Kathryn F. “Katie” Burke grew up riding thoroughbreds and hunter/jumpers in Prospect, Kentucky. When an extended illness curtailed her study of pre-veterinary medicine at the University of Kentucky, she turned to the artwork she had loved since childhood. After recovering, she spent the next few years exercising polo ponies and working young horses for the race track and hunt field while attending art classes.
In 1981, Katie and her mother, artist representative Nancy Burke, began Equine Artists of Kentucky specializing in custom crystal for the horseracing industry and crystal trophies.
When one of Katie’s two daughters was born with an allergy to horses, she decided it was time to devote herself to painting. She began seriously studying the medium of watercolor with Sue Huttenlocher and Sarah Roush. Katie continued to stay involved with horses through her artwork, and became the print and artwork buyer for Finish Line Gallery at the Kentucky Derby Museum.
Since 2004, Katie has worked from her studio at the Mellwood Art Center in Louisville, Kentucky, painting, teaching and coordinating the Figurative Art and Life Drawing Program. Her work now includes figurative art, portraiture, and plen-air landscape painting. As only the fourth artist since 1979 to be invited, she has painted 6 portraits in the permanent collection of the Kentucky State Capital. Katie works primarily in transparent watercolor, watermedia and pastel. She continues to capture the movement of light, across a horse’s shoulder, a jockey’s silk or a flower petal.
Katie's oil paintings and pastels en plein air, and still life are represented in the Jane Morgan Gallery, Louisville, KY.