"There are a variety of witty icons in Jardine’s interpretation of the nude. Manet and Titian both included little dogs in their paintings. Look what Jardine has done with hers."
– Marilynne S. Mason, The Rocky Mountain News

“Kathleen Jardine’s densely packed interiors where the young male or female model seem totally disengaged from the scene, are well known in the area. These carefully detailed narratives are the artist’s signature style, and while they seem so close to reality, they are impossible to understand completely.

For example, in the large oil, The Cat and Her Infant Opossum, we see the lower body of a nude man ironing while a beautiful male teenager relaxes on a multi-colored, tasseled carpet. The cat that is visibly ready to nurture kittens carries a possum on her back. Scattered on the floor are paper snowflakes, while shadows criss-cross a surface filled with vibrant color. It is a scene that invites speculation and tongue-wagging, but the artist gives us very few clues. . . . Read full review.

– Blue Greenberg, critic for The Durham Herald-Sun, reviewing a 2004 solo show at Somerhill Gallery, Chapel Hill, NC

“…At the Foothills Art Center, the Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Exhibition is an amazingly eclectic show. Juried by Janet Fish… the show ranges in style but is always about superb technique.

Kathleen Jardine’s subtle and amusing feminist message in Celia Carver and Victorine Meurent is all about the difference between male sexual fantasies (about beautiful women) and real women. A pretty woman reclines in a rocking chair, her long hair modestly covering her body. If you look closely you can see the blond hair on her legs and a million freckles. On the back wall are a Titian Venus and a nude by Manet. Manet’s model, Victorine Meurent, was a painter in her own right. Jardine asks where Victorine’s paintings have gone. There are a variety of witty icons in Jardine’s interpretation of the nude. Manet and Titian both included little dogs in their paintings. Look what Jardine has done with hers.”

– Marilynne S. Mason, critic for The Rocky Mountain News, Denver, CO

“…The first thing you notice about Jardine’s oil paintings, watercolors and drawings is her superb technique. A former Charlotte artist now living in Chapel Hill, she is a skilled pictorial realist whose thematic focus is domestic life. Incorporating elements of traditional genres such as portraiture and still-life painting, her oils and watercolors are set in her own home. The individuals who appear in them are friends and family.

As traditional as her methods are and as ordinary as her subject matter may be, Jardine doesn’t just turn out pretty, nostalgically comforting images. Her work has a distinctly contemporary edge that comes through in her choice of details and the way she juxtaposes them for maximum metaphorical resonance. . . . Read full review.

– by Tom Patterson, The Charlotte Observer, reviewing the 18th Waterworks Invitational Exhibition, Salisbury, NC

“This painting (The Court Dwarf, Maribarbola, and Other Pets) is a tour de force of realism and symbolism. Jardine’s painting style might be called hyper-realism, as she paints in an exaggeratedly meticulous manner. Each object is clearly and sharply delineated. The colors are intensified and heightened. The painting is full of symbols of life, death and rebirth.”

– Shelly Williams, Juror of The 20th Annual National Juried Exhibition of the Shelby Art League, Inc.

“Kathleen Jardine’s Barbizon Millennium, which won the Dorothy Jenner Memorial Award, is another of her astonishing complex watercolors. It is packed with imagery: three figures and a dog, toy hummingbirds suspended throughout the pictorial space, numerous fruits and vegetables a giant cabbage flares its leaves in dead center and three major art historical references. Nearly every surface is patterned, yet it all reads quite clearly.”

– Kate Dobbs Ariail, The Independent Weekly, reviewing The Open Juried Exhibition at the Horace Williams House, Chapel Hill, NC.

“(The painting, Barbizon Millennium, winner of the first place prize) strikes me as being an object of contemplation with its beautiful, harmonious colors – warm colors in contrast with the very cool greens. One looks upon it as if it were a Persian carpet with its intricate designs.”

– Dr. Sidney Markman of Duke University, juror for the Shelby Art League 23rd Annual National Juried Exhibition, Shelby NC

“The gaze of a nude woman ensconced in foliage in Kathleen Jardine’s Prozac and Sock Cats is as impenetrable as the button-eyed felines she manufactures…”

– Alice Brown-Wagoner, The Salt Lake Tribune, reviewing Watercolor Now, Fourth Biennial Exhibition, Salt Lake City, UT

“My favorites in the show are the two paintings of Pittsboro artist, Kathleen Jardine. She creates a mysterious and eerie feeling in the beautifully painted Little Lily and the Terrors of Christendom. In it she shows a young girl scraping a carrot with a sharp instrument. Above her are rich religious icons and scary notes pinned to the wall referring to fire and brimstone for those who stray from the written word. It won a merit award.

Broken Baby is a detailed and complex work dealing with a male figure, fallen in many respects. You have to be there.”

– Melissa Clement, critic for The Fayetteville Observer, reviewing the 28th Annual Competition for North Carolina Artists, the Fayetteville Museum, Fayetteville, NC

“Okay, this time I’m one of those who scratch their heads and say, “Is this art?” It happened at the 31st Annual Competition for North Carolina Artists at the Fayetteville Museum of Art…

On the up side there are a few artists, tried and true, who honor us with their presence…One is Kathleen Jardine of Pittsboro. Her painting of a man ironing while another rests on the floor is a treat for the eyes, beautifully crafted. It makes you wonder why the cat is carrying an infant opossum on its back. Jardine says you have to come up with your own interpretations about her work. It’s a pleasure.”

– Melissa Clement, critic for The Fayetteville Observer, Fayetteville, NC

“If the Thirty-First Annual Competition at the Fayetteville Museum of Art is an example of the caliber of work being produced in North Carolina, then trendy art work is getting to be a real bore. Where is all the good stuff these days? I didn’t ask where are the good artists because we have plenty in the region. Yet, everywhere I look, I just see one more example of trendy work being pumped out across our state, the nation and even internationally.

(Martin mentions four exceptions to this indictment.) Another talented and original artist, Kathleen Jardine from Pittsboro, lures us into the world of her paintings. As with most of these, she paints with a high key palette, the light is always happy light, yet when I look at her paintings, I always feel like she knows something I don’t. The Cat and Her Infant Opossum is an example of her cheery paintings that leave us with a sense of the eerie. It doesn’t matter why, I don’t need to dissect them, it’s just what makes her paintings good.

…The public has to catch up with authentic artists who are visionary and even ahead of their culture.

…I’m not talking about the pretty art the public likes to buy to decorate, match a color scheme, or a couch. I’m addressing authenticity. Best said by Diderot, authenticity is to be found in the total freedom of creating, without creating for an audience, a patron, or in this case, a competition.”

– Soni Martin, Professor of Art at Fayetteville State University and critic for Up and Coming Magazine, Fayetteville, NC


Speaking of treasures, Kathleen Jardine is hands down one of this state’s finest artists, and her recent show at Chapel Hill’s Somerhill gallery showed her in great form. If you have never met Kathleen, you have missed interacting with one of the most genuine, compassionate and accomplished artists this area has produced. She should be named the patron saint of watercolorists; and her works attract national press and enthusiastic collectors. I’m most impressed by the way she has documented the life of her beautiful son from infancy to adulthood in her creations. Linked for eternity in this visual bond of love, you sense the intensity of her gaze upon him in each and every painting. A mother’s loving gaze, curious gaze, flirtatious gaze. It would be amazing to see all of these works combined in a book. One thing is certain, if this son ever doubts his mother’s love, all he need do is glance upon these canvases. Her kiss can be found in every brushstroke."

– Louis St. Lewis, in the online Metro Magazine, at http://www.metronc.com/issues/issue10_04/art, October 2004

“Two shows in Chapel Hill and one in Hillsborough feature longtime area artists, all technically superior and mature in their artistic vision.

Kathleen Jardine’s sparkling watercolor technique is best show in her complex domestic interiors such as “Little Lily with the Mad Gallica” at Somerhill gallery in Chapel Hill. Profuse patterning and writhing vegetation balance its off-center portrait pushed to the composition’s edge. Unexpected color harmonies, often based on secondary complements – orange, green and purple – dominate her palette. Many of the images are visual puzzles with trompe-l’oeil art historical references. Sometimes, the artist playfully teases, as in “the Artist’s Son with Fake Tattoo,” and earnest portrait of her son with an arrow-pierced heart scribed mom on his shoulder.”

– Michele Natale, Raleigh News & Observer

“Kathleen Jardine's watercolors are cool and deep. She takes watercolor out of the hobby painter's realm and turns it into a serious medium. Jardine's style is not like that of the 17th century painter Jan Vermeer, but the mood she evokes is similar. Her works are works of introspection . . . portraits of mystery.”

– Camille Howell, The Charlotte Observer

“Her watercolors, with their rich, raw sensuality and familiar imagery, have a surface appeal that draws the viewer into a world stripped of pretense. It is a bit like falling into a rabbit-hole, however, for the scenes are full of mysterious floating images and off-putting contradictions. The paintings are a labyrinth of confusing experiences.”

– Jane Grau, The Arts Journal

“Not to be missed are the handsome and wonderfully executed large watercolors by Kathleen Jardine... the scenes are personal ones of figures in colorful rooms where framed pictures of Japanese figures hang on the room's walls. These become like voyeurs or people outside a window and give a great spacial depth as well as a true story-like dimension to the already interesting and perfectly painted pictures. They're great.”

– Chatham Murray, The Athens Observer

“ . . .genuinely imaginative . . . the Chapel Hill artist's technique is exemplary.”

– Max Halpern, The Raleigh News and Observer

“The colorful, detailed surfaces of Kathleen Jardine's painting--which read well from any distance--offer a striking combination of daring and complex contemporary intimacy with classical figure/interior composition. Her work strides boldly away from placid tradition. The strong showing of her works in non-watercolor environments is exceptional.”

– Barlow Pepin, guest curator, The Deland Museum of Art, Deland, Florida

“Kathleen Jardine's watercolors make me feel so much that I go to lengths to find more of her art on display... she is one of a handful of watercolorists that are-painting from live models. Her contemporaries are using photographs as a way to speed up the process. In contrast, Ms. Jardine, working with live models can take anywhere from four to five months to complete a single work.”

– Karen Illingworth, Director Chatham County Arts Council, The Chatham News and Record

“. . . decorative, controversial and demanding art.. Her large format, busy with design concepts from corner to corner, stirs memories and thoughts from considerable depths. The paintings are through their fine visual qualities, decorative works of art. They also are pictures that set forth the division between love, the unbending ties between mother and child, woman and man, and the distraction of materialistic items. Each of her paintings has a crispness, a purity of color and design in small rooms, that is a world within a world.”

– Richard Gender, The Ashville Citizen Times

“Kathleen Jardine. . .won first place in watercolor for her complex interior and figure composition.. Here, eye-boggling color and pattern, impeccably executed objects and the anatomical and aesthetic intensity of the nude figures combine to create what Andriola (director of the New Gallery, Houston, Texas) called ‘a technical tour-de-force.’ ”

– Faith Heller, Winston-Salem Journal, reviewing "Dimensions '87" national juried exhibition

“The blending of color is absolutely stunning. The quality of detail in the picture--the colors in the glass, the trompe l’oeil effect of the small Japanese paintings, the use of shadow--are outstanding. The painting has a quality of mystery.”

– Michael Judge of Judge Galleries, Washington D.C. juror of the Shelby Art League's 12th National Exhibition

“To ignore any message Jardine's work might hold for an observer would be a loss, but what she does with color makes her work pleasurable to look at and hard not to like.”

– Dianne Summerville, The Salisbury Post