Kathryn Kramer Waters

No Words
4″x3.5″; plane paper, printed paper, vellum; 2019

Kathryn Kramer Waters
Portland, Oregon, USA


I believe creativity is inherently collaborative. Even when I am working solo my art is the product of a variety of forces: My heart supplies a feeling, my brain throws out a few ideas, then my hands pick up paper and scissors and work feverishly to get it all down before it evaporates—and in the process everything changes. Nothing remains as it was in the beginning. As with many things, the resulting whole is different—greater—than the sum of its parts.

While my collage work is often many-layered it is seldom technically complex. My tools are basic: scissors, paper, glue. Periodically I add watercolor pencils to the list. Often I work in series. I combine found images, photographs clipped from catalogs and magazines, bits of junk mail, lines of type, with my drawings and hand-printed papers. I usually begin a collage in the evening and finish it in the morning, finding that when I wake up I am liable to see possibilities I hadn’t considered the night before.

Why do I make art? That’s easy. I can’t not. What do I expect to accomplish with it? I create each piece hoping to provide the viewer a glimpse—or better yet, a momentary sojourn—into a particular whimsical world I have constructed: surprising place where everything is new yet safe, where gravity lifts you instead of weighing you down, where everything is true yet nothing makes sense—or needs to.


Kathryn Kramer Waters is a Portland, Oregon freelance artist whose work has been featured in galleries and publications throughout the region. Her clients include The Portland Art Museum, Oregon Public Broadcasting, The Portland Symphony, Shriners Hospital for Children and The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Seattle Children’s Hospital commissioned over 30 pieces of original art. Kathryn has a B.A. from Pomona College and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. Her work combines the discipline of a designer with the whimsy of an artist. Her collage work ranges from the abstract and minimal to the layered and finely-detailed, and reflects, in one way or another, her belief that art should call out to the viewer with such honesty and singularity that it is impossible to ignore.


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kathrynkramerwaters.com | INSTAGRAM | BEHANCE


4″x4″; assorted papers, pages from an old book; 2020
Enchanted, Perhaps
4″x3″; magazines, vellum; 2019
4.5″x4.5″; paper, tissue, vellum, ink; 2019
Thirteen (but small)
5″x4.5″; paper, printed vellum, tissue; 2019