|Katie O'Hagan "Life Raft" 2011|
New York state-based contemporary painter Katie O'Hagan was born and raised in Scotland, moving to the U.S. in 1993. Formally trained as a silversmith at the Edinburgh College of Art, she began painting in oils in about 2004. Raising two young children precluded formal instruction in the craft of painting but with her previous training, innate sense of design and the mentorship of a neighboring artist, Paul McCormack, O'Hagan has quickly made up for lost time. This painting won a 2012 Portrait Society of America Certificate of Excellence and is a finalist in the National Portrait Gallery’s current Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.
Life Raft is a self-portrait depicting O'Hagan's emotional state during some difficult personal circumstances, but this piece speaks to many people because painting is certainly a life raft for artists for all kinds of reasons. O'Hagan's father in Scotland is said to have helped his daughter by collecting the wood for the raft. More of the artist's work can be seen on her website here.