Kathleen Chisholm McInerney was born in Detroit and raised in Birmingham Michigan. Her Mother Carol LeDuc Chisholm is a talented Artist in her own right, selling commissioned impressionistic Landscapes. Kathleen’s Mom and Dad raised her with a love of color and an appreciation of nature and all of it's divine beauty.
In grade school, Kathleen took art classes at a local artists home, with canvas and tackle box in toe. Her passion lead her to study art at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She graduated in 1986 with a BFA in Graphic Design. Kathleen also studied abroad at Oxford University, Oxford England, focusing on British Art History, History and English. She worked professionally in Advertising and Publishing, Art Directing a monthly publication for (PGA Magazine) Professional Golf Association of America. Kathleen’s paintings of various golf holes at Jack Nicklaus’s Muirfield Village Golf Club, in Dublin Ohio were exhibited and sold. Since starting a family with her husband Jack, Kathleen has been freelancing Graphic Design and commissioned fine art collected throughout Michigan.
Mesmerized by the intense color and light of the impressionists; Bonnard, Chagall, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Monet and Matisse, Kathleen felt a spiritual connection in emotion and technique of their works. Her own style exudes vibrant hues, color built upon color with a loaded brush stroke. She is quoted as saying,"When I paint, my heart and my head quiet down, I transcend time, in a prayerful state, one with God."
Over the years Kathleen has donated her paintings to the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Holy Name, Brother Rice High School, Marian High School, Holy Name Catholic Church and Charities including Angels Place, Rose Hill, Allies Angels, Christ Child Society, Cranbrook House, and the Detroit Institute of Arts. Kathleen was recently commissioned to paint original artwork for THE CHILDREN'S MIRACLE NETWORK in partnership with ROYAL OAK BEAUMONT HOSPITAL. Her original DETROIT ZOO themed art work was scanned and enlarged, printed on vinyl wall covering and hung in the Children's Fluoroscopy Center, South Tower. "I pray my art can comfort and brighten the day of a child in the Hospital, especially children who are having such invasive testing."
Kathleen's mission is to use her gift as an Artist for God's Glory. "I feel blessed to be able to give back in service to others, knowing the blessing comes back to me ten fold. I try to stay open to the Holy Spirit who guides my day. I believe in the importance of doing small things with great love (the little way), knowing God can turn that small act into a miracle for others."
A favorite quote of hers reads,
" He who loves, flies, runs and rejoices.
He is free and nothing holds him back."
Kathleen and her husband Jack are blessed with three boys, Tommy, Johnny and Patrick, along with their yellow lab Camp.
When asked what inspires her art she responds, "My family is the soul behind my art, they inspire each brush stroke.
I love COLOR, flowers and CHOCOLATE!"
She paints in her French inspired Art studio at home, surrounded by inspirational books and antiques.
Surround yourself with what you love. Plenty of us have heard that phrase at one time or another. And the truth is, if we only keep those items that we truly care about when we’re de-cluttering, redecorating, or moving, it’s more likely that we’ll feel right at home in our own home.
Kathleen Chisholm McInerney has been living out the concept of being surrounded by what she loves since she moved to her Birmingham home 22 years ago. The minute you walk into her 1950s Poppleton Park colonial, you know you’re in a house where meaningful design and significant adornments abound.
In the foyer, bright blooms of yellows and golds enchant. They’re not in a vase, though — they’re stars in an Osborne & Little wallpaper that continues up the stairs. On a wall near the front door, there’s a painting of two young girls in red and green dresses. Amid roses, they look as though they’re about to start dancing. “It’s a favorite painting,” says McInerney, an artist who painted this particular piece. “It’s a bit Degas-inspired and it reminds me of my sister and me, sort of dancing through life, which we did.”
LEFT: A GLIMPSE OF THE HOMEOWNER’S STUDIO, LOCATED IN HER DINING ROOM (NOTE THE WORKING SKETCH FOR THE PAINTING BELOW). RIGHT: AN INSPIRING ANGEL STATUE APPEARS LIKE A GUARDIAN
To the right is a small living room with a recurring theme of angels, Jesus and his mother, Mary, and other sacred imagery. The space is the homeowner’s quiet place for restoration and contemplation. “This is where I feel most centered. I reflect, quiet down, and I receive encouragement.” Talk about surrounding yourself with items with meaning.
Looking out through the back of the home, one sees a rather Moroccan-ish,cozy gathering spot with an outdoor fireplace (complete with a mantel), white pillars, wrought-iron chaises with comfortable white cushions and puffy pillows, shiny white garden stools, and a variety of lighting elements.
“I would say our home is kind of eclectic,” McInerney says. “It’s traditional … there are French and English antiques mixed in … a little of everything.” The homeowner’s cherished sister, Donna Chisholm, who passed away less than a year ago, was a talented interior designer who helped with selecting light fixtures, drapery, wallpaper, and antiques. “We worked with a lot of blue. I do love blue,” McInerney says. “It’s always been my favorite color — calming, classic, and timeless.”
RIGHT: ARTIST KATHLEEN CHISHOLM MCINERNEY PAINTS A COMMISSIONED MAGNOLIA PAINTING.
Speaking of color, this homeowner certainly knows of its powers, as she’s been a painter since she was a young child, and studied art in college. Once out of school, McInerney was an art director for a golf publication, but she always kept painting. These days, she creates several paintings for nonprofit organizations as well as on commission for homeowners and interior designers. Most recently, several of her paintings hung in the entrance area of St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital in Pontiac. When asked what subject she’s most passionate about, McInerney doesn’t even have to pause to think. “Florals,” she says, “although I do paint angels and such.” Behind her, there’s a large, 4- by 6-foot canvas depicting magnolias in a Chinese vase that pops from a periwinkle backdrop. Still in the works, this piece will eventually hang in a Bloomfield Hills dining room.
McInerney also wrote and illustrated the children’s book Timothy’s Glove, which was endorsed by Cal Ripken Jr. and won a Young Voices Foundation Award (a Virginia-based foundation that honors books that inspire, mentor, and educate young people and their families).
Over the years, she and her husband, Jack, who works in the automotive field at George Matick Chevrolet in Redford Township, opted to renovate the kitchen and add a great room, side entryway, new garage, and the aforementioned covered fireplace out back. With three active boys (the youngest is now 18) and an energetic dog, the decision to enlarge was a no-brainer.
THE MAIN GATHERING SPACE, OFF THE KITCHEN, IS WARM AND WELCOMING.
“I love that the kitchen is open to the great room. I never feel closed off, plus I can see the fireplace outdoors. That space outside actually feels like an extension of our home. We all gather out there quite a bit, light the fire, and get caught up,” McInerney says. “We go out when it’s cold, too, with cozy blankets, and make s’mores.” These days, Camp, a frisky, young yellow lab, also loves to head out back to frolic about the patio and through the surrounding greenery.
McInerney says that even the home itself is surrounded by things she loves. “The house was love at first sight, particularly because it’s in a lovely neighborhood where all the homes are different, and it’s right off a park, so we knew the kids would love that. In addition, downtown Birmingham is super close; we can walk into town for dinner or a movie.”
McInerney paints in her formal dining room, just off the kitchen through white French doors. Here, amid calming blue-painted walls, blue-and-white drapery, and a pretty, sparkling crystal chandelier, her French impressionism bent comes to life. When working, McInerney loads her brushes with sumptuous dollops of vibrant paint.
THE INTIMATE LIVING ROOM FEATURES SPIRITUAL ACCENTS
“I love color, texture, and depth, so I lay it on thick,” the artist explains. About four days per week, she loses herself in the magic of stems, stamens, leaves, petals, and the occasional angel wing. “When I’m painting, I’m entranced. I’m part of the energy of the painting and the color.” Hanging in the dining room-studio is an impressionistic painting of a girl in a field by water that was created by the artist’s mother, Carol LeDuc Chisholm. It’s a reminder about where McInerney received a lot of her artistic abilities. “My mom gave me the love of art and painting,” she says.
And apparently the artistic line continues to flow down to at least one of the McInerney children. Near the hallway entrance to the dining room, a 4-foot-tall ceramic working fountain made by son John includes charming moveable adornments ranging from little frogs to snails.
“I’ve always painted here,” she says, looking around the dining room-studio. “I always wanted to be close to the kids and accessible; I like to be near them when working.” No doubt, surrounded by what she loves.