Painting and drawing used to intimidate me, because I was such a perfectionist and my art skills could not measure up to my own taste. So my creativity developed first as a musician and songwriter before I became a professional photographer in 2008. My photography career took off and everything was going according to plan until I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cancer in 2012. I didn’t have insurance so I tried to fight it on my own until 2014 when I ended up in the ER after unknowingly having progressed to stage 4. I started treatments and made some progress, but it was difficult planning a future because everytime I thought I was better I would have another bad scan and need to start a new treatment program. Running a photography business was very difficult while going through treatments and my life started to unravel. I lost my house, my community and my sense of purpose, but I am on the upswing now. I am responding well to treatment and am learning to live in spite of cancer. In 2019, I took a sabbatical to South Africa where I went rock climbing, photographed penguins, learned to fly paragliders and also attended a conference about how learning the visual language of painting can unlock creativity and bring out one’s inner genius. I knew I had to try it. I started experimenting with watercolor and soon I was so engaged and excited about what I was creating that I could barely sleep. This new world of painting opened up to me and brought so much new energy and passion into my life. The possibilities are endless and that is wildly exciting. Who knows where this new adventure could take me or what I will create next. Painting has become a journey of constantly finding new inspiration. It challenges me to try, to risk failure, learn new skills, and to enjoy the process. I see each new painting as a small accomplishment. It is a way to celebrate being alive and to share my love of color and wild spaces with others. I aim for my work to embody my sense of wonder, imagination and hope.
– Kyle Bultman