Arts Council Menifee
Special to Valley News
Kathi Fox has spent her adult life helping others reach their full potential physically, spiritually and naturally. As co-founder and operator of Total Health with her husband, Joe, she extols knowledge of how the mind and body work together as one to keep us balanced.
As August’s Artist of the Month for Arts Council Menifee, Fox is being recognized for all she shares as a painter.
“She has a passion for art and a willingness to share her knowledge through her classes. Her gentle spirit and love for the arts is an inspiration to all,” said Linda Morrison, co-chair of visual arts at Arts Council Menifee. “Kathi is an active member and is so deserving of this award.”
Primarily self-taught, Fox continues to educate herself by reading books and attending enrichment classes. She teaches a weekly Fundamentals of Art drawing class and also leads monthly “Paint Party” sessions at the Kay Ceniceros Senior Center in Menifee.
“It has been a challenge and a great growing experience for me as I had never taught art before,” Fox said. “Teaching uses the left side of the brain and painting, the right side, so it really is different. But I love sharing with people what I do.”
She also offers mobile paint parties, providing all the supplies and instruction.
“You provide the space and invite the guests and I do the rest,” Fox said. “It makes a great birthday celebration, bonding time with friends or creating a milestone memory.”
She is aware of other groups that serve wine and other adult beverages at similar events. Her parties are strictly non-alcoholic, making them suitable for all ages.
Fox explains her art style as representational that varies between realistic, impressionistic or abstract. She finds her inspiration in nature, worship songs, Bible stories and dreams she has. As she prepares an art piece, she said most of the time the specifications are inherent.
“Each painting dictates what medium I will use (watercolor, acrylics or pastels),” she said. “What size, what medium, on what surface, even the title, comes to me before the creation.”
Despite her love for drawing and painting, Fox took a 10-year hiatus from it during the years her young family lived in a community that operated Murrieta Hot Springs as a vegetarian health resort. She worked there as a gourmet chef.
“Our daughter was young and we worked long hours, year round,” said Fox, who lives in the Romoland community of Menifee. “I don’t think any of us had time for hobbies or personal pursuits.”
She started her art again in 1986, shortly before opening Total Health, and mostly likes to paint landscapes.
“I always feel so much better when I am doing something creative,” Fox said. “I can remember painting during a stressful time in our life and feeling something going on in my brain that convinced me of the beneficial nature of art.”
That personal experience made her a firm believer in the healing power of creating art, which she now integrates into her Naturopathic practice as an adjunct therapy. She has been a practicing Naturopath since 1992, helping people with their health challenges.
“As for how art affects my own health – I will never be without it again,” Fox said. “Now that I do some kind of creative expression almost every day I feel so much more balanced, happy and relaxed in my life – even when there are trials.”
For more information, visit www.artscouncilmenifee.org or call (951) 290-ART1.