Kim Ragsdale

Kim Ragsdale focuses on faces - character faces with wrinkles, broken teeth, no teeth and older faces. Her first drawings were of dogs, horses and cows because they're so important in western ranch life. They weren't child-like drawings, but were so accurate anatomically as to be mistaken for photographs.

Her artistic ability was recognized by a high-school art teacher, a portrait painter. Kim remembers being taught to draw what she saw, instead of what she knew to be there.

In her early 20s, Kim married an artist, but the marriage was rocky from the start. Her art sold better than his, and the competition was too much for the marriage. She was heartbroken, withdrawing from her art for several years.

Relatives, hoping to lead her back to a promising career, encouraged Kim to do family portraits. The portraits were admired by friends, and her reputation as an artist grew. At the time, she was free to experiment and sharpen her skills.

"Pencil is more personal and allows me to become more personally involved with creating individual likenesses," she explains. "I strive for an accurate portrayal of the subject in an interesting and natural pose."

In 2003, Kim entered her first competition and walked away with two first-place awards. In 2004, she received four first-place awards and became a member of the Women Artists of the West.

Kim and her current husband, Steve, are the parents of six children, ranging in age from 3 to 26. They reside on a 480-acre Oregon cattle ranch. Steve and the children often pose when there's a need to ensure figurative accuracy. Kim's emerging as a talented pencil artist on the forefront of being discovered by collectors.

Kim Ragsdale, Box 173, Trail, OR 97541; 541-878-2056; kimportraits@myfam.com, www.kimragsdale.com.