Do you remember the day you were born?

Do you remember the day you were born?

My mom asks me this question almost every year on my birthday. My response has always been “yes!”, followed by some fictional memory of the day. My answers have become less wild with age. But, what if we are born with all the knowledge we will ever need and forget it slowly as we age?


My grandmother has Alzheimer’s. There have been times that she’s the woman I’ve always known and other times when I see her struggle to remember a name of a long-gone family member in a scrapbook. I told her once that she could make up a name if she wanted and I wouldn’t know the difference. This was followed by a wry glance in my direction.

She asks me the same questions about my life each time. Did she miss my wedding (I’m not married)? How about my son (it’s my cousin’s son she means)? She has on a few occasions thought I was her oldest daughter, though she remembers quickly with a blush when I tell her my name again and says, “Oh I know that.”

She and I have never been especially close. We lived in different towns and she still worked odd hours as a nurse when I was a kid. Our time spent together has been centered around holiday meals and intermittent visits.

The thing about not seeing someone with greater frequency is that the differences in awareness and behavior are more apparent at each encounter.

Someone who does see her regularly is my mother. She’s very middle child this way and was¬†“the parent” long before I was born. My mom has taken on the task of caregiver and it’s both exhausting and amazing to watch. Caring for my grandmother has become a full time job for my mom even with help from aides and other resources – her whole, often hurting, heart is in this all the way and I am in awe.

I struggle with feeling like I’m not doing enough to help. I duck in an out for quick visits with my grandmother before work and make the occasional grocery trip or other errand for her or my mom, but is that enough? I’m learning as much as I can about Alzheimer’s, but is that enough? I sit and I listen to my mom and my step-dad (who is also caring for his mother) talk about their days. The mothers are always discussed: how they did today, what is the next course of action, can we have a date night to ourselves?

My goal at this point is to be a caregiver to the caregivers. So I will listen and I will give hugs and I will pick up dinner and run that errand and take that “thing” off the plate whenever possible. Taking care of each other is what we do, even when we don’t know how.

Let’s bring this story back to art, because this is a blog about my art after all:


On Saturday, October 10th, I’ll be participating in the Monument Circle Art Fair. It’s also the day of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Indianapolis. The Walk will pass by my booth and if you’re so inclined, swing by for a high-five or a hug, because you are amazing.

I’ll be donating 15% of my sales for the day, both at the Fair and online at my Etsy Store, to the Alzheimer’s Association. For those participating in the Walk, show me your shirt or registration info and receive 10% off in my booth. It’s not much, I know, but I want more money to go to the Association while still showing my appreciation.

I’ll see you on October 10th. The Monument Circle Art Fair is 10-5pm.

Sketchbook Sunday: Sketch to Chalk Art

For this edition of Sketchbook Sunday, I’m revisiting last week’s drawing of a peony-filled Indiana outline. It was the jumping off ¬†point for several new pieces and inspired the new chalkboard art at Silver in the City.

Peony Drawing


Silver in the City is Indiana proud so this seemed especially appropriate. I change out the chalk signs every few weeks so swing by from time to time to see what’s new, both in art and in the shop.

New events this week

This Friday’s Broad Ripple Gallery Tour is all about Kate! Just kidding, kinda.

The Fall Broad Ripple Gallery Tour takes place this Friday, September 18, 2015 from 5-9pm and I will have work in two galleries on the tour.

The first is a solo show at the Playful Soul. This one features a mix of old and (mostly) new paintings and drawings centered around the theme of openness and space. Breathing Space has about twelve pieces, several utilizing the white ink drawing over dark blue watercolor backgrounds that I’ve been so loving lately.

KO Playful Soul

The second show is Drawing Conclusions at Ashland Gallery. With over forty established and emerging artists showing off their drawing skills, I’m in good company.

“We’re all made of stars”, graphite on gesso’d canvas

Each show is about a block from the the other so I encourage you to see both, along with the many artists throughout Broad Ripple.

About Face

A lot of years ago I painted portraits and figures non-stop. You couldn’t make me draw or paint something abstract, now it seems that’s about all I do (and I love that too).

Recently, I started sketching some faces. They were a bit of an upgrade to the ones I did in high school and college (I’ll show you some of those in another post). The result is the start of a new series of small portraits, of no one in particular, on wood. I’m starting with 5 x7 inch ovals and 5 x 5 inch circles, but am already thinking of pieces a bit larger.

IMG_8182The first piece in this series, Blue Tattoo Girl, is complete and available in my Etsy shop. I’ll also have her and I hope others in my studio when I’m open for IDADA First Friday on August 7.

Here’s the evolution of Blue Tattoo Girl.




Blue Tattoo Girl with watermark

And a sneak peek of the next one…


Follow me on Instagram or Facebook for even more in progress images.

Sketchbook Sunday: Social Sketch Edition

Social Sketch #2 was held earlier this week at the Eiteljorg Museum at a sweet spot along the downtown canal, complete with great friends (old and new) and live music. There was some gold panning too.

Some awesome drawings and paintings where made, in particular, this one by Laura Levine. Laura is mainly a ceramic sculptor who exhibits her work all around Indianapolis, but I was especially taken with these drawings of those around us that night.

With that, I’m giving this Sketchbook Sunday to Laura:


Get Lost. Get Found. After Party at Indy Reads.


The Paper Towns Tour stops in Indianapolis tomorrow, July 14 at 2:30pm at the Old National Centre. While I didn’t have anything to do with the film adaptation of this John Green movie (I’m available for Looking for Alaska, if needed), you can find me after the official tour stop at Indy Reads Books for the After Party hanging out with Stan Muller of CrashCourse, sister duo Lily & Madeleine and singer-songwriter, Jason Weidman.

Join us at 4pm, the event is free and is held at Indy’s coolest bookstore. For more details, click here.

Some of Kate's artwork (circled) on the set of The Fault in Our Stars (2014) - 20th Century Fox
Some of Kate’s artwork (circled) on the set of The Fault in Our Stars (2014) – 20th Century Fox

Social Sketch Indy #2 – July 15

Social Sketch Indy #2 is almost here! When getting this project going I thought, “maybe I’ll just do one or two” and “people will get tired of this”. Neither of these statements are true.

SSi2 FB Header

Social Sketch Indy, the Indianapolis chapter of the ever-growing Social Sketch, begun in the Bay Area, is about to host it’s second event on Wednesday, July 15 from 5-8pm at the Eiteljorg Museum, and best of all, we’re starting to line up more events. I’ve been contacted by a handful of local organizations, all excited to host a future event.

The premise is simple. Bring your favorite art materials, preferably ones that travel well, along with a sketchbook or paper and join others for a few hours of drawing/sketching/doodling/collaborating. Social Sketch Indy differs a bit from the original groups in San Francisco, Oakland and Spokane in that we’re out to not only introduce you to other creatives, but also introduce you to our city. While the other groups meet up in restaurants and bars (which we are certainly not opposed to!), we’re meeting at different cultural organizations and artist collectives. This is your free pass to explore.

We’re out to keep it casual. There’s no leader or instructor, no one to give you an assignment. Bring materials you love and maybe learn about others. You can sit with others or find a quiet spot of your own. Make your own work or collaborate with others. It’s completely up to you!

Can’t make it to Social Sketch Indy #2? That’s okay! Be on the look out for upcoming events on our Facebook page and over on Instagram. Want to host a future event or know of a location we should contact? Email me at kate [at] kateoberreich [dot] com.

Also, much thanks to my partners in crime at Social Sketch Indy – Stephanie Lewis Robertson and Emily Schwank.

Throwback Thursday: Terrarium

Let’s take a look back at a piece I painted as part of an Instagram giveaway about two years ago. I had been given a terrarium (which lived a good long life and will be resurrected!) as a holiday gift and wanted to paint them in watercolor. This was the result.


I’ve painted a few more since and have one deck now for a friend/client.