K.W. Whitley was born and raised west of Austin, Texas. She attended Westlake High School, then continued her education at the University of Texas, with emphasis on fine art and design. Her interest in art was nurtured by her father, Ralph White, an accomplished artist himself, and an instructor with the UT art department for 35 years. During her six years as an art director/illustrator, she won awards with the New York Art Director’s Club, Print and Creativity magazines, and several Addys.
From a very early age, K.W.’s love of horses was evident. Her mother often says her first word spoken was “horsey”. She showed hunters and dressage horses, and then pursued eventing. The discipline and knowledge gained through enduring the training needed for such riding, she feels, helped tremendously in later endeavors. Later, while living in the rough, rugged ranching country around Crowell, Texas, she often day worked for cowman Buster Borchardt, who runs a large cow/calf operation in two counties.
She now lives in the hill country north of Llano, where in her new studio, she continues to explore, observe, and translate her visual experiences and influences to canvas and paper, using both oil or a combination gouache and color pencil.