Watercolorist Kathleen Horst, Damariscotta, has a new credit to add to her list of accomplishments: “As seen on HGTV”! Horst was approached this past summer to paint a portrait of a newly renovated historic home, and that portrait will be featured on HGTV’s new series “Life Under Renovation.”
Horst received an email from an HGTV designer last summer, who discovered Horst’s commission work painting house and cottage portraits on the internet. Kathleen Horst is known for these portraits, that are often given as gifts to homeowners, or provide a record of an historic building or treasured family home. She is frequently asked to paint portraits of homes in midcoast Maine as well as iconic scenes from historic Damariscotta, Camden, and other Maine villages. She has a series of montages that showcase familiar buildings in Maine’s villages, as well as montages of iconic Maine lighthouses. She has taken commissions from California to Maine, from Florida to the Midwest.
Horst was asked by HGTV producers if she would paint a watercolor of one of the five houses to be featured on the new series, and as the home was in Georgia, and Kathleen was a long-time resident of the state, it seemed a perfect match. And the Georgia/Maine connection continued: the home Horst was asked to paint was designed by Maine architect Joseph Lane.
Horst said, “Having lived in nearby Macon for many years, where there are many beautiful examples of historic homes from the early 19th century, I was excited to have the opportunity as an artist to paint this quintessential Southern mansion. A lover and painter of historical architecture, exploring the background of the Rockwell Mansion made it come alive for me. Working with the enthusiastic HGTV designer and producer was a fun and interesting new experience for me.”
The home was the Samuel Rockwell mansion, in Milledgeville, Georgia. Built in 1838, in what was then the state capital, the home is a classic example of Antebellum architecture. In fact, Milledgeville is home to more antebellum buildings than anywhere else in Georgia. In a break with the tradition of painting these mansions white, this home was painted light yellow, and the current owners have kept the original color palette. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
The portrait of the home was a gift to say “thank you” to the owners for sharing their home and renovation experiences with HGTV viewers. One of the producers told Horst, “I think it'll be the showpiece and we'll get a wonderful reaction from the owners when they see it. Ideally I'd like to keep this a surprise from the homeowners until our reveal day, as I think they would be stunned to see it as they enter.”
Horst was delighted with that plan. “I was so pleased that the painting would be used to thank the owners for their help with the show. Having the house portrait hang in the entry hallway of such a glorious example of an historic home was especially meaningful to me and gave me great joy to be a small part of the process to make the neglected home into a showplace.”
Horst will post information about the upcoming show, including its air date, on her Facebook page, Kathleen Horst Watercolors, and website, kathleenhorstart