Kathleen worked as a commercial artist for over a decade before taking up the banner of natural history of art. Classes in Morton Arboretum's certificate program of botanical and scientific illustration allowed her to study with some of the best teachers in the Midwest. She has worked with the Field Museum, Conservation Research Institute, and The Nature Conservancy to produce educational materials for the growing community of natural areas restoration volunteers.
A grant in 2012 from the American Society of Botanical Artists allowed her to introduce botanical illustration to a new and more diverse audience.
In 2021 she was awarded the Juliet Kirby Grant to continue her orchid research and illustrations. Participation in the Chicago Botanic Garden's Plants of Concern program offers Kathy a unique window into the artistic connections between ecology and the lure of the beautiful as well as the tensions between wildlife under pressure and the demands of human need. Our elusive and disappearing native orchids highlight the close and subtle interrelationships within the natural world. Because orchids are so sensitive to their environment they have much to teach us about living in harmony with nature.