Kathleen Joelle McCarthy

Kathleen Joelle McCarthy
Media : Scratchboard
Studio : Joelle Arts
SDMAAG Member : Artist Member
SDMAAG Member Since : 2009

Artist's Bio

Kathleen “Joelle” McCarthy


Being a hairdresser for more than 25 years means I have been an artist most of my life. Hairdressing involves: knowing the subject; envisioning the composition; understanding form and balance; having knowledge of color and chemistry; using various techniques to achieve an artistic goal; managing details; and engaging the viewer.


This background supported the discovery of a talent for two dimensional art. My first introduction to this gift was in 2002 when I attended an adult education beginners drawing class. Never having drawn or painted before, I felt extremely intimidated by the adventure. Imagine my surprise when within a year I was winning awards and selling my work. Except for my daughter this “Gift” has been the most rewarding of my life.


It has been an amazing journey since this first experience. I have continued to take classes and have belonged to the Art Alliance of Idyllwild, Foothills Art Association, the Museum of Art Artist's Guild, the San Diego Pastel Society and the Colored Pencil Society of America.


To me the voyage has just begun. Although I am still experimenting with different media my first love is Scratchboard. I finally figured out that Scratchboard is very similar to hair cutting—it is a “taking away” process.




  • Accepted into the Fine Arts Division of the San Diego County Fair—2008, 2009

  • Honorable mention in 2008 and Peoples Choice Award in 2009 at the San Diego County Fair

  • People’s Choice award 2008—Idyllwild Art Association—out of 50 entrants

  • People’s Choice award 2007—Idyllwild Art Association—out of 50 entrants

  • 2nd place miniature competition at Foothills Art Association

  • two 3rd place awards and a 2nd at Foothills Art Association



  • The Art for Wild Life gallery on Coronado Island

  • The Baker Gallery and Fern Valley Emporium in Idyllwild


Private Collections

  • Currently in 9 states from California to New York—my art work has been consistently in demand since the beginning of my career