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Kate Thompson

Kate Thompson

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Late Spring Post

I have been home in my studio for a couple of months working on my next online class, Fractured Portraits and creating new art that is digging deeper and more personal. This is kind of personal but what the heck, I have a mind that is out to get me if I am not spiritually fit. I do battle constantly and my art, truly is a gift from God but it is also part of my addiction. I get caught up in having to produce something "great" everyday. I can be a bit melancholy and then I create something I love and all of a sudden I am soaring and on top of the world! What power this thing has over can go in the opposite direction...not so good.
So this deep socket work is much more personal. I do alot of scratching and scraping. It is not genteel painting;this way of painting really reflects more of who I am. I am an anxious person, scratching, itching constantly. I do yearn for more grace and refinement but for now I bounce between the two and it shows in my work where I am at that moment. Drawing really tends to calm me down so I would have to say that is my therapy! Here is a couple of the deep socket paintings....oh, it is going to get darker and gritty. This is just the start of this experiment.

So here are some examples of my new online portrait class coming up.

Here is the link to get more information on this class.

I am also teaching in Orvieta, Italy Sept. 25-Oct. 1, 2016
In researching for this class, I am studying the work of the artist, Signorelli. He painted the fresco work at the beautiful cathedral in Orvieto, Duomo di Orvieto. I am also studying the works of other fresco painters as well. Here are a few sketches and ideas so far for the class, but I have many many more hours of prep and painting ahead of me in creating this exciting retreat

To learn more about this retreat go here:

Sunday, February 15, 2015

What I have been working on and planning in the early parts of 2015

I am in the process of developing a new online portrait class as well as a local monthly class at Donna Downey Studio in Huntersville, NC. The portrait continues to interest me and still so much more to learn. I have had my Asaro head sitting in my studio the past year or so. It was one of those tools I must have but I soon forgot about it and then one day I saw it staring at me and realized maybe just maybe I should figure out how to use this in my work. I mean I didn't want to draw a robot machine looking heads so how could I adapt this to something more realistic? I have worked up a couple of drawings leaving out some of the planes that I didn't think were really necessary. I started looking at photographs of faces and started breaking down the face using this Asaro head as my template. I still feel like I need some work to do before I present it as a course so there is still more to do but I can see already that my portrait work is benefiting from this sometimes tedious process.

I am also starting to paint with more and more color. Not necessarily using alot of colors but sticking to about 6-7 colors and mixing those colors to get different shades and tones. I seem to be getting more loose with my work. I no longer want to get super realistic except for maybe the eyes. I like creating deep three dimensional eyes so that is where I go in with my tiny brushes and retarder to make smooth glassy looking eyes. I am also working on some larger pieces with more perspective backgrounds. I have been using my iphone as a tool. I started to take some pictures of my backyard and surroundings and incorporating figure work in them through a layering process. Here are some of my Iphonegraphy and following that are some painting ideas in the very beginning stages.

I continue to grow and change as an artist. I feel the work I am doing now is starting to represent who I am more than ever but I still have a long way to go. I am looking to go more and more towards the abstract but with the experience of a draftsman. To really understand and illustrate what is around me. That is one of the reasons I love drawing so much. It is in the drawing that I become a better draftsman and to create 3  dimensional and realistic. It is through the painting that I can then push beyond that to something more mysterious and not so easy to identify. I am still in the baby stages of my work so I will be busy the rest of my life continuing to be the student. As I go I love to share some of my experiences and that is where the teaching and the love of teaching comes in. Thanks for taking the time to read my post. I will be back here soon.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Kate and Kelly's Mixed Media Portrait Workshop

I am very excited to teach with Kelly Berkey at her brand new studio in Kansas City, MO July 13-17 2015. Here is the link to get more information.

It is going to be 5 days of intensive portrait painting. Even though Kelly and I have different styles (and that's a good thing) we both approach art and teaching in the same type of manner. It is not about coming away from a class with alot of finished beautiful pieces, although that can indeed happen, but rather to stretch yourself creatively and be willing to have some set backs. Learning something new takes time and practice and it is often the struggle that will bring you the most satisfaction if you just keep at it.
I went to a workshop in Scotland in October. I got really, really sick and I was out of my comfort zone. Gillian had us sketching outside and my lack of perspective skills showed up very very clearly in my "sketches". I threw all that work out, but that experience made me want to do better. The only way to get better is to practice. I hated drawing buildings because I wasn't good at it but Gillian gave me enough information for me to think about and apply when I got home to my studio. Even the other work I did in the workshop I wasn't happy with. I had all these high expectations of what I should create and I was somewhat disappointed, not in the workshop but with myself! When I got back from the trip all the new information, techniques and philosophy of creating came pouring out of me and I did a couple of pieces that made me realize I had made a jump in my work. I felt these were pieces I could be proud to hang in a gallery, in fact create a body of work. This was profound and more importantly helped me understand what a good workshop will do. It helped me as a teacher as well. I always want my students to come away happy and with beautiful art they are proud of and when I see a student struggle, I feel bad, but now I realize that is a good place to be. It will make you want to go home and try again and again and again and then the beautiful art will happen.
Kelly and I both have a passion for creating and learning and it is very serious business for us but we do like to have fun and laugh so I think this week will be a delightful experience but be prepared to work!!
Here are some samples of some of my portraits:

Now here are some examples of Kelly Berkey's work. Wouldn't you want to learn some of her techniques? I sure can't wait!  Check out her website to view more.