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Kate Thompson

Kate Thompson

Pre-Raphaelite e-course promo

Fractured Angel Class

Fractured Angel Class
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Saturday, September 13, 2014

I hate when I lose the magic of a piece!

So I have had a couple of months to just paint. Painting for myself on the weekends and during the week painting for my online workshops. I got back from Art Unraveled in August which was my first time and I loved the venue and can't wait to go back next year...but I digress. I seem to have a couple of styles. I love painting whimsical girls in splashy watercolors and I was really pleased with this little one.

She is painted on a fabric book cover. I always love to come back to this playful way of painting. I love drawing and love to draw on top of these watercolor portraits adding bits of collage.
I am working on an upcoming online class "A date with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. This is a painting I painted at the beginning of the year when the idea first came to me.

This is my interpretation of a Dante Rossetti painting. I am learning so much about this time period.
Here is my 2nd piece for the class. I first drew a picture of the lovely Jane Morris (wife of William Morris) and then made an image transfer to use as my underpainting. I thought it appropriate to design my version of a William Morris print and used that as wallpaper behind the figure. far so good! I am on a roll and everything is going great and then...........
I found this portrait by the incredible photographer at that time who worked with some of the same models as the Pre-Raphaelites, Julia Margaret Cameron. Google her work, she photographed the most incredible portraits. So I start painting and I like what I am doing.

I really wish I would have stopped here because I loved her expression, I loved the looseness and the unfinished look of the piece, but I thought I better get into some smoothing out and glazing and this is what happened

It became too smooth and I hated the glazing. I think it made it look dirty. I do love the background and the hint of a backyard with trees. I stopped filming for this class at this stage because the class was getting way too long. I had it sitting in my studio for a couple of days,and the first image I created haunted me and I wanted to get back to that place so yes, she called to me and wouldn't let me go till 8 hours later! I finally surrendered and realized I could not get back that original freshness. Note to not try to copy your own paintings. It just doesn't work. That is the magic part of have the craft and the practice going, but at some point the muse (being in the moment) takes over and THAT can not be repeated!

So this is where I surrendered! She looks haunted and exhausted which is what I was after working on her. She finally said 'Time to move on, you have learned what you needed to learn here'. So now I am exhausted but now know I can create like the first image I shared which is the direction I really want my work to go...but this painting was not going to be it. It is just a stepping stone. Heck, it really isn't about the's about the experience!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Making a living as an artist and this week I am part of a blog hop.

I have been teaching alot lately and taking a couple of classes for my own pleasure. I always dreamed of making a living as an artist but never really knew how to do it. Teaching involves alot of preparation, planning and organizing. Something I thought I never was really capable of doing and thought that it would take away from the creative process. I keep wondering how many hours should I put into actually doing art and whether the business of art would consume all of my time. At first, the time spent planning my classes, filming, editing, promoting, responding, traveling, would be an irritation to me, but I actually kind of enjoy it. I feel like I am taking care of business and that the pressure is off for the moment to produce a "masterpiece". I finally realized that being an artist isn't just about painting all day. I couldn't paint all day every day even if I wanted to. There needs to be that time of allowing the creativity to marinate inside until I feverishly HAVE to get into the studio and work it out. My work for my classes and art to sell takes up the work week but the week-end.....well, the week-end is my time to explore and go deeper in my own study as well as practice my craft. I like to go back to traditional drawing and painting techniques to keep me true, but that isn't my art, it's the craft that leads me to my art.
I have been taking a class with the brilliant Gillian Cox Unearth, Gather and Create. Here are some of my projects from that class.

I am part of a blog hop and asked to join. These are questions I need to answer so I will give it a go.
1.What am I working on?
I am getting ready to teach at Art Unraveled in Phoenix so I am working on several class samples of figures and portraits on vintage fabrics. That is my more commercial work. I am also in the early stages of more figurative work in church or cathedral setting. I  love doing figurative work but most of my prior work was rather flat. I am becoming more and more interested in atmospheric work and the idea of painting something and wiping it off and leaving a stain of what was there before.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I think the fact that I work on vintage fabric is probably the biggest difference. I used to be a textile designer in the apparel business and got my college degree in Fiber Arts so I always loved working with fabric. I started painting 5 years ago and was never drawn to canvas. I started layering fabric, adding gesso and venetian plaster and found this substrate glorious to work on!
Why do I create what I do?
I must or I will go insane is really the truth! I love to wake up and run to my studio to examine what I did the day before with fresh eyes. It is like waking up xmas morning! It is so thrilling when I am excited with what I am doing in the studio. If I have a dry spell, I almost go into a depression. Creating art is probably my drug of choice. I am a compulsive, obsessive person so having this as my focus is match made in heaven. I must create and when I can't create I must know that it is time to rest and refuel for the next round.
How does my writing process work?
I am not disciplined with my writing. It probably is the weakest link I have connected to my creativity. I usually write a blog post once a month. I always put it off but when I do it I feel so much better and I actually like most of what I write.
Here are a couple of lovely talented women I would like to introduce you to if you haven't met
Lori Scott 
Lorri Scott is a wearable fiber artist living in the Santa Cruz Mountains above Monterey Bay. Give her a dyepot and she'll magically transform silk fabrics, ribbons, and garments into fabulous colors using shibori, resist, vat dye and warp painting techniques. She is a self taught weaver, dyer, and clothing designer who has been published in Shuttle, Spindle & Dyepot, Belle Armoire, Somerset Wedding and Quilting Arts Magazines.

Kelly Berkey

Kelly Berkey is a professional artist, jewelry designer, and blogger. She is captivated by people and capturing emotion and the human spirit onto her canvas. She primarily works in oil, but loves to explore all mediums.
Her soulful approach to her work, love of mindful living, and journaling her experiences as she grows as an artist has made her blog a huge success. Her article The Authentic Self is published in the Live Out Loud Spring Edition of The Studio Voice.
Kelly has studied under artist Michelle Dunaway , is taking private lessons with Tina Garrett, taken college level art courses, numerous online art workshops, and purchases every painting demo she can get her hands on. She is always striving to improve her craft and is influenced by the great works of not only Michelle & Tina, but also Dan GerhartzJeremy Lipking, and Richard Schmid.
Kelly lives with her husband of 28 years in the beautiful countryside of Ray Co, Missouri, where they both have art studios. Together they share in the creating and running of their online jewelry store Berkey Designs.
Kelly's work has been collected throughout the U.S. and Internationally.

Be sure to follow them next saturday, June 19, 2013 as they continue this blog hop.
Galia Alena

Light chaser, wanderlust gypsy, clay slinger, paint splasher, word crafter, sacred journaler, beauty unveiler, adventure seeker and soul feeder.
Galia Alena is a “coeur”ageous pioneer artist with a poetic vision exploring intuitive wisdom. Her images evoke tranquillity and infinity, coaxing the viewer to participate into the self-exploration which successfully ties the lyrical to the universal. They reflect an understanding of mythical and archetypal wisdom common to us all, yet from a supremely vulnerable individual perspective. “It is through my creative practices that I feed my soul and return to myself always afresh." She is a photographer by trade and mixed media artist by practice and shares some of her gifts in several online courses or in live groups: &

Thursday, May 29, 2014

My New online class -Fractured Angels

I am getting a great response for my new class online. I have been so busy the past couple months teaching live and traveling, it was nice to get this project finished and up and running. I have learned so much from online classes myself and I try to keep the group interactive with lots of posting and conversation. It brings so much to an online class. It really creates a lovely community. I learn the most when the students are engaged and inspiring each other and that is what I hope to create for this class. I have a private Facebook page for students and myself to post and interact and I am available for critiques if requested. I understand some students are not comfortable with that and I respect that,  If you feel more comfortable, I am available via email to offer that service.  Critiques are a beneficial process to improvement.
All the videos are up and it is a self paced class but to keep the class alive and current, I will be working on a painting and sharing each week videos and images of my progression and if I struggle with it, all the better. Not every piece goes smoothly and sharing that struggle is so important.
Here are the images that I will be demonstrating in the class. Hope to see you there!
To learn more about the class go to . You need to become a member of this ning site (it is free) before you sign up for class.

I also have a link on this blog, top right hand side

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April 2014....what I have been up to.

It is so nice to be back here. My blog was compromised as some of you know and it took awhile to get things back safely with the help of my friends!! I just got back from Portland teaching at Art and Soul.If you wish to see the student work from those workshops you can go here
I went to the Pearl District and shopped at Cargo and found these really cool Japanese Stencil Paper for Kimonos.  It is called Kalagami paper. Aren't they gorgeous? I don't know what I am going to do with them but they will be in my artwork somewhere. There is this weave that is sandwiched into the paper. The colors are gorgeous.

I finished up my portion of Studying Under the Masters at Jeanne Oliver's site and was so touched by the response and the student work that came out of the class throughout all the weeks. I enjoyed so much interacting with the students online that I started a Facebook page for students of any of my classes to post and interact and discuss art and their process. I also wanted to start the group because so often I leave a live workshop feeling kind of melancholy because I feel that we just got started. There is no way to really get the benefit of a workshop, unless there is follow up of sorts, plus I really meet some cool women I want to continue corresponding with, so the group has helped in that way. If you are a student and are interested in this group here is the link to the facebook page
So here is what I have been painting lately.....angels....seems appropriate since my company name is Fractured Angelics. I started reading about angels, religious, spiritual, icon, inner work. I am working on my next online class and here are some of the paintings I will be demonstrating.

Here are some samples of doing fast, expressive drawings

I originally started out this painting very loose, but she wanted to be viewed with more detail so I complied.

Here is another angel I created starting out with her face and her figure was revealed to me much later in the painting. I will be demonstrating how to make a plaster relief halo around her face.

This is my grunge angel....the composition of this piece changed several times before I got it right.

This little cherub started out as a very sweet child, during the progression she turned into an elderly flapper type girl....I think I finally got her right!

I have been drawing....alot! Here are a few of my sketches and charcoal drawing. Some are from Gillian Cox's brilliant online class. The more obsessive detailed ones I did on my own.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

2014- A bright year ahead and what I have been doing the past two months

I just got back from San Jose, Calif. teaching a wonderful group of women. Lorri Scott was generous by opening up her home to me on top of the mountains in Los Gatos. I loved meeting Lorri and feel like I made a new friend. Her studio space, her fabrics and creations were such a joy for me to experience. Lexi Grenzer hosted the class and I loved meeting her and the other women in the retreat. Teaching can be bitter sweet for me. I find you can become friends quickly in such settings and by the end of the 2nd day, I always get this feeling of sadness that we all opened up as artists and women, but I never know if I will see them again. The 4 days went by so quickly and then I am on a plane heading home with wonderful memories.
You can check my page on Facebook to see the wonderful class projects.
Of course one of the other exciting teaching events going on is Studying Under the Masters online class. My week is coming up on March the 3rd. I am really enjoying the other teachers' weeks in the class. The amount of work everyone has put into their weeks is so impressive and breathtaking. This is definitely a class to savor over the next two years......and yes it is available for two years.
Here is some of the artwork I am doing now. I am planning on two new classes coming up. One is on angels and the other is on the Pre-Raphaelite Artists. They are still in the planning stages but here is some of the work I have been working on in that theme. Being a participant in the Studying Under the Masters reignites my passion for Art History so I have been reading several books on the Pre-Raphaelite Artists, one of my favorite art movements.
 I love Rosetti's work and this painting of. Fanny Cornforth.I love drawing so I first drew this with much detail. This drawing is no longer in existence because I painted on top of it and ruined it! Thank goodness I still had a photo record of it. I made copies and phototransferred this onto a plaster covered wood panel. The next painting is what I painted on top of the transfer.

 Well, I guess it is an o.k. painting but pales next to the original but I did it in two days, filmed it while painting and used acrylics and not oils. I learned quite alot as you will soon learn.
I am just now starting to paint hair on women. Most of my paintings before the women were bald, but for some reason I am becoming curious about painting hair, but did I have to do one with red hair!! That was intimidating for sure. This wasn't my first attempt. As you will see below the first attempt is on the right.

 So the painting on the right was my first attempt. I was fighting the paints,I was fighting the colors and filming it as I went along. I realized that there was no way to teach what I just did because I was struggling the whole process. I didn't even know how I got there, so I realized, it is best to start over. I kind of like the painting but I certainly didn't like the process so bye bye to all the video!!

 This is a drawing of a model that reminds me of the models of the Pre-Raphaelite artists. They called these women "stunners".....pretty cool huh? These models were breathtaking. I will be doing a phototransfer of this stunner on gessoed vintage fabric....and yes, I still have this drawing. I learned my lesson.

So, the Angel class is still getting sorted out in my mind. Here is one image I painted on plaster covered wood panel. I am now trying to incorporate hands more in my work which is really challenging and I have a long way to go, but I kept getting the nudge that I should start studying hands. They are so expressive and can be just as powerful as the portrait. It may show that I am still an amateur but the only way to get good at something is to do it....over and over. My faces didn't look the way they did 5 years ago. The only way I got better was with practice.

I am working with quick sketches which is always a good exercise and can be so much more expressive than long studies.

There will be more to come in the coming months. Now I have signed up for Misty's online class Full Circle and can not wait till I can devote some time to it. She is one of my favorite artists and a fantastic and interesting teacher. She sets the bar high for us instructors.