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Kate Thompson

Kate Thompson

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Fall reflections

Before I get into my blog post I wanted to let you know what teaching gigs I have coming up:
I will be teaching with eleven other women online starting January 2016 . It is called Love Art Happy Life e-course. Here is the link to sign up and get more information on the class. In my portion of the class I will be studying Edward Burne Jones. Hope to see you there.

I am teaching my Fabric Book class at Donna Downey Studios, Dec. 12-13 2015. It is one of my favorite classes to teach. Everyone, no matter what level, comes away with a beautiful heirloom.

My Orvieto, Italy workshop is coming up fast. I started planning this almost 2 years ago and it is not too far into the future now. If you are thinking about coming it is not too early to sign up! I have been working on this course the past year so that I have a wonderful workshop experience for the students. I have several books on the Frescos of Italy and will be incorporating some of those images for inspiration for the class. I can't wait to share this experience!! Here is the link to hear more.


My birthday is in the fall and once summer is over and I feel that ever so slight change in the seasons I can feel my roots and my beginning. I always dreaded my birthday for so many years; getting older for me wasn't graceful but for some reason that has changed. I don't mind the aging process anymore. In fact I probably feel the most content as I grow older now. I have developed some really wonderful relationships as my teaching takes me all over the country. I just came back from taking a 5 day class with Gillian Cox at Random Arts. Phyllis Peterson opened her home to me, Gillian and Pam. Did we ever have some wonderful laughs.....I mean the deep belly laughs that create wonderful memories.

 We did some wonderful art and Gillian's art and teaching style brings all her students to tears. My work I did in the workshop never is quite as good as I want it to be, but I am learning and stretching new ways of painting so there is always a learning curve. I have been teaching for a couple of years and developing my style. I made a decision to become a student again and learn from artists that I respect and know will stretch me. Remember I was trying to figure out my story after taking her class in Scotland. Well I did find my story and I will be sharing it very soon once I get a few pieces together. I was overcome with emotion as that story was revealed to me towards the end of the day.Here as some of my humble pieces I did in the workshop. I am now home and will have some time to really absorb what I have learned and take what I need to continue my art path. I have a couple of months to hunker down into my looking forward to it. I have been on the road so much and now I can do my work.


While we were up in Saluda for the workshop a couple of the students and myself were part of an art exhibit at The Studios at Flat Rock. It was so special to share it with Gillian and the students!!

I am playing with a new technique using fabric, watercolors , linseed oil and graphite. I will be teaching some of these techniques in Orvieto. I love the aged and mysterious look it achieves.

That is it for now. The next time I blog I will be 61. Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Summer is gone before you know it!!

I had a couple months of just creating late spring and half of summer. So wonderful to really work on a body of work. One of my goals this year is to get a body of work together that is a series.One good think about a series is you don't have to keep reinventing the wheel. So often I will do work to learn techniques because I love learning but when I look at all the work there doesn't seem to be a any continuity. Yes, I have a style but what I am trying to say. I have been reading and thinking alot about what it means to be an artist. I seriously started painting about 6 years ago.I have worked very hard to finally get to where I like my paintings. In one lecture I heard, they talked about the first couple years of painting you are learning techniques and developing a style but after a point you jump to a new level which is what am I trying to say. That has been the hardest thing for me because I would paint these women and I didn't really have a personal connection to them. Yes they portrayed emotion but not necessarily mine. So I had to dig deeper. What is it I want to say? Going to Scotland to a workshop with Gillian Cox was a turning point for me. She had a story and it was personal....where is my story? I started taking pictures of abandoned buildings. Some of the pictures included me in dark dilapidated stairways. Some had reflections of me in the windows. I do go through periods of melancholy in my life and discovering these building with not so happy of a past touched me. I related to the fear and sadness these buildings held. I then realized some of my past was not so good but I always pulled out of it and made something good from it.I don't do happy art but I don't do completely sad or remorseful art because there is always a thread of lightness that is weaved into it. So, it will be interesting to see how my story develops in my work ahead.
I am thinking, too, about my teaching. Do I just want to teach techniques and make nice objects or do I want to work with students and dig deeper? It is a tricky thing because I always want students to feel comfortable and safe in my classes no matter the level, but I do want to attract the students that want to create art and be willing to put in the time to develop. It is so important to practice in the studio and not just take classes. Artists need that time to grow.It might mean some students will not want that from a class because their life is so full of other equally important things and want to take classes mostly to have fun being creative because it is the only time they have to do that which is a very, very valid and good reason. But I have been talking and meeting a number of students that really want to pursue art and maybe even make a living from it, but for the most part are driven to do art. I relate because that is what I had to do. Alot of students look at my work and are intimidated because they can't see themselves doing it, but I tell them I started from no where. I did very childlike portraits with no idea what I was doing. I kept at it trying to find something I liked. The key was the practice, putting in the time. It really is the only secret to getting better.
So here is some of the work I have been doing the last couple of months.

Alot of the portraits I have posted here are demonstrations of my latest online class, Fractured Portraits. If you are interested in taking this class here is the link:

Here are some photos of the abandoned Stonewall Jackson Reform School 

NOW FOR THE REALLY EXCITING NEWS!! I have been accepted into Ciel Gallery in Charlotte, NC. It is wonderful gallery with so many talented artists and they have all made me feel so welcomed. Here is a link to the gallery:
I will soon have some of my artwork up there in the next month. Here is where I am heading and I love this direction. I need to dig into this for awhile and see where it takes me.....less color but so much to look at:

I will have to post after all of them have been framed and hanging in the gallery. They are also interested in my ledger girls that I can frame. Here is the start of those:

If any of you are interested in coming to Orvieto, Italy in Fall 2016 for a workshop with me, here 

Here are a few ideas:

Thanks for reading my blog post!