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Kate loves creating

Kate loves creating

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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Summer of 2016 is over.....onto Italy in fall!

It has been a long time since I last blogged. This summer flew by. The month of June I spent teaching in Calif. I taught at 3 different venues, spent a week with my dear friend, Lorri Scott. She showed me how to eco dye. Stayed with another girlfriend and we laughed and gossiped and had a great time. I took planes, trains and automobiles and everything went as smooth as could be. With so many changes and places I was nervous how it was all going to turn out and I was so surprised how it just flowed. I was also nervous about going back to Calif, in particular So Cal because that was my home for 30 years. I had a love hate relationship with the place but ended up loving living in Pasadena with the love of my life. Circumstances happened, like the crash of 2008, which turned our lives upside down. We were able to land softly and gently in Charlotte, NC where we have lived for the past 6 years. So going back to my old stomping grounds ,I wasn't sure of my reaction. To my relief  I realized that was my home but now I have created roots back in the South. I have to admit, that edgy creative vibe you can feel everywhere, anticipation that anything could happen any second that would change your life, I did miss a bit. But that is the energy for the young and so my time has passed. The cool thing is I have become what I have dreamed about being, it just didn't happen till I moved away from there.
So my next teaching trip was in Phoenix. Now that trip I thought would be a breeze because it was one location in and out.....done! Well, I was wrong. We were flying into Phoenix airport and all of a sudden there was all this tension on the plane. The pilot announces that everyone needs to get in their seats now and must not get up....rocky conditions ahead. Then another announcement that 'there was an incident near the Phoenix Airport' no more information than that. Then another announcement that we couldn't land because the airport was closed so we along with several other planes circle above the airport till the 'incident' subsided. Another announcement that we were going to land in Tuscan!! The incident was a mansoon and here is what it looked like

We finally got on the plane to fly into Phoenix. Instead of arriving at 5:00pm we arrived at 1:30am
I had to get up in 5 hours to prepare to teach. The lesson is that although this was insane I didn't lose my cool, found some humor and showed up for my job! Here is one of the book classes I taught

The middle of the summer I took a week long class at Random Arts in Saluda, NC with the amazing Stanka Kordic. She teaches oil painting and it was a portrait class using a live model. I haven't painted from a live model since my college days and I always hated it. It felt like a performance and I got stage fright. I never felt comfortable and was much better at working from a photograph. Six years ago I picked up painting again and mainly worked from photographs. So taking Stanka's class was a big intimidating jump for me because of that but also because Stanka is an incredible classically trained artist. She was far from intimidating. She is a great teacher, she can be light and very funny but then when it is time to work you work. We all got to know her as a person and we all loved her and will be studying under her again next year.
So back to the work, I was painting this model and she looked nothing like the model. That was always ok for me before but I started to think, it is not a bad idea to paint a likeness of someone. I mean that is what she was teaching us. I had to really look and see the gradual changes of warm and cool and focus on achieving the essence of the model. My first attempt was not good. I made it good by working my style and doing what I usually do. I needed to save face !  Expressive and pretty but not the model. My second attempt was much more successful. Now I don't want to be a portrait artist but going back to classic fundamentals of art making is a good thing and a good practice. Here is what I did, the first one was my normal Kate painting , the second more the likeness and the third was a study I worked on at home.

I was looking at some of my older work and some I really liked. The little faces I used to paint that were tighter than my style now but there was something there that I wanted back that has been missing in my work. It took me a long time to get looser and all my students tell me that is what they want to learn from me, how to get looser. I wanted to tighten up a little bit, at least for awhile and when I tried I couldn't do it! After a week of doing bad art, my creative self esteem told me to quit torturing myself and walk away. Do something less intimidating so I cleaned and organized my studio. As I am going through stuff I find this tube of casein paint. I forgot all about casein paint and realized that was the missing ingredient to these little tighter faces. Casein paint is derived from milk casein (milk protein). Casein paint has been used since ancient Egyptian times as a form of distemper paint ( an early form of whitewash) Casein paint resembles oil painting more than most other water based paints. All of this I didn't know when I bought a tube of the white. It just sounded cool and something I never used before. So I went back to the drawing board. I started with my walnut inks to put in the darks and applied the casein paint for the highlights. I did a couple of these paintings and will probably do some more. They were fun and I like the look.

I am also starting to form a new online class. Abstract environments and collage with images. I am just now formulating but this is some of the exercises I am thinking about.

I started to do some art journaling. I am taking a class with Erin Faith Allen whose work I adore. She has a year long online journaling class and here is one of my spreads.

Paint Your Heart and Soul 2017
Dear friend,
I’m very excited to let you know that I’m teaching at a brand new course: Paint your Heart and Soul 2017, hosted by our fellow artist Olga Furman from
The “Paint your heart and Soul 2017” is a year-long collaborative course with 17 other amazing teachers, mostly concentrated on Portraiture and Figurative Story Telling, narrative art. By joining this course you will learn to create art in different styles as well as use a variety of different mediums and other art supplies.
The course is for beginners and for experienced artists, both will find it effective and inspirational.
I’m especially excited about this opportunity because this course’s theme is something that is represented in my art.
To find out more about this course click here Click here to view more details

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kate! I so love your work. I've taken a couple of your online classes and cannot wait for your offering in this class as well as your upcoming revamp of your book class. Thank you for the chance to win a spot in Painting your heart and soul. (I hope I'm commenting in the right place?)Mika