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Kate loves creating

Kate loves creating

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Saturday, April 1, 2017

I haven't traveled since my trip to Italy in the Fall so I have had a good chunk of uninterrupted studio time. So important to slow down and get focused. I am very disciplined when it comes to my studio time. It is a 9-5 job for me. When I have "dial it in days" I pivot and will work on promotions, organizing my stuff, get on the web for inspiration but I stay in my studio!
So the one thing about studio time is it can be glorious, frustrating, obsessive or living hell. Being an artist is one of the hardest jobs in the world. To create something out of nothing knowing that you have to create to support your life and your soul, is a tricky business. There was nothing else in my life I ever wanted to do even when I was bad at it. Any ways enough of the drama here is the work that I have been creating. I have been working in oils. I doubt I will ever go back to acrylics. I am so inspired by Ann Gale's work. I have been studying her a lot lately and here are some pieces that came out of that. My hand is definitely in play here but my muse is Ann.

Another style of working in oils that I love is glazing with transparent color with areas of thicker impasto painting application.

Jim Dine's work influenced me here with raw emotion. These are charcoal, pastels and oil bars on paper.

Another oil on canvas. Figures in the background keep emerging and floating in the backgrounds.

I have been working on some journaling techniques in my fabric books and sketch books. I have a wealth of old photographs of my ancestors and I include them in this work. I love that I can use the same kind of techniques in both my fabric and sketch books. I am interested so I will be doing more

I finally got to meet Jeanne Oliver! She was teaching at Donna Downey Studio so I knew I had to sign up. It was so much fun and I loved the projects we created. I knew I would really hit it off with Jeanne. We spent many hours talking and I am hoping in the near future to collaborate with her. Here are some of my pieces I created in her class.

I am working on new classes online and workshops. It is all about color and Fancy Lassies. I never really thought I could do whimsical in an original way  but through one of my "play days" in the studio I worked on some of these and had so much fun!! Info on workshops and the online course (which will be hosted by Jeanne Oliver) will come soon. Here is what I have so far

And now for the  big news! I received a phone call a couple of weeks ago by the owner of Lagerquist Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia in the Buckhead area. Kay Lagerquist Bragg wants to represent me! Her gallery has been going strong for the past 39 years. It was originally owned and run by her mother. They have very loyal patrons and now the children of those patrons are now investing in art at Lagerquist. The plan is that I will work on a series of paintings to be delivered to the gallery at the end of summer. We had a wonderful conversation and after the call I was walking on air. But then the impact of the conversation through me into a panic. I want to make a good impression and work bigger...much bigger. I stepped into my studio and slowly started to plan a strategy which always helps alleviate the anxiety. 
I am a very skeptical person and my default position is to look at the worst case scenario. I have my reasons....I don't want to look foolish if things go wrong so when they go right I am pleasantly surprised. I know not the best view of navigating the world! But there have been several experiences that I have manifested almost to the smallest detail regarding my career so my skepticism and glass half empty view of life is cracking a bit and faith and hope is seeping in.  So I am going to think big on this one and give it my best shot!
Here are some of the examples of work she loved.

Lastly as most of you know I am a teacher and I have felt lately that what I am teaching needs a reboot. I know I probably shouldn't say this publicly but I need to be genuine to  myself and my students. The industry has been changing...there are so many more teachers out there and it is very competitive. This is not to be negative but to state the facts...and by the way competition is a good thing! When I was the new kid on the block I was having a ball. Teaching opportunities  were just coming my way with very little promotion on my part. Hey I was working with some pretty awesome materials and techniques. But after doing this for awhile I needed to start approaching this as a business which includes promoting and working on NEW IDEAS. It is hard work always coming up with something new and interesting. I couldn't just keep painting the same old way. Students knew my techniques so to keep them interested I have to keep stretching and experimenting.It is also about keeping me interested too. 
I think this life as an artist is a double edge sword.  On the one hand it is great to be motivated and a student of art, which means constantly experimenting and problem solving. Now the other side of that is the overwhelming and tragedy when things go badly and dry spells set in. Here I go with the drama again! Painting "bad" paintings leaves me panicked that it won't come back. Or maybe this is just my way of being an artist. I am sure some have a smoother go at it. I wouldn't change it for anything.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Stuff I am doing and stuff I feel about.

I finally finished my new online class,  Soul Dwellings. I have been working on it for several months. There is so much new material I want to teach so I made the decision to create several classes one after another.This first in a series focuses on values, atmosphere, an introduction to composition elements and mark making.
Another thing I discuss and demonstrate is making the background for figures to live in. Powderd charcoal is a wonderful media to use as a starting point and something I have been experimenting with which you will see. Here are the projects I complete in the class. There will also be several videos on learning the techniques as well as making beautiful and mysterious collage elements to incorporate in some of the final pieces.

 I combined one of the scribble exercises to collage onto this piece of art. The wire element gives her stability as well as creating the another way to explore scribble and mark making using wire.

This piece was a final painting that I started out using the soft charcoal. I decided to push the portrait further by incorporating oil bars and oil paint.

 Here I work a figure with a very abstract figure and more defined face.

 This is a journal page and I demonstrate my favorite way to create journal spreads making drawings to use as collage elements with the scribble mark making and really busy, fun with lots of eye candy. I decided that I wanted to make this a more refined painting. I took the journal page and mounted onto a wood cradled board and continued to cover up some areas to give the painting some rest.
I also go over the composition principle of called fulcrum, which was the "bones" of the piece.

The composition element I worked with here is the cruciform. I take some of the collage elements made in some of the other videos and used them to create a cruciform composition. I pull it all together with the portrait I paint on top.

 Here is another project incorporating a landscape with a figure. I start out with a powered charcoal background and the building and figure emerge from this atmospheric piece

Here is the link to the class. It starts Jan. 30 and the early bird price is $75.00 (The price goes up to $85.00 once the class starts)

I ALSO HAVE BECOME MORE ACTIVE WITH MY ETSY STORE with lots of art and my classes. I will have new pieces going up weekly so check it out.

So as some of you know, I taught a class on Jeanne Oliver's site Children of the Wild. I just loved the theme and continued to create children with their animal muse/companion. I have written in the past about my experience visiting an abandoned reformatory school in North Carolina. I researched the place to discover that many children that lived there were abandoned by their families. I felt this emotional attachment to these "children" and wasn't quite sure why. I photographed inside and out this abandoned campus. As I was looking at the photos and thinking about the children the thought came to mind, if I can save these children I can save myself. Well that is kinda deep!
A darling friend said to me, so now are you an orphan?!! She has a great sense of humor and I laughed but it did make me wonder why this feeling. The one thing that comes to mind was my impulsive move to Calif as a young adult. I was a wild child and jumped into a crazy, abusive relationship.I moved in with him.I thought I was quite cavalier free spirit but what I was was scared!
 My family, in particular my parents, were appalled. My dad told the family 'out of site out of mind'. I realized that my family abandoned me. For my part , my ego would not allow myself to ask my family for help. I was supposed to be this successful artist in Los least that was what I told them. Less than a year later my dad died of a heart attack. It was the worst year of my life and I felt totally and utterly alone.I continued to make horrible life decisions. I put myself in danger with very reckless behavior. Now I know this is a buzz kill but I thought I would let the viewer into some of my emotional history I bring into my art. It also has brought purpose into my life . I have been privileged to be of service to women and that my past has made me a good messenger of hope. I rescue abandoned animals. I respond to the underdog. I don't dwell on my past as a victim, , but rather make it holy in my work.

I actually had another topic to discuss but I will share that on another post. Also my next post will have alot more color in it! At least for me. In fact I am going to add pink!
 Thanks for reading.......kate