Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Finding a new direction?

You  should know that anyone who has seen my work in recent years will not, I think, recognize this as mine. I’ve been painting blossoms, and occasionally cats.  This is neither of those!   For me, though, it is very MUCH mine.  And very much the product of a chain of thoughts I have been entertaining since the workshop at Kanuga with Mike Bailey.
The painting in my last post was my first post-Bailey project.  As it neared completion I found myself satisfied with it,  for how I managed to keep a mood,  used  design principles, and even included content and narrative.  But at the same time I knew it was not feeling like MY work.  I spent a lot of time thinking about that as I painted, and as I slept (or didn’t sleep), trying to understand what it was missing, why it didn’t “make my heart sing”.   My good artist friend Pat has used that term more than once during our group critiques, and I know that when I’ve made her heart sing, it’s one of my GOOD paintings, and when I haven’t, it’s not a keeper.
I realized, looking at recent (pre-Bailey) paintings around my studio that DID break into song, that this one was missing components that are important to me.  High contrast.  Dramatic colors.  Interesting shapes that fill the page. Patterns.  The more I thought about this, the more I decided that these things were a constant in ALL of my own paintings that I like the most.  In fact, I decided, it was time that I realized that they were not my style, they were my subject matter – or should be. Not flowers or botanicals. Not anything else.  Dramatic Color, Contrast, Shape and Pattern.
So, I stretched some paper and started out to paint my new (old) subject matter.  And this was the result. What it will lead to is still to be determined. A second attempt is already in progress, and a third idea already sketched. And, when I look from this new painting to my recent floral paintings, it is indeed from the hand of the same artist.  Compare it to these - to me they absolutely relate to the one above:

I’m very excited. Feels like I’m changing my whole relationship to my art.


  1. Katherine, your work is simply fabulous! I love all the pattern.

  2. Kay, thanks so much. I have begun to really 'push' the pattern, and maybe even let the representational images sit back. All the way maybe? After all, I really only paint for the fun of it, so I'd better be enjoying myself, hadn't I? It was the pattern of your Klimt Kritters, of course, that drew me into your work!
    Strange coincidence. Recently, as I have been following around from blog to blog to blog (artists of course) I seem to be running into a preponderance of Kays, Kates, Katherines, and Kathleens. What do you suppose THAT's about?

  3. Katherine, this painting is great. You don't seem to need to go through the whole series exercise - you a there!

  4. Those paintings look a lot like where I've been heading recently - more patterns - and the more detail the better!

    1. I watched the steps of your fabulous pears on lace tablecloth: I can't imagine achieving the beauty of that pattern. And your painting that was in the NWS travel show (which I got to see in person) was my favorite. Must've been the pattern in that one too.
      I will be keeping an eye on your blog to see what other patterns you come up with.