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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Artist Statement: Revised and Updated

Converging Conditions oil on linen 48 x 60"
©2010 Katherine Kean

It has been awhile since any updates to my artist statement have been made. To get started I followed the journaling process outlined in Alyson Stanfield's ebook. This process provided results and numerous insights available to be called on at any time. However, my resulting statement, although bearable, was a tongue twister. With the meaning unchanged and using largely the same language, the expert skills of a professional wordsmith smoothed out the bumps:

I am enchanted by the curl of a cloud as it unfolds across the sky, how the wind’s energy traces the edge of a storm. In turbulence or tranquility, my work explores the natural forces that surround us and shape our lives as they call to mind the fluctuations of our experience within life’s larger patterns.

By combining memory and observation, I reach for an essential mood as nature’s ever-changing forms are edited and rearranged. Paint, applied in layers of decreasing opacity followed by glazes made translucent with wax, allow for unexpected variations in color and tone. The viewer is thus invited to share experiences that engage the eye and evoke a state of mind.

This video of penguins in a zoo chasing a butterfly illustrates what the process of writing feels like to me: Penguins chasing a butterfly

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Changing Conditions

original oil painting, Hawaii,  volcanoes, ash plume, blue, atmospheric, contemporary, medium, fumarole
Rapidly Changing Conditions oil on linen 20 x 30"
©2010 Katherine Kean

Although I am technically finished painting for my show, new images continue to come to mind. The painting above shows the Kilauea fumerole as the wind shifts direction scattering the ash and steam emanations. I love the shapes and patterns that the wind makes.

I've heard that the lava is flowing again and I hope to get a chance to go see sometime in the next few months. In the meantime I've been keeping up to date through the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory page.

Here at home our amazing weather has shifted from a pattern of late season marine layers and cooler than normal temperatures to warmer, yet still nice, conditions. Maybe now the summer vegetables will make some more progress! In the meantime, I've been enjoying grapes, beans, greens, and an artichoke.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Storm Building

Here is a painting's progression from drawing to almost complete.

Katherine Kean, Gathering Point, drawing, Hawaii, clouds, ocean, storm clouds


I took advantage of under-painting as a time to simplify shapes.




With each additional layer I've refined the color, making the grays with blue/green over painting. It can be difficult to see from this small image, but there is still a lot of under-painting showing through at this stage.


Almost done - I'll still be going in to add the smallest details.

original oil painting, dark gray, clouds, waves, surf, beach, ocean, storm, black lava beach, atmospheric, mood
Gathering Point 24 x 30" oil on linen
©2010 Katherine Kean

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Role Reversal - Bloomingdale's Buys Artwork

First Day of 2010
16 x 20" oil on linen
©2010 Katherine Kean


In a switch on their typical role as a retailer, Bloomingdale's has been buying artwork for display in their new store opening in Santa Monica at the end of the week.

The selection of work for this new collection was made using a "blind jury" process. Bloomindale's went to Crussell Fine Arts and an open call to artists was announced. Over 300 artists responded with over 1000 images, out of which a final 17 pieces were chosen - the identities of the artists were not revealed until the very end of the process. I'm happy to say that the painting above, First Day, is one of the pieces selected.

I remember how helpful reader comments and feedback were while I was working on this painting - your encouragement makes all the difference - thanks!