I actually don’t sketch or draw much; it’s not my thing. But drawing seems natural when I am traveling. I travel with a few ink pens, often brown instead of black, and a tiny set of watercolors that fit into a recycled Altoid tin. These were done on my last trip to Europe, I think mostly in France and Spain, but most were inspired by two art exhibits I saw in Haarlem, the Netherlands. The Frans Hall Museum was full of his work and work inspired by him and neck fluffs, or giant clown like collars were everywhere. The other exhibit that really influenced these sketches were Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘grotesque’ sketches, that were featured in a Da Vinci show at the Teyler’s Museum. I loved his character sketches featuring exaggerated features like large noses, lopsidedness, and what some would consider rather ugly distorted faces. I could relate.
While in the Netherlands last month I visited the Frans Hal museum again, but this time was really struck by his depiction of his ruffled collars. A week or so later, in Spain I created these two works, both different but both influenced by my recent viewing of Frans Hals works.
I have been painting some rather peaceful landscapes lately. Most in monochromatic shades, probably inspired by how much time I have spent outside this summer, either at the shore or visiting the desert, or even just driving through the local hills. Also teaching a watercolor class this fall has required me to focus less on my acrylic and oils and play more with the the watercolors. Some of my favorite are on sale on my Etsy page. www.etsy.com/shop/katinkabelleart
Well I am back to wordpress, to a webpage in blog form, Shopify was very expensive and didn’t work for me, as I still sold much more art pretty much everywhere else than from the actual website. It will take me a wee bit to get this one up to date so bear with me and I will make sure the links are all undated and I get some new art up. I am currently touring Europe now, and will be featuring that on my other blog, Painting in the Shadows of the Paris Bohemians. For now here is a storm cloud I painted in Palm Desert about a year ago.
My Kickstarter has one more week to go and its already over 100% minimum funding. My backers get an exculsive offer to get an exclusive deluxe version of my book at less than cost! This version will be similar to a graphic novel format with excellent quality printing. A trade paperback version, which is still quite nice, will be eventually be available at galleries and online for around $30.
I am working obsessively on the book now, finding it hard to think about anything else, and I am thrilled with the way its coming together. I hope others will find it as amusing as I do.A Katinkabelle Artbook Kickstarter
Every now and then I get a little obsession that leads me to compulsively paint in a subject or style for a while that is a different direction than my usually work. This is a good thing I feel. I don’t like to feel restricted, but more it keeps me exploring different techniques and medias and subjects; it keeps me playing. Very often I will learn something that i then incorporate into my work, something that becomes part of my style, influencing my future art. In this way, playing with my art helps my art evolve. Those who follow my art would say these works are still recognizably mine. My landscapes will not match many sofas, if I paint an egg, its a might feel like the egg is a bit aggressive. A colleagu, who I am not sure really loves my art, remarked yesterday, that my art no matter what else always moves him.
But I have a stack of paintings of tangerines, and older paintings of big eye girls I no longer display, my choir boy sketches, my Catalina series, my pub series, and many that don’t fall into any other catagory that I would just not display at galleries at this point. I have plenty of big eyes, and more current portraitists and my bunnies and silhouettes to keep the gallery walls full for a long long time. I am going to clearance out my less expensive older works and anything that doesn’t fit into what I would currently show at any of the galleries. I will be having a sale on etsy. I will list them on facebook as I go, but I am thinking of a deep clearance, selling most of them for about $40 plus shipping or less. If they don’t sell within a short time I will simply plaint over them and save myself the money of a new canvas. So it will be in fact a going going gone sale. So keep your eye out. Follow me on Etsy. My store there is https://www.etsy.com/shop/KatinkabelleArt
In Marketing this is suppose to be something I know, something I am sure of. With Galleries I tend to let them decide, if the art in the gallery is contemporary, interesting and a bit edgy, and I like it, I will assume it’s a good fit.
For art shows I have to do much more leg work to make sure it will be a good fit and my clientele will actually be at the show. For instance I have learned my market doesn’t seem to be the elderly conservative women of Mesa Arizona, although to be fair I didn’t meet but a small percentage of them. My wide eyed girls appeal to little girls, both of the fairy princess and Wednesday Adams variety, aged punk rockers, tattooed Morrisey boys, and women who can see themselves in my art. It’s often hard to find a show with that exact clientele. However the galleries love the wide eyes girls so they seem to have found a home there.
The silhouette series that I have only been doing publicly about a year (they used to be my warm up works waiting for inspiration until I realized the were inspired) however had a different unsurprisingly broader appeal. They appeal to people who feel. People who have their own stories to share and find I have expressed their stories for them. I am starting to trust that is exactly what I am doing sometimes. That their story or struggle or love or unity or loss or loneliness is so powerful that they have sent the energy of it out into the universe and I have grabbed just a little bit of that energy and expressed it in a most primitive way. In color and simple shape. So my clientele for this series is anyone with a story. And everyone has a story. I just may not have gotten to yours yet.
I have suffered from migraines for several decades and I have learned a few connections between migraines and art. For instance a few years ago a friend brought me an article from the newspaper that discussed the idea that many artist that suffered from migraines would depict one had or one eye bigger than the other in their portraits. It was something I never considered having to do with migraines but looking at my paintings many of which had one huge eye and one tiny eye I realized that those were the paintings I created when I had particularly bad migraines.
Also, there have been many times where I have had an unbearable migraine to where the sound of my own breathing and blood rushing through my veins is painful. Sometimes these last for days. I have more than a few times found relief by “painting it out”. Its dreadfully painful to leave a dark quiet room for the brightness even of my dimly lit studio when I have a migraine and even the sounds of distant birds or traffic feel like blades going through my head. Sometimes I spend a half an hour trying to paint, and make my migraine even worse and wind up back in bed. Sometimes though I go into a near trancelike state. And I immerse myself into the work, emerging many hours later with a completely finished painting and no migraine. I have very little memory of those hours. It is, infact about the only time I can complete a work in one sitting. I feel some of my best work was done this way.
When I was recently describing the process of my newer works to a family member I realized that I go through a very similar process creatively that I do with my migraine paintings. I tend to approach the canvas without any preconceived notion of what the finish painting will be. And I get completely absorbed to the point where I lose track of time, and often don’t have much memory after of the time I spent on a painting, or where the idea of it came from. It is a mediative state for me full of color and light. Sometimes I look at a painting I have finished and think who is this, what inspired this, what place is this. And then the true magic happens for me. Often that very day but sometimes a week later, someone will say “You painted me and my late husband on one of our late night ocean swims”, “This is me and my lover in our lake” “You painted exactly how I feel right now and in all my favorite colors”.
This has happened so many times now I am accepting it as a truth. I feel as if I am a vessel and the universe is using me as a tool of creation.
I told my aunt this and she said “but the migraines, what of the migraines”. I had noticed I was getting a lot less migraines. I mean a couple mild ones a month, instead of half a dozen severe ones and nearly daily mild ones. But what I hadn’t thought of is that this seemed to match up with me painting these new series nearly every day.
Working the art show this weekend I the three days of it not painting. Day 2 I got a mild migraine, by the time I got home from the show Tuesday morning the migraine was so bad it sent me to bed for the day. Its still here and mild but maybe thats just a sign I need to find some time today to work in the studio. Magic things happen there.
I now have several tipsy bunnies available at my online store. Just $50 each.