Monday, June 27, 2011


My next post "I make art because, part II: On Meaning" has been delayed for just a bit until I can finish it. But here's the thing: without the "meaning," "beauty" just seems shallow and vain. That last post is just not sitting right with me at all. In fact I feel downright weird about it. (Did I really refer to myself as part of a "spectacular" staff. oh Gawd... weird face, rolling eyes. OOPS that came out all wrong. I was an outsider looking in - an innocent bystander watching the staff from the sidelines, a dorky author hiding behind a computer screen.)

Now. Yes, I like to create pretty environments and visually pleasing things. But that's not all!!!!! So bear with me... the meat is coming. "On beauty" can and does not stand on its own...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Make Art Because, part I

I had a lot of clarity after my workout at the gym this afternoon. I drove home, turned on Super Nanny and ate a Jello pudding cup and 2 chocolate squares whereupon things got fuzzy again.

But I do want to begin hashing out why it is I feel compelled to make art and what exactly I am trying to say because at some point I'd like to cull all of my thoughts into some sort of artist statement. Do a sweep-up of thoughts from all corners of my brain like a big dust pile. So without further ado.

On Beauty

Let me start with this quote by impressionist painter Renoir from the year 1910:

For me a picture... should be something likeable, joyous, and pretty - yes, pretty. There are enough ugly things in life for us not to add to them.

In 1998, my sophmore year in college, I glued that clipping into the very first page of a journal. Subconsciously I believe it became a mantra of mine. For my final Conceptual Art class project sophomore year at Washington University all my energy went towards simply "creating something beautiful." I had had it up to here with illustrating concepts and... well, congnition. All I wanted was to play with color and line - to see how colors react to each other and to see the way lines can move your eye around a page - or not.

Junior year of college I tumbled into my fashion design major and upon graduating moved back to Chicago where shortly thereafter I stumbled into floral design. What really matters in an arrangement of flowers? Texture, design, color. The way one flower plays part of the whole bouqet. It was around this time that I stopped drawing and painting. I was creating floral arrangements, and that was fulfilling my need for creativity. It was like making living 3D sculptures.

In my early 20's I worked for Marion Perry, owner of A New Leaf in Chicago. She hired lots of young artist, musician types who had no money and were often bull-headed and quirky. And we all dressed very strangely. Marion's flower shops are to this day spectacular, and as one of my co workers at the time pointed out - so was her staff. "It is very clear that Marion likes beautiful things." This struck me - the choice and capability to surround yourself with beauty on a very conscious level. hmmm.

Since we have moved to Evanston and into a house we might be in for, like, ever, I think I have unearthed the interior designer in me. In the 11 months that we have lived here I have painted our downstairs powder room "Twilight Magenta," laid an animal print carpet runner on the stairs and hall and furnished our dining room with lavender Mr. Impossible chairs. God bless, stop me before our house looks like a rainbow threw up in it.

Beige be damned. My name is Kate, I am 33 years old, and I love pretty colors.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

In preparation for...

August 4 - August 16, 2011
Art Exhibition

Frame Warehouse, Evanston, IL

Home 2009
acrylic, pen and marker on paper

Return fall 2010
acrylic, pen and colored pencil on paper

Anabelle Violet Brown fall 2010
pen on paper

Rhino fall 2010
pen and gouache on paper

Ferdinand fall 2010
pen, gouache, colored pencil and cut paper on paper

Paper Quilt spring 2011
paint chips, fabric and thread on paper

On the brink of falling to pieces spring 2011
colored pencil, pen, watercolor and marker on paper