Curio

Curio: a rare, unusual, or intriguing object.

I have been drawing a lot of human vertebrae since injuring my back in December... like, a lot. It's resulted in a set of four completed graphite and watercolor drawings. Here's a sneak peek at two of them.

The full set will be part of the Curio Cabinet show at the Indianapolis Art Center, opening on Friday, June 9. I hope to see you there for what is sure to be an intriguing, unusual show.

Indy Cartography

A few months ago I set about planning and mentally laying out a new show for the City Gallery at the Harrison Center for the Arts. I knew almost right away that it would revolve around maps. I would tie these maps to important places in Indianapolis, my home.

And, the work would be big - the first piece I started for this show was 4 x 3 feet. I had been itching to do larger paintings for a while. 

Sketchbook layout of the City Gallery  

Sketchbook layout of the City Gallery  

Three weeks ago, several paintings were in progress, some more than others, but nothing was finished. Also three weeks ago, a disc in my lower back herniated. Great timing, right? 

Spine model from my doctor's office, showing the offending disc  

Spine model from my doctor's office, showing the offending disc  

Many things became uncertain. For a time after I couldn't go to work, drive, walk up stairs, and certainly couldn't get to the studio to continue these big pieces. But, with everything I couldn't do, I needed a goal (besides all the things listed above) and that was to commit to this show, even if I wasn't sure I could make it to my own opening.

What you will see at tonight's opening and throughout January was created, in large part, in the last two and a half weeks. And I love it all. 

'North Split' in progress  

'North Split' in progress  

The work is much smaller, and all on paper, things I could work on from home. And I'm really proud of it. It's not what I originally planned. It's better.

'Herron Morton Place' in progress, from the couch. 

'Herron Morton Place' in progress, from the couch. 

While I wish I could have avoided injury, it pushed me to re-examine my approach and the results are on view this month. 

Deadlines drive us.  

Become a Sponsor!

Who wants to be a studio sponsor?! 

If you've ever thought "Hey, I really like Kate's work. I wonder how I can add to my personal collection on a regular basis for a minimal amount of money?", I have the answer for you. Okay, infomercial voice off.

I've just launched my Patreon page. Patreon allows you to support creators in a world of genres, media, and style for a monthly fee that you set. In exchange, each creator will offer some rewards. Sounds fun, right?

Here's my goal - through Patreon, you become an official sponsor of my studio, located at the Harrison Center for the Arts. Having a defined space to work and create, and being among a bustling community of fellow artists, is vital to my work. Your monthly pledge will go directly to studio rent, equipment, and supplies. 

So what do you get in exchange for your pledge? Here's the list:

Pledge $5 or more per month

You'll receive a handwritten, personalized thank you note and a 5x7 inch piece of original art on paper following your first month as a patron + you'll have access to my patron-only feed on Patreon, where I'll post insider, for-your-eyes-only content, AND I'll add your name to my sponsor wall in my studio so everyone will know how awesome you are!

Pledge $10 or more per month

I'll send you a monthly mailed art mystery package. Your package could contain a sampling of original art, stickers, postcards, recipes, doodles, or other goodies + the above.

Pledge $20 or more per month

You'll get 15% off all purchases for one year in studio or my Etsy Shop. I’ll send you a custom non-transferable coupon code good for anything in my Etsy Shop as well as a non-transferable gift certificate for in-studio purchases (Offer cannot be used for purchases in galleries through which I am represented/exhibiting) + the above.

I hope you'll consider becoming an official patron! I'm looking forward to coming up with some great items to include in my mystery art packages. Can't wait to get started!

 

Starting Over

Today I started over on three paintings. They have been in progress for weeks and today all progress stopped... or did it?  

They've been painted white again, back to the beginning, but they now have a little more texture, there are shadows of the previous layers, and will be the base for something new... one day.

 

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For now, they are sitting in a corner of the studio. Things like this make me wonder if I'll ever finish a painting again. I hate this feeling. 

New Product Alert! Color Me Art Postcards

I'm jumping on the coloring bandwagon (something that has been my jam for years, YEARS!) with a new line of color-able postcards. 

I've created the black and white line art, you add your own twist of color, or send one off to a coloring page obsessed friend.

Currently, there are three designs available, but watch for more...

Each postcard is printed on matte cardstock that can stand up to markers and even some wet media (think watercolors) and is mail friendly - yes, please feel free to mail them!

Two of my coloring sessions with the new postcards, using Tombow USA's Dual Brush Pens.

Two of my coloring sessions with the new postcards, using Tombow USA's Dual Brush Pens.

These three designs are currently available in my Etsy shop, as well as two retailers in Indianapolis - Silver in the City and the Basile History Market at the Indiana History Center.

Have a shop? Interested in carrying these or any of my postcards (or prints)? Contact me about wholesale pricing!

The Art Assignment (Show)

If you've followed along with me on Facebook where I regularly post in progress snippets of pieces, you might have seen this preview a few weeks ago...

I've been on the hunt for (broken, damaged, out-of-date) globes for years, but only recently stepped up my search - given their use in decor, they are hard to come by.

I have always loved maps, globes, atlases and the like and have incorporated many in my 2D art. While 3D art making has never been a "thing" for me, I've longed to paint globes.

And now I have a place to show the finished piece! No more previews until then, okay? Okay.

Join me on IDADA First Friday, August 5 at Gallery 924 at the Arts Council of Indianapolis for the Art Assignment Show. The group show is centered around the PBS Digital series, The Art Assignment, hosted by Sarah Urist Green who also curated the exhibit.

I chose fellow Indianapolis artist Brian McCutcheon's "Customize It" assignment as inspiration.

Hope to see you out First Friday-ing!

 

Revisiting the Past

I'm in process of decluttering both at home and in the studio in an effort to own less stuff and have what I do own mean more or at least hold a regular, useful purpose. 

This has resulted in quite a bit of rediscovery of art that was abandoned mid-creation. Rather than tossing out bits and pieces of my starts and stops, I'm throwing them in one place with a goal to finish them out, even if it doesn't follow the original plan (because I'm not in that place anymore anyway).  

Here's the first of this blast from the past clean out project - I came across a short stack of small (5 x 7 inch and smaller) bits of paper from a time when I was experimenting with more saturated layers of watercolor. This was before my obsession with gel inks that can easily by applied over dark backgrounds. I combo'd another recent subject matter - hands - with a nod to a client's illustration project by circling the wrist with ranunculus.  

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I love the result and joining the past with present. Look for more to come here, on Facebook, and Instagram.

Floral Meanderings

Don't like the weather in Indiana? Just wait a day.

So goes the old Hoosier saying. Lately it's been rain, cold, rain, cold... we finally have a week where things seem to be drying out a bit. At least long enough for me to get my spring garden clean up and new planting done.

When I wasn't digging in the dirt this week, I was working away on new watercolor samples for an illustration I'm doing for a wedding. If I can't plant the real thing, I'll draw and paint it!

Here's a bit of a preview of the evolution of this project so far.

Find me at the Indiana State Museum

While you're checking out all the great local art at the this weekend's Indiana Art Fair at the Indiana State Museum, make sure to take a peek inside The Indiana Store.

The Indiana Store is my newest retailer, carrying a selection of Indiana inspired prints and postcards, including two new prints in larger sizes.

You may have seen Midwest is Best and Greetings from Indiana (USA) before as postcards, but this is the first time I've offered them as fine art prints and the first time in 11 x 14 inch sizes. As always, fine art prints are printed with archival inks and paper and each is hand signed. For now, the Indiana Store is the only place you can get these larger prints.

Like what you see? Head over to the Museum Monday through Saturday from 10 - 5pm and Sunday 11 - 5pm. The Indiana Art Fair is this Saturday, February 13 from 10am - 5pm.

NEW in the shop: Valentine's Postcards

They're here! I've created a limited edition 2016 Valentine's Day postcard so you can send your love near and far!

Available now in my Etsy Shop, each card is 4 x 6 inches and printed on a matte card stock and comes from a series of hand painted watercolor hearts.

Order early if you plan to mail one to your sweetheart, or by Wednesday, February 10 if you plan to deliver them in person on Valentine's Day.

The original watercolor painting that inspired this year's postcard.

The original watercolor painting that inspired this year's postcard.

"Exposure" isn't enough

Requests for donations is part of being an artist. It happens regularly, I will receive a letter or email from an organization who is out there doing good work on behalf of the arts, animals, the homeless, or the numerous health related charities, requesting that I donate a piece of my art to their auction. Usually, with some form of the phrase "it will be great exposure for you" and maybe an offer for free or discounted tickets to their event.

However, "exposure", while a nice thought, isn't enough and very rarely leads to future sales.

There is a real cost to creating art. It's not just the materials in the artwork itself. It's the time, years of study (whether formal or self-taught), the rent/utilities (for some of us this means both home and a separate studio), marketing costs, insurance, and the list goes on.  Because of this, giving away artwork is not a viable business model... and art is business.

By now, I probably sound heartless and business-y and concerned with the bottomline. I promise I'm a generous person. I do donate whenever possible. This means determining if it's an organization with which I have a meaningful relationship (or the potential for one) and analyzing my finances at the time of the request to see if it is feasible to do so.

It's time to change the dynamic between artists and those requesting art for free. There are reasonable ways in which both the artist and organization can benefit. To that end, I've created a personal donation policy that is now posted on my website. It's below as well.

I can't speak for all artists, each of us will approach this situation differently. All I ask is that you respect my donation policy and understand that if I choose not to participate in your organization's event, it is not a reflection on the worthiness of the cause.

Donation Policy (also found in the 'About' section of my website)

I often receive requests to donate artwork to charity auctions and the like. As much as I would love to give work to each and every worthy cause (and so many are!), I must be selective and contribute to causes and organizations that are near and dear to me.

Please understand that current US tax laws are unfavorable to independent artists, we cannot deduct the full market value of our work only the cost of materials used to create the piece, which is usually pretty minimal when compared to the amount received when the piece is sold at full value.

As much as I wish it were so, “exposure” is not a reasonable offer in exchange for art.

That said, I do donate, but is with certain criteria in mind:

-       The organization agrees to split the proceeds 50/50 with payment within 10 days and the buyer’s name and contact information provided.

-       I am allowed to set the reserve price at auction. This is to honor the value of artwork in my client’s collections and in galleries through which I am represented.

-       If the artwork does not sell, it is to be returned to me within 10 days.

-       Prints, postcards, and other reproductions may be purchased at wholesale pricing by the organization and auctioned at any price (suggested retail pricing will be provided) or used as giveaways.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, you beautiful people!

I took a long holiday break from my website, blog, and even social media to enjoy some quiet and begin a new plan for 2016. I'm not much for making resolutions, instead, I make a lot of lists.

2016 list-making is in full swing - ideas for new art and products, plans for client projects, to-do projects for my house and studio... it goes on.

First up for this year though is revisiting a project I put on hold to work on other things. This series is all about birthstones/gemstones. I'll show you each new stone at the beginning of the month here, but you won't have to wait for the new collection. I'm working away on prints and other ideas for this small series.

Here's to January's birthstone - garnet!