There are aspects of my paintings that make them true creations of my heart. Elements & techniques I remember discovering, that grew from solo quiet time with my canvases in my studio, and my ah-ha moments. ALL of the elements of my painting style grew from my hours of paint and solitude, sprinkled generously with music and writing (and chocolate and tea), over the course of 16+ years. Art is a journey.
I suppose this is why it is painful to see people so often imitate my work and claim the style as their own… we CAN all discover our OWN style when we put in the time, energy and heart. We CAN’T take the souvenirs from someone else’s expedition and truly feel that the journey was ours.
Two artists that inspired me at the beginning of my journey were Kathe Kollwitz (1900s, Germany) and James C. Christensen (1942-2017, USA). Also, I love the color in the skin of the portraits of Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin (1700s, France).
I am inspired, daily, by flowers, faces, kisses, touches, the way people walk, trees, children, animals, gentle moments, kind words, shadows, textures on walls, colors… the world is a gallery of beauty and interest.
One of the elements of my work – the Sparkle – started right around the time I was creating a painting named “Mandy’s Painting”, in January 2009.
We were once dear childhood friends, Mandy & I. We are now mothers, and the friendship remains. We live on opposite sides of the earth now: the USA & Japan. Boy did I love being with that sweet friend of mine.
We practice love as children, by loving our friends, and we carry that connection and care straight through, as we become mothers.
When I created this painting for Mandy, she had recently lost her father – I had lost mine 10 years before. She was just about to birth her first of two sons – I had my two young sons at my side.
I thought about how her father would be watching over her, witnessing the beauty of his first grandson, and I “sprinkled” Sparkle onto her painting (painted tiny energetic dots) to represent the special love from Grandpa. The Sparkle encompasses the trio and brightens the eyes of the new child. The mother and father each share their own Sparkle with the child, it mixes and mingles. I also included my own love, sprinkled in.
From that moment on, I began to think of and describe my Sparkle as “love on a molecular level” – the particles of love that flows from the eyes, lips and body of one family member, and rains down over the others. Important molecules of connection. Evidence of the fact that we all influence each other. I’ve been adding Sparkle to my paintings ever since.
There are other elements that I like to call mine – happy accidents, discoveries and experimentations that grabbed my heart and have found their way into my paintings ever since. Maybe I’ll tell you about them at some point?
Thank you for taking the time to relive a little of my journey with me!
I hope you have a lovely week’s end. Don’t take for granted the tiny elements of love and energy that flow from you… they are recognized, felt, and they are valuable.
Spread them freely, but wisely.
Love & Sincerely, Katie