Defining My Style

My Art Style

I’ve been away for the last few days and excited to get back to my studio. Unfortunately, we are having a problem with some flooding in our workspace and everything is in disarray, so my projects must wait.. 🙁  So instead of making art, this seemed like a good time to write more about art.  🙂

While I was visiting with friends and family, someone asked me “How would you define your style? I was trying to explain it to someone but I couldn’t think of a how to describe it.”  My quick response was “chaotic, colorful, fun?”.  It was the first time that I thought about defining and articulating my style. Perhaps now that I’m hoping to have a wider audience, having a defined style is important.

Colorful is definitely part of my style. Once while taking a painting course the teacher had each person in class explain their message. I sat listening to some pretty deep and powerful responses. Responses like, my work is about unplugging from society, that is why I always include such and such in each painting. By the time it was my turn to speak, all I could think of was “I like color.” And that’s true. And that should be enough, right? I like seeing color, mixing colors, looking at colors in nature and trying to figure out how I can create them with paint.  One unexpected and favorite side effect of taking art classes was I started Seeing, especially colors. I started really looking at everything to see how it could be recreated in art.

Chaotic is true too. I don’t really like reading directions or following too many rules. Once I feel confined by rules I feel like I am going to make a mistake and do something “wrong” which stops me from doing anything at all. I need to let go of those restraints to really create.  I had been taking art classes that were one process classes; drawing, painting, sculpture. I wasn’t so great at any of them but loved the process, which was enough for me. I hadn’t thought of combining all different elements and studying mixed media. Loving the process is enough and I think it shows in my work, but creating pieces I truly love is more powerful.

Fun. I don’t take my art too seriously. I am always trying to have fun with it. My studio is my play place. I’m game for challenges and have, at times, felt like what I was working on was becoming a chore. I’m happy to push through the chore of it when I feel like I am learning something.  But now if the chore outweighs the lesson and I don’t feel forward movement, I just walk away and start something new. I keep art fun and joyful.

Personal.  I love to personalize things. When I’m talking with someone, like my friend the other day, it gets really exciting to see how someone can think about their life, their self and how to express that on a canvas.  I like to make art about places, spaces, people, moments. I want it to have a personal meaning for the person I am giving it to or the person who might buy it in a local shop.

Just like defining a music style; rock, country, folk - art has defined styles; contemporary, abstract, pop.  I don’t think I fit in any predefined category - and I don’t want to. I understand the importance of labels, but I don’t really like them.

I think, for now, I’m going to go with “Kateful” as my style. 

2 thoughts on “Defining My Style”

  1. Kate, To me, your style is personalized and is eclectic. From what I have seen, and been gifted by you, the artwork is something meaningful to the recipient. It is eclectic because you change media and style as it moves you!! I love your style. I love your work. I love your ingenuity. I have a board with seashells on it from when you were a young girl and I have a gorgeous and colorful painting of Long Pond. My next acquisition will be some journals. I’ll get to you privately about them. I love your work and I love your approach to art. You thoroughly engaged Ben and Katie in producing a piece of artwork. You held the attention of young children because you made it FUN!!

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