My work is representational with the focus shifted toward the physicality of the paint. The process is a careful construction of traditional and modern methods. Each painting begins with an imprimatura and is built up in thin layers of solvents and medium. To create variety in texture, I apply alla prima and use a palette knife toward the end. I have a strong watercolor background, and this informs my oil painting decisions, particularly in the way that thin layering induces the particles to show through. My conscious decision to work in a difficult and time-consuming process acts as a counterpoint to modern instantaneous culture. I use traditional methods of painting representational works to question the validity of these methods in the contemporary art world.
My portraits are psychological in nature, a personal investigation of my subjectivity in relationship to other people. I often find myself conflicted in social situations, oscillating between feeling connected to others and feeling completely removed and alone. I would much rather analyze the way light lands on someone’s shoulder or how the ridge of their brow casts a shadow on their eyes than talk to them. The portraits are expressive and moody, with bold strokes of color gently blended together to create an uneasy sensuality. Since I can never know the full “truth” of someone else’s identity, it can feel voyeuristic visually deconstructing the subject’s physicality. The focus of this critical lens on detail in the images simulates my tendency toward reaction and observation rather than interaction.
Crystals are beautiful, intricate, and have an incredible capacity to reflect light. I’m fascinated by them scientifically and culturally. Light does the same thing with crystals that it does with people, but the structures are different. Light dances on and exposes the translucence of a person’s skin, while crystals reflect and refract light, changing their apparent color. To simulate the structure of crystals, I repeatedly glaze the canvas, building up thin layers, so light can travel in between the paint particles. I find it compelling that I don’t get to choose which crystals are beautiful and which aren’t. We are both made of the same thing, but I can look at them and they can’t look at me.
Because I don't always take myself seriously, I also do small crafted works that are intended to make people feel good and laugh a little. Enjoy.
Kat was born in California in 1988. She received her BA in Mathematics at the University of California at Santa Cruz in 2012, where she also studied Physics and Astronomy. She has studied art at Diablo Valley College, Civic Arts Education in Walnut Creek, and UC Berkeley Extension in San Francisco. Currently, Kat has a blast making art in Oakland, CA.