Venice Beach Buzz
oil on canvas 68 x 56"
As an artist working in more than one medium, both oil and ceramics, do you find that the two mediums influence each other? If so, in what ways, and how do you decide which to use?
In the instance of my escalator painting series I decided to do the escalator sculpture as well, but it's rare for me to work on the same theme in both media. Sometimes it's my feeling that I can't do justice to some theme in paint, so that I take it up in clay. When a figurative oil painting gets very cartoonish or distorted, then it might resemble a figurative sculpture, but generally I keep them separate. When I'm glazing my ceramic sculptures some of the color sense from my paintings takes hold. I tend to move back and forth between the two media. If a painting has been particularly difficult to finish, then I know it's time to sculpt for a while. Also when all of the processes involved in sculpting clay seem too cumbersome, then I'll get back to painting, which is so much more spontaneous.
Is there a separation between your "normal" life and your artwork? If so, how do you manage to keep each in its place?
My artwork consumes my life. But it is a relief after working 9-5 on my art to be able to quit for a while and focus on something else.
French People Have Fun
oil on canvas 73 x 61"
My paintings tend to be large, so I move in and out of the room where my painting is hanging and work on it that way. I like to be able to get back about 30 feet or more so I can judge what's going on. Then when I have it at a stage I like from afar, I have to work with it up close so that it reads well from near and far. Color is super important to me, so I'm always concentrating on making the color sing.
Are your family and friends supportive of your art?
I only have my younger sister left in my family and I think she's pretty burnt out from having a father who was so obsessed with his artwork. So I tend not to talk art with her. My friends are very supportive of my art. I have a few who like to go on drawing excursions with me. My husband is quite an advocate of my art and helps facilitate some of the needs that my sculptures introduce, like making stands or cutting wooden tables for my cafe scenes.
Do you have a favorite painting? (Yours or somebody else's) ?
It's hard to choose just one. But if I'm including museums in the Los Angeles area, I love the Ensor painting, "Christ Entering Brussels" at the Getty museum. It's hilarious, with lots of loony characters masquerading as saints. For some reason it seems familiar. They also have it hanging with Munch's great painting, "Starry Night". So you have a great comment on humanity hanging with a great comment on nature.
Katie Crown's Exhibition begins February 28, 2012.