Katherine Moore has a special knack, a natural talent, for art. It looks as though she’s been a committed player in art’s game for years, a seasoned veteran who navigates her way through creative process seamlessly, making unique pieces with signature characteristics. Well, according to her, she is “brand new to the art scene” and has “only recently decided to commit [her]self to painting and would like to make it [her] life’s work.” We beg to differ! Some pieces could easily be categorized as fashion illustration and are of professional-grade quality. Whether she is mainly using watercolor, pencil or oil paint, her color palettes and artwork are simply wonderful.
ArtVenue wanted to ask Katherine a few questions about her artistic inclinations and a specific thready medium she uses in her pieces. Perhaps we could call her bluff about being a newbie.
“I go into every day knowing that I will not stop trying, no matter how frustrated and ignored I may feel.”
Home is where the heart is-where is home for you?
I was born and raised in Groton, Massachusetts, but I feel more at home in New Hampshire where my father grew up. We have a house on Newfound Lake there and it is our slice of heaven.
How and when did you discover yourself to be an artist?
I always felt uncomfortable with the label of ‘artist’. I felt strongly that I was not an artist, I just liked art. Artists are people with crazy hair and paint splattered overalls. They live off sardines and day old bread; black coffee and cigarettes. I always thought, ‘Artists don’t like me’, but that was because I didn’t like myself. I had to go through some very hard times, experience my lowest moments, and then pick up all my pieces and put myself back together. When I did, that is when I discovered myself to be an artist. This was about a year ago, and I have been moving in the right direction ever since.
What are a few things on your artistic bucket list?
I am beginning to toy with the concept of stitching my designs into clothing. It was a natural transition to begin thinking about fashion as thread is normally used to sew clothing, not paper. Maybe someday i’ll have my own fashion line with my own inspired hand stitched designs.
“The juxtaposition of the black thread to the soft watercolor makes for a striking combination. [...] It I just had a feeling it was exactly perfect for what I wanted to convey.”
Where did you learn the skills and gain the knowledge you, as an artist, posses today?
When I was in elementary school I took an art class once a week after school. A local artist from my town, Sharon Wooding, taught the informal class out of her home for a group of the neighborhood girls. I loved the class and the time with my friends, but never realized I was any good at it. When I reached college, art classes were the only ones I enjoyed so I chose to be an art major. I Worked through some of the introductory courses, but school never really did agree with me and I still have not finished. Most of what I know is self taught. I know I do not have the most effective technique, but I work in a way that makes sense for me. I never worked in watercolor until I got the idea to work with thread this past June. I watched a video on Youtube and then just went for it! I create instinctively and am very pleased to see an improvement in my work.
What is art to you? What is art for you? Why create it?
I suppose art is everything. I see the world very differently than everyone else and I create works of art so that other people can share in the beauty that I see everyday.
“I push myself everyday to be better than I am so that every piece of art I create is more inspired than the one before.”
Where do you gather and/or seek your inspiration from?
It usually starts with a photograph. Whether one I stumble across or one that I seek out. I tend to fixate on a tiny detail from a piece and run with that. I went to a photography exhibit and saw a photo of a pear with a stamp on it which inspired me to create the self portrait Return to Sender. At the same exhibit I saw a photo of a man in a suit climbing a ladder; suddenly I have strapped the moon to his back and he is climbing into the sky in my painting How He Hung the Moon. Often when I look at an image I see more than what meets the eye; more color, life, and spirit. I create my artwork to show other people what it is that I am seeing.
Do any psychological factors or traits transpose into your work?
Do you ask me this because clearly I must be crazy to sit for hours on end and meticulously hand stitch my paintings? I have an obsessive-compulsive personality and an abundance of patience.
Explain where your use of thread came from. What draws you to it, what is its appeal?
Like most things in my life, how exactly this idea came to me i’m not totally sure of. I found myself inspired by the artist Egon Schiele this spring. I have always been scolded by my teachers for using line in my paintings, but I cannot help it. I see in lines and colors. I wanted to do a work similar to Egon’s with sketched lines and splashes of color. It came to me that working in oil was not going to work for this project. With thread I can achieve so much with consistent, crisp, black line that also adds a dimension of texture to my work. The juxtaposition of the black thread to the soft watercolor makes for a striking combination. I am not sure then exact moment I realized thread was the key, but I just had a feeling it was exactly perfect for what I wanted to convey.
“I felt strongly that I was not an artist, I just liked art.”
Pick one of your own favorite pieces on ArtVenue. What is it of, why is it your favorite and what does it mean to you?
My favorite has to be Bluebird Bitter. I have a bit of an affinity for birds, specifically of the blue nature. This painting was my experiment — the first hand-stitched work I created as well as my first ever attempt at painting with watercolor. I discovered so much through making mistakes on that piece of artwork, and though my skill level has improved so much since then, I think she will always be my favorite.
What is your creative process, typically?
I have a fantastic little life. I work nights and I am free to create all day every day! I am very relaxed about it all. When in the process of stitching I sit on my futon with a cup of coffee and listen to music while I stitch away. Sometimes, when my thoughts get too loud, I turn on the TV and watch Law and Order SVU marathons to distract my mind. I am a very efficient multi-tasker. When I get to the painting, I sit at my isle in the corner of my bedroom where I am flooded with natural light and begin my process of seeing in colors. I need longer chunks of time to commit to the painting as once I begin the process I hate to stop before I have finished. Some times I am burnt out and can’t work, other times I am inspired and cannot stop working. It’s a bit like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get.
“Often when I look at an image I see more than what meets the eye; more color, life, and spirit. I create my artwork to show other people what it is that I am seeing.”
What propels you forward, what keeps you going as an artist?
My mom once said about me, ‘ask her to think inside of the box and you’ll have a problem’. Outside of the box is where I reside. I do not think or behave in the typical manner. Being an artists takes a lot of self motivation and an intense desire to create. I have the ability to hyper-focus, set, and maintain goals for myself. I do not need an outside source pushing me on. I push myself everyday to be better than I am so that every piece of art I create is more inspired than the one before.
Are there any projects you are working on right now that you can’t wait to ﬁnish and share? Any other mediums you would love to explore and experiment with?
Yes, always! My artwork takes so long to create that I have to try really hard not to abandon each project for a new one before I have finished. I could fill an entire gallery with unfinished paintings, it is disgusting. Right now I am working on a hand-stitched water color that is my largest one yet. I am very excited about it! It is called Attitude Towards Existence and I cannot wait to share it with everyone!
“Maybe someday i’ll have my own fashion line with my own inspired hand stitched designs.”
What is some advice you could give to budding artists, hopeful to make a name for themselves or looking to build a portfolio?
This is a bit of a peculiar question for me to answer as I am a budding artist myself. All I have to say is perseverance. I go into every day knowing that I will not stop trying, no matter how frustrated and ignored I may feel. And then one day, someone like ArtVenue will come along and recognize how hard you are working! Then, you wake up the next day and keep trying with someone else.
ArtVenue would like to thank Katherine for lending us some of her time and thoughts. We are thrilled to have her on ArtVenue – welcome to the family!