We continue our 'Week of Artists' series with the talented Kate Long Stevenson. Known for her range of figurative paintings and wild abstracts, Kate brings a feminine edge with her use of elegant colors mixing paint and charcoal.
Everyday this week we will feature a mama doing incredible work in the art space. To celebrate her favorite work, we curated a mini collection of BURU styles inspired by the artist.
I grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina, a beautiful city and upbringing, that, upon reflection, was pretty idyllic. I was immersed in the arts at an early age—crayons in my high chair (and endless supplies, thereafter), classical ballet and the violin, so it was always a part of my life. Career-wise, I had my first professional show while a student at The University of the South (Sewanee), though vacillated for the next several years between art-as-hobby, art-as-profession, and art-as-passion, until the latter two merged into one.
Instinctive. Feminine. Gestural.
I lament that they’re seldom with me in the studio, though I love observing their creativity the handful of times that I bring them. But, inadvertently, they’re included because I’m a better mother when I’ve had that alone time to channel my energy and to create work that I’m passionate about. My artistic process became much more focused and meaningful after becoming a mom, as both studio time and time just with the boys are so much more precious.
I’ve long been a fan of John Singer Sargent (brushwork and light!), Willem de Kooning (my ultimate abstract expressionist), Joan Mitchell and Chuck Close. I think Close inspires me the most because his work and process are so tangible. You cannot help but engage with the large portraits, and one can SEE how he builds a painting, but it’s mind-boggling how he accomplishes it. Of his own process (and I quote this too often, as it resonates), he said, “Inspiration is for amateurs. Just show up.”
“Mountains and Sea” by Helen Frankenthaler. I want to swim in it.
It’s not very chic. Always an old painting apron with a tattered pocket that holds my iPhone, and over work out wear. But I don’t tend to get too messy when I paint, thankfully.
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