Your practice explores the human figure and related narratives through a range of materials and scales, from large ceramic sculptures to intimate drawings. Can you give us some insight into how you select the medium and/or scale for each work?
Each project is idea driven and I use the medium and size that best expresses the idea. For example, I dream up ideas first, then move through many sketches. These quickly direct the medium and size of the project. Sometimes there are practicality issues and cost issues to deal with so you end up choosing a second option, instead of the obvious one. In this case, you make adjustments accordingly. Some ideas are just better expressed in 3D rather than on a flat 2D surface where you have to create an illusion of 3D ideas, or vice versa.
What projects are you currently working on?
I just finished up a series of figurative etchings, and now I am working on ideas for a new body of work. I have been making a group of paintings from observation to explore options.
How does your practice impact your teaching philosophy? And vice versa?
My studio practice impacts my teaching philosophy and my teaching informs my studio practice on a continual basis. Often times when I am in the studio I discover something new and think, "Oh, that would be great to show my students next week". These discoveries are usually something that makes the subject or process easier, or more understandable. Or, one of my "experimental disasters" in the studio has led me to be called "the ultimate problem solved" in class because I have taken to saying, "Don't worry. We can fix anything!" This attitude creates an environment where students feel comfortable to explore their ideas and not be afraid. My teaching definitely impacts my studio practice. Quite often, my students are working on an idea related to what I'm doing in the studio. 20 pairs of hands working brings more ideas into play than I could come up with on my own in a lifetime! Sometimes their work gives me a great idea to expand on with another student, or back in my own studio. I often tell my students that I learn as much from them as they do from me. As a result of this, I see my students work confidently and without inhibition.
What are you most looking forward to during your time teaching at PenArt?
Helping students learn and internalize new concepts, which empower them to move forward with their work and ideas.
How can we find you and your work on social media and the web?
More information on my practice can be found on Wikipedia and the Sam Houston University website.
Kate will be teaching "Drawing the Head: Landmark and Anatomy Tools" June 28-July 1, 2017. Learn more about her workshop here.