Painting in watercolour has inspired me to stop and enjoy all things bathed in light and casting interesting shadows. Red poppies in my garden, I have never had as many, and moments from a special trip to Nova Scotia, are among the subjects of my work for our group show at Grace Westminster Church auditorium, April 13 to 15. Look foreword to seeing you in the spring!
What inspires me to paint is usually something nearby, whose shape or colour interests me. Highlighting those bottles or shells or flowers with focussed light brings out the elements of those items that intrigue me. As a result, I collect things – old bottles, old silver, shells, glass floats, leaves, seeds, everyday things – and find interesting fruits and vegetables, and raid my garden for inspiration. Then I assemble them to play with colours, shapes, reflections and textures. Some end up in my paintings, which I hope you will come by and see, along with all of our group’s new works, at our upcoming April show, April 13 – 15 at Grace Westminster Auditorium (details coming soon; watch our Facebook page too).
‘Peaches and Copper Pot’, Oil on linen panel
You can see more of my work at Redberry Art.
I am a professional fibre artist specializing in freestyle embroidery. My creations are expressions of my love for the prairie and originate from my own photographs and personal experiences of Saskatchewan. I am constantly amazed at the texture and intricate beauty that can be achieved by working with thread and yarn. When I head out with my camera, I am looking for things to stitch. Big open skies are translated to hand dyed fabrics. When I see fields and ditches full of flora, I imagine them as threads and yarn. Each stitch represents a brush stroke of colour and I find great joy in recreating scenes I love in this medium.
In 2010, I was juried with the Saskatchewan Craft Council. Since then, my work has found homes locally, nationally, and internationally. As a self taught artist, I am very grateful to be a part of the Artists’ Workshop. I enjoy this circle of supportive artists and bask in the opportunity to expand my creativity every Monday with them. Having the dedicated time and space to become more expressive with my sketchbook phase of creating is planting the seeds for some wonderful new works in the future.
‘Winter at Jackfish Lake’
On Monday November 27, the Artists’ Workshop is going to be holding a one day only Open Studio Show and Sale at our studio space at the Grace Westminster Auditorium. The studio will be open from 11 am to 9 pm. We will also have many of the artists working, so you can see our newest works in progress. Please come by, chat with us, and ask questions.
Spotlight on ~ Lorraine Khachatourians
This year I am looking more and more at colour, that is, how to represent the colours I see in the various objects I enjoy painting, in way that comes closest to how I see them. Over the past few months I have been paying more attention to the characteristics of colour and how to recreate them from the pigments in the paint. It is like solving a puzzle or a mystery, both of which I have always enjoyed. Below are photos of both works in progress of my favourite subjects, fruits and metal reflections, which you will be able to see completed at our open studio, and some finished pieces.
‘Works in progess’
I have never been a painter of local landscapes. While houses and buildings, trees and skies are recurring subjects, they are figments of my imagination, realistic-enough looking, but wonky and whimsical. I hope that my artwork uplifts the spirits, is a source of comfort and tranquility, and reinvigorates a sense of the sacred.
‘Playful Planet’, 10.5 inches square, pen-and-ink, pencil, acrylic
For many years I focused on mandalas, a wonderful vehicle for colour and detail. Several years ago I returned to an earlier love: pen-and-ink, this time in the meditative Zentangle® style using structured patterns. Currently, my work is moving towards more mixed media.
People sometimes comment on one of the witty titles. I think titles are important and I hope never to call a piece “Blue Square #14”. Usually a title pops to mind quite early in the process, which is fine if that’s a direction I want to go!
‘Oakenfall’ 8 x 5 inches, pen-and-ink and pencil on eco-dyed paper
Colours, patterns, visual textures and designs thrill me. I love how a line can change from chubby to hairline and back again. Prairie sunsets, fireworks, and night skies full of stars leave me speechless. I am enchanted by small things and details, and fascinated by how the very large and the very small are so very similar. I love translucence and coloured glass and light in water and sparkly things. Perhaps I would have been a good magpie.
“How do you decide what to paint?” That question fascinates me. I paint ‘intuitively,’ meaning that when I begin a work, I don’t have a set idea of what I am going to produce; I start painting and see what happens, making choices as the work develops. (I used to say, “I don’t really know what I’m doing, I just begin to paint and trust it will work out somehow,” but I think “painting intuitively” sounds better!)
This first painting is an example of what I’ve ended up with using this process. I certainly didn’t have an image of this in my mind when I began to paint . . . so where did it come from? It looks a bit to me like an aerial view of land masses, oceans and clouds, but others might see something completely different. My best guess is that everything I’ve ever taken in visually is stored somewhere in my brain and when I make art, bits and pieces come out, mixed together in a new form.
‘Map of the Heart’, 24 x 36 inches, Acrylic on TerraSkin
Then last summer, I was introduced to photographs of thin sections of rocks, as seen through a polarized-light microscope. I was astounded by the variety of colours, shapes, and textures and immediately thought, “These look like abstract art!” So I decided to try going back to the way I used to paint, except instead of working from a photo of a landscape, I took my inspiration from these images of rocks. Doing so has introduced some new shapes and colours into my work, but the process of working from a reference photo rather than simply my imagination feels quite strange—I can almost sense different parts of my brain firing!
‘The Secret Lives of Rocks 1’, 18 x 24 inches, Acrylic on TerraSkin
Kathryn in her studio