24 Oct 2010

MEET - Kate Kelleher

Here we have another MEET the artist interview 
I have mentioned this artists work before on this blog and Im sure some of you know her work well, but this time she has kindly answered loads of questions about her work and practice, I hope you enjoy.

Introducing Kate Kelleher of Bluesky butterfly studio
 Tell us a little about yourself
While I did go to art college, I studied photography so I took a less conventional route. I worked as a home wares buyer for a small independent shop, traveling far and wide. I bought in ‘themes’ and the shop was set up like a home. I found it hard sourcing art for the walls, so in the evenings I would pick up a paint brush and paint. We had a steady stream of interior designers, so they sold well. I left there to buy for Heals, then I had my son, so stayed at home to be with him. We had just bought a home that needed total renovation in every room, and many walls that needed a painting or two! While he slept I painted, small at first, and by the time my daughter arrived two years later, they were large! I have always been creative in some way, however I am self taught when it comes to painting and often dream of going back to college.

Descried your work 
I am inspired by nature, so I guess it mainly stems from there. My paintings are generally large, in fact the larger for me the better. I have started using acrylics as I need a faster drying medium, although I love  painting in oils too. Gold and silver leaf features heavily in my work, as a back ground and then distressed in some form or another, and then painted onto.

Talk a little about your practice 
I create on a daily basis, even if it is sitting down with the kids with a blank piece of paper, crayons and things we have collected from a walk . On a professional level, once the kids have been dropped at school/nursery, I have 3 mornings and one full day a week. This time I devote entirely to painting and try to shut my eyes to everything else that is going on in the house.
Describe where you create your work  
I have a wall in my kitchen, where there is a lot of light, so I hang what ever I am working on there, and a chair below it to put my paint and brushes. Since the incident where Matilda was covered from head to toe in blue oil paint, a long with the walls and floor! (She looked like a smurf!) the paints are now sowed away in a cupboard that only opens when there are no small hands about. 

Where do you get your inspiration?  
I have a tumblr page. If you are creative I would recommend getting one, although they are addictive, so be warned! I regularly store images that I like through out the day, swapping them with others. I like the fact you can look at your archive and feel inspired by something you have put there. I live 30 minutes from London so I like to go there sometimes for visual inspiration either to a museum or window shopping at Liberty’s, Anthropology, Attic all have fabulous visual displays that make me feel inspired, not that I use the ideas, I suppose, for me it is more of a feeling. Does that make sense?
How do you get past creative slumps?
I feel I just have to just get on and do it, if you have kids time is always limited! Some days I will achieve more than others. When I am finding it hard, I will try to do something small and build up to bigger pieces. I also try to clear away the kids breakfast and toys so when I come back from dropping them off, I can get into the right frame of mind and be focused as soon as I step through the door.  

How do you promote your work?  
 I am about to hold an open studio within my home. I have invited friends, who have shown an interest in my art. At this point it is a showcase and a chance to show my appreciation of their support. They are bringing one or two more friends, and to my husbands horror the guest list is getting out of control! We will see on the day, maybe only one or two will turn up?!! Also I am finding blogging and Facebook are great tools to let people see what you are doing and in building a community, which is to me very important.
Where do you sell/ show your work?  
So far I have been extremely lucky, the work I have sold has been word of mouth. It will be interesting to see what happens at the open studio. I hope to approach galleries next year.  

If you had all the money in the world what would you buy today to further your artistic ideas?
 If I had all the money in the world, I would open up a quality coffee shop with cakes as high as the ceiling and sandwiches with their crusts cut off! On the walls would be art, other artists as well as myself, and everything would be for sale, tables, sofas, chairs chandeliers. I would love to source the lot, I dream about it. Sometimes when I can’t sleep I go and sit on a table here, I know what it looks like already.
Any advise for us? 
I think you have to try to remain professional when showing your work, even to friends. It is easy to sell yourself short, but you have to remember you put time and effort into it, so don’t give it away for free! The rest I will let you know after the open studio, I am sure there are going to be a fair amount of lessons learnt.

Thanks so much Kate for letting us into your world, cant wait to hear how the open house goes.

I have more interviews lined up so watch this space over the coming months 


Thanks for stopping by xx