Kate Osmond

Put Paint on Canvas

My drawing teacher in college was rather eccentric and spent a large part of every class spouting advice to his students.  About half of that advice was about art and the rest concerned our life choices as budding adults. Often our ears would be bleeding whilst we struggled to focus on and translate the perfect curve of our inner nostrils during portraiture. In retrospect, I think he enjoyed watching the confusion on our faces as we tried to digest his seemingly sage-like, nonsensical words of wisdom. Not much of what I learned in college has been retained even these 10 years later. One lesson, however, I recall everyday and owe to that strange teacher; he told us to “put mark on paper.” By these four words, he simply meant for us to work, whether we wanted or not. We were pushed to be productive no matter what may try to forestall us: lack of inspiration, stress, tiredness, lack of direction, lack of confidence. . .  The list of distractions could go on forever. His point, if I may presume to expand upon it, is that we have a certain amount of time to do the things we really want to do and an endless queue of things we could be doing instead. 

I do something creative every day. I put brush to canvas, pencil to paper, or torch to metal when I’m feeling good about my direction or when I’m completely lost. It’s easy when I’m feeling inspired and downright painful when I’m not motivated. When I’m done, I’m either further along on my work or I’m dead-sure that my path lies in the opposite direction of what I just completed. Working every day makes failure easier to accept and overcome, and it helps keep me connected to my work and confident about my abilities. There is nothing more intimidating to an artist than a set of tools that have gathered dust from neglect. 

Have I made mistakes with this philosophy? So many! Have I ruined paintings? Not sure. I’ve certainly become familiar with the words “artwork in crisis.” For me, the process is the best part of the excursion and the finished piece is the product, the legacy if you will, of the effort. My best advice for myself and for anyone at all is to make a mark, everyday.          -Kate Osmond

Progression photos of Kate Osmond's work

Studio Tour with AIR Kate Osmond

 

Left to right:  Ariel views of her work; different bodies of work.

    

Below left to right:  Finished work; Kate's studio
     

Bottom left to right:  works in progress; close up of Osmond's Waterfront work
    

 

An Interview with Kate Osmond

What are the primary materials that you use?  

For painting I typically do large-scale paintings on canvas and I have been starting to incorporate the use of 24 karat gold leaf. For my sculpture works I use copper and steel welding and brazing. I have to work from home for my sculptural work because it is a fire hazard here. 

What work of art do you most wish you’d made?

The work I most wish I had made is probably Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World because of his use of perspective. The viewer is both looking down on this woman and is also directly next to her. The feeling of isolation the woman brings fascinates me.

When you work, do you love the process or the result?

The process. I am only concerned about the process. And, I never know when a work is finished! 

What is your ideal creative activity?

That would probably be climbing around construction sites.

Which artists do you most admire?

J.M.W. Turner and Andrew Wyeth are two of my favorite painters.

What is your creative ambition?

A creative ambition of mine…. Well, I would love to one day create a giant free children’s museum.

What are your habits? What patterns do you repeat?

I travel a lot with my family. I guess that’s a pattern! There is also a lot of pattern repetition in my sculptural work.

 

This is part of an ongoing monthly series featuring a Maryland Hall Artist-in-Residence (AIR).
Check Maryland Hall's website every week for a new post. Each month we will feature a different AIR. 
Click here to visit the Maryland Hall AIR page.
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