Artist Kat Silver

Inspirations, ideas & a life of an artist

Archive for the category “Projects”

Online Art Auction : Fundraiser! Starts tomorrow!

Life is exciting and also frightening at times.  My life has been quite the adventure in the last year, I have moved three times, once from Philly to Baltimore, then Baltimore we were evicted and needed somewhere to go, so we came to Indianapolis to stay with family, who then put us out on the street, so we were homeless (and pregnant) floating around for a few months, until we finally moved in to our current apt in Carmel, IN, a nice safe town to have our baby and hopefully a more stable life.

Our first child is expected to arrive any day now, her due date is Sept 20th, only few weeks away and we still are not where we need to be financially.  We don’t have the funds we need to buy some of the most basic things to prepare for her arrival, such as crib, car seat, etc.  Since we moved out to the Midwest away from everyone we know (except for my hubby’s awful family) we don’t really know anyone to have a baby shower with.

SO…. I had this idea!  That I would do “Lil Wynter Fundraiser” an online art auction

Basically I am auctioning off some of my artwork online (facebook event page- link below), I have posted images of the art with details about size and medium.

Under each picture one can leave comment- in comment section is where you place your bid.  The auction officially starts tomorrow (Monday) but some people have already been laying their claim on the ones they want.  It will run for 3 days, ending at 5pm on Wed.  Whoever has the highest bid- WINS!! Payments will be taken via paypal, (Just like Ebay) and I will mail you your new artwork!

If you don’t want to bid on artwork, but would still like to help… we are also accepting donations, of any amount.  I greatly appreciate your support, maybe I’ll see you at the auction!


Upcoming event: Art Opening this Thursday Jan 5th

Solo exhibit of all my most recent mixed media collages. Some of the work is brand NEW, first time ever to be seen in public!

 Contemporary, emotive art that explores nature & the complex universal human experience. To see more of my work, visit:
WHEN: Thursday Jan 5th from 7pm till 9pm

WHERE:  Dougherty’s Pub  in Mt.Vernon, Baltimore- located at 223 W. Chase st.  (Right next store to Utrect Art supplies store,  across street from RiteAid.

For more info:

“Fun-a-Day” in Baltimore! A Great way to start your New Year on creative note!!!

I am excited to be a part of small group of people organizing the first ever “Fun-a-Day” here in Baltimore , although “Fun-a-day” has  been around for a number of years, this year marks the 8th annual started by the artclash-  it has spread to other states and other cities! This the 8th   year now!

Other locations include:

Albuquerque, opening Feb. 10th @ The Tan Gallery
Dundee, Scotland
Oakland, Feb. @ Rock Paper Scissors, opening night Feb. 3
Pendleton, OR @ The Pendleton Center for the Arts
Philadelphia, Feb. 10th and 11th @ Studio 34
Portland, OR, Feb. 11th @ St. David of Wales
Portland, ME
San Diego
San Francisco
Santa Cruz, CA, opening Feb. 3 @ Caffe Pergolesi
Tucson, Feb. 8-19 @ Silver Streak Gallery
West Dean, West Sussex, England
Wilmington, DE

But its the first year the Baltimore will have it’s very own “Fun-a-day” art show!
Here’s how you can be a part of it”

1. help spread the word, tell all your friends, anyone who is creative, doesn’t have to be an artist,  writers, musicians, crafters, are all welcomed!

2. join up!  decide what you want to make, (there’s only a week or so before the beginning of the new year) start getting prepared, stock up on supplies or whatever, most importantly- decide- what do you want to make?

3. Jan 1st comes– day 1- time to start being creative, make your first piece, and make the commitment, one per day for whole month! you can do it!!! It’s a great way to start the new year!

Here’s the link to the fb page that will keep you up to date on whereabouts of drop off and the group exhibit in Feb:

ALSO for more info:

Keep check back for updates on the where and when of the group exhibit in Feb! Spaces for the exhibit are being explored!

Diving deep : how art taps into the unconscious

As some of you who may know of Artist Kat Johnston, her background is in Art Therapy.   To learn more about this check out website:

I have my masters from Drexel and have been practicing as a certified registered ATR (Art Therapist) for over a few years now. My interest has always been in the way in which art since it is the language of the soul, a universal language, can tap into the deep unconscious material. I have also always been intrigued with C.G.Jung’s work on the collective unconscious. Archetypes and just in general our innate, inborn universal ideas that there is no explaining how infants know/ understand things that they were never told to.  They exist pre- language.

Recently I was involved with an online class called Contemplative Collage, this course evoked in me some deep seeded themes and issues I thought were already “laid to rest”.  In the first collage (which was a homework assignment) I made -involved turtles and women who were “stuck” and very much repressed emotionally.  I think turtles have a lot of symbolism to them. I decided to look up what they meant. Much like with the rabbits as power animals having a message for me, I wanted to see what turtles might have to say that could be helpful during this particular stage of my life.

Turtle as power animal -this is what I found,  “People often say they have no time to do what they want. All we possess in the world is time! If we didn’t have time, we would be dead. Turtle also represents security, solid grounding, and support. Slow, steady, strong, wise with age, protective, and unshakeable, Turtle appears the very model of settled, universal order.
Turtle carries his house on his back, and when feeling threatened can hide to protect himself – this shows us about protecting ourselves. Just like the turtle, there are times when we need to put a protective shield around us to ward off negative emotions and forces such as anger, jealousy and thoughtless actions of others. We need to learn to protect ourselves – in a non violent way – not only when we feel threatened by the outside world, but also in order to contemplate, to decide what our next move will be. On the flip side, this is also a reminder of the importance of going within.” (

"The Dive"

In response to this collage I decided to do a second, this one literally had a person diving.  Which instantly reminded me of diving into the unconscious.  How weather we like it or not, art/ imagery reveals what’s beneath the surface.  That is why art is so moving because it connects our individual experiences weather they are positive or negative to the universal human experience.  We feel moved by art when we feel that we can relate to what the artist is portraying.  We have that “me too” sort of feeling. In this collage “The Dive” there is a lot more movement and action happening then the previous one of the women in bed (shown above). The diagram of the water /land is showing the cycle of water and minerals as they are evaporated into the air from the water and then reenter the earth. To me this is showing the constant motion and flux of life and the important message of non-attachment and impermanence.  There is also a lot more color in this collage.  In Art Therapy color often symbolizes feeling, so lack of color is indicator of denial or repression.  As human beings we are blessed or cursed with the ability of self-reflection and being self-aware.

I say it is a blessing and a curse because sometimes I think all of our reflection and intellectualizing what this means or how it fits together with these other events that happened in our lives, can sometimes be distracting and unnecessary.  Living too much in the past is a hindrance on being able to move forward and be fully invested in the present moment.  The present moment is all we have, it creates what we experience as our day to day life which adds up to be our future.  Ironically as I was making the first collage which is very much rooted in the past and has a lot of “stuck” energy, the song that was playing on the radio was one that had to do with “seizing the day” and letting go of outcome, “K-Ciera Ciera whatever will be will be, the futures not ours to see..”  This is something I need to be reminded of because I often get caught up in trying to plan or control outcome of my future and miss out on the juicy moments of RIGHT now!

Lastly I wanted to share the most recent mixed media collage I have been working on, which I am not quite sure is finished yet,but its almost there. This one is completely underwater  and very large (40″ by 40″) and I love that it is so BIG because it really draws you in and makes you feel as if you are on a dive.  Fish swimming around you and fully and completely emerged and aware of the present moment.  When someone is scuba diving they are fully in the moment, they arent thinking about the past or what they have to do later that week.  They are in awe of the beauty and underwater world that they are suddenly a part of.  It is breathless and engaging and that is my goal for everyday – to be fully emerged in my present moment, to follow my bliss and get the most out of each day.

Exploring on foot is always more FUN!

Art by Kat

Kat Johnston, an artist from Philly, recently moved to Baltimore in Sept, although its been a few months I am still very much a newbie here.  Still learning my way around, I often get lost while driving and my poor sense of direction does not help me at all.  So, yesterday I decided to go for a walk, exploring this new city of Baltimore by foot. Exploring on foot is always MORE FUN!!   You end up noticing and experiencing so much more details when you walk verses driving.  I was able to enjoy and take photos of various spots along the way to my destination which was the Inner Harbor Barnes and Noble bookstore.

We live in Mt.Vernon so to get to the Inner Harbor, it was suggested by my guide and companion that I walked up St. Paul.  I always listen to him because he is very wise (part Native American) and he is almost always right about a lot of things (kind of scarey sometimes).  So, walking up St. Paul, the first spot I enjoyed, I had been to once before but it was at night so this time I was able to see it better and take photos of it. I still am not sure what it is called but it’s a little park sandwiched in between streets and buildings, when driving if you blink you’ll miss it.   They have two fountains with really cool twisty stairs.  I absolutely love fountains, that was one of the first things I fell in love with about Philadelphia.  I was so pleasantly surprised to see Baltimore has their fair share as well.

After the little park, next I saw one of my favorite graffiti art or mural building art whatever it is categorized as- also something that Baltimore has a fair share of! I just wish I knew who the artist was.  There are many more I love around the city, this one though is right in the plain view and in a popular part of downtown- near the Inner Harbor.  I love the colors and how playful it is.  Not even sure if the building it is painted on is currently in use.  I’ll use it!!! I’ll take it!!

Finally I reached the Inner Harbor, the light was hitting the water just perfectly so I barely got more then a few feet before having to stop to take pictures.  First thing I had to capture with the camera was the dancing light and reflections on the side of one of the ships parked in the Harbor.  The colors were just to die for! I must have taken 10 pics of the same thing, just crossing my fingers that one or two of them did justice to the beauty I saw before me.  The subtle colors and playful way the light danced was magical!

After the ship I stopped to photograph what appeared to be man-made platforms for the ducks to rest on.  I enjoyed how deep/dark the water looked and then how abruptly the smooth silky water was interrupted with these square course earth-like “islands” or platforms.  The contrast was fabulous, again I hoped my camera would be able to illustrate what I saw in front of me.   I took several shots of this too, experimenting with zooming in /out and including and excluding elements from the shot.  I did study photography in college although it is not my primary medium , I use photography in my inspiration process.  And at times use my own images in my collages, as photo transfers (such as “Into the Light”).  After making it through the Inner Harbor and not taking any more photos, I arrived at my destination- Barnes & Noble.  The thing I love most about this particular Barnes and Noble is that the building it is in was a Factory, and they left a lot of the structure inside in tack- very cool.  Next time I am there I will do a whole photo shoot of the inside.  I enjoyed sitting on the outdoor balcony on the second floor- right next to the starbucks inside.  It was the perfect end to a perfectly wonderful exploration on foot.

Some small work but BIG ideas

Recently I , Kat Johnston, mixed media collage artist living and working in Baltimore,   have been working more on a small scale.  Typically my paintings and mixed media work ranges between 40″ by 40″ (being the largest I have ever worked- excluding wall paintings and murals) Originally it was spurred on by two juried shows I was making work for  one in Annapolis for Maryland Federation of Art (MFA) and the other show in

"Genetic Expression" 6" by 6"

Philadelphia at Off the Wall gallery , both were small work themed.  I completed and submitted first small work “Degeneration”measuring 8″ by 10″ which was accepted into the MFA exhibit that is opening in first week of Dec.  Then I worked on even smaller pieces for the Philadelphia juried show at Off the Wall that maximum

"Logic & Theorems" 6" by 6"

inches were set at 6″.  So scaled down just a bit more.  I completed and submitted 4 pieces (Genetic Expression, Logic & Theorems, Lasting Impressions and Uprooted)  for the exhibit “Intimate Worlds” at Off the Wall gallery which also opens in Dec.  These new works explore  the universal human connection by looking at the physical form, our bodies and DNA.  That despite all us humans coming from the same origin and beginnings, how drastically separate and isolated we feel.


"Lasting Impressions" 6" by 6"

Another theme explored in this

work is that we put on a persona to play a role in the world but behind all the “dressing up”, lights and cameras we are just flesh, blood and raw emotions.  This was shown in the use of the paperdoll images, with blank empty

"Uprooted" 4" by 6"


I found I really enjoyed working small, challenging to see how much I could have going on and the stories I could tell.  Even after completing the work I intended to submit to these two art exhibits, I find I am still preferring this smaller scale way of working, there is something very intimate and detailed orientated about it.  Every little mark carries such heavy weight and significance because of how small the space is that you are working with.  I decided to making even smaller and smaller pieces, not for any

"Run away" - from MINI art series

show, just for the fun and challenge of it.  I made several mixed media collages mounted on

Series of even smaller work, I call "MINI Art"

book board measuring as small as 2   1/2″ by 2   1/2″. I found these to be very fun and I currently have them hanging up around my Art studio space.


To see more of my mixed media collage work and to find out where and when my upcoming exhibits are happening, visit my website at
Also I can be found on

Collaborations , Exchanges, and other cool stuff I’ve been up to

Recently I,  Kat Johnston,  have been seeking out and interested in art exchanges and mail art opportunities.  There’s a lot out there once you start looking.  The way I connected with one fabulous collaborative mail art project was via facebook.  I belong to a facebook group called “Les Collagistes”,  a closed group that I was invited to by another collage artist. Although the group is private you can add my Artist page on facebook,

to see some of these projects I am talking about.  Since joining this group I connected and be-befriended over 50 collage artists from all over the country and all over the WORLD!

playing cards in progress

Through these new connections , I connected with Terry R. Flowers who lives in CA.  He posted on

Work in Progress: Altered playing Card collaboration

facebook that he is doing an altered playing card project, mailing out cards that he then collaborated with another artist on.  I responded to his post that I was interested in participating and before I knew it I received my 9 cards in the mail! I started working on them right away. It was very fun and exciting to get mail that wasn’t a bill!

The challenge was not only collaborating with another artist, working/ adding to their images but also the size restriction- playing card only measured 2  1/2 ‘ by 3  1/2 “.  I have not done very many collaborations before –  I plan to do many more since I had so much fun with this one!

another card I worked on

one of the cards- in progress

The best part is,  I am looking forward to see what Terry adds to the cards as I will be mailing them back to him for him to finish.  He will then take pictures of the final finished work and send

altered trading card- in progress

them to me.  It is very exciting to be a part of this Altered Playing Card project.

Terry shared with me that his colleague and artist friend, Liz Cohn, has a very LARGE collection of the altered trading card collaborative art and a website . Liz launched this idea in June 2010 and now has over 1000 cards created by over 150 artists from all over the country and all over the WORLD!  To join in the fun, sign up on Liz’s website! She is going to be exhibiting the card collection at a gallery in Portland , OR called 12 x 16 gallery in May of 2012.

Also another opportunity I learned of thanks to networking within “Les Collagistes” group was the link for another international mail art exchange, but this one is making art books.  AND YET ANOTHER website I was introduced to by another facebook friend was Swap-bot is a online service that organizes group swaps and a community of creative individuals.  Mail art exchanges and much much more!

Another recent ART adventure I embarked on was more local: a 6″ x 6″ art exchange at my neighborhood art supply/ framing store

The Plaza -Mt. Vernon

(literally down the street from where I live) called PLAZA art supplies in Mt. Vernon.  I saw a flyer for this art exchange during my visit to School 33 last weekend on the Open Studio tours.  The flyer did not indicate where the exchange was except to say “the Plaza”. After googling it, I was delighted to discover this place to be within walking distance from where I live!

6" x6" art exchange wall

I took a short walk to go see what it was all about.  After visiting the art store and talking with the friendly staff I decided to

participate in the program.  So the deal is – you bring in 2 of your artwork in exchange of 1 of your choice of someone else’s.

Inspired by this exciting new opportunity I came home and started working on putting together some 6″ x 6″ art I could bring in for the art exchange.  It was hard deciding which work to part with, every time I thought I had it, I changed my mind again.

"Fancy Toes"(left) & "Dark Ideas" (right)

Finally I decided on 2 pieces, both mixed media collage of course (see left), and both were pages from an altered book I had made, then I added and worked some more on them to

"Dark Ideas"

develop each as a stand alone art piece. More of my mixed media collages can be seen at my website : and also I post high resolution pics of my work to that prints are available for purchase.  When completed

back of the 2 pieces

I cut and mounted them to book board, added way to hang them up and a photo transfer of my business card on back so the new owner could look me if they wanted. I know I always want to know the artist of the work whenever I collect or buy art.

Upon arriving at the art store, I told them what I was there for- to participate in the 6 x6 art exchange.  There was paperwork to fill out, with my name, email address and title of the art work

In store, filling out adoption papers

which I then attached to the back and gave my two pieces to the art store staff.  I was thinking in my head ” I hope they go to a good home” for me whatever I sell my work it always feels like my art is finding a new family.  I always feel good about my creations getting new home so that they can be seen and enjoyed by others.

The art piece I traded my “babies” in for were, was the piece that caught my eye during my first visit to Plaza.  It was created by a gentleman that works at the Plaza  named Ben Larson.  I was told to check out his art at: Make believe artist-

"Eat Pussy"by Ben Larson  – The title of the piece is “Eat Pussy” but Ben says at work (the Plaza)  it goes by “Untitled”.

If you are curious about who I am, Kat Johnston,  or what type of art I create,  check out my website:

Day 2: Open Studio Tour -part 2

Open Studio Tour Day  2 – part 2:

Since moving to Baltimore only recently. I was very excited for this opportunity to see the art scene by attending the Open Studio Tour.  Day 2,  after finishing meeting the artists at Copy Cat Building and Cork Factory, I headed over to the place that was next on the top of my list – School 33 Art Center,not only had  I heard lots of good stuff about them but they were also the ones hosting /organizing this Open Studio event. It would not have seemed right to not make it over there.

Matthew Freel with his work

I met first artist with open studio on 1st floor , Matthew Freel, an amazing painter. Matthew was working on not only amazing works on canvas but also putting together book of his drawings since as he was explaining “the pieces I create work together, have conversations with each other”.  He explained that the drawings he does are not simply “studies” for his paintings , he views them as equal, separate works in and of themselves. All his work looks as he put it “having a conversation” , existing as a whole.  One of my favorite pieces was the one

Work of Matthew Freel

about the World Champion Boxer, Jack Johnson. See and read more

about this topic at

Next I went to the second floor for not only the enjoyment of the open studio but also the fabulous installation exhibit that is currently on display there (quite

"Point of Contention" installation

literally the 2nd FLOOR).   I did have the pleasure of meeting the artist who did the installation work called “Points of Contention” , Jonathan Latiano, who just happened to be there also enjoying Open studio Tour event.  Jonathan is a grad student at MICA, discussed that he started as a painter and during his time living in NYC was inspired and influenced to take his art in a different direction.  And what an amazingly wonderful direction it is!! I can’t wait to see more of his work. To see more images of “Point of Contention” check out his website :

On the second floor was the studio of Jowita Wyszomirska & Chad Tyler , they shared that they

Jowita Wyszomirska in action

recently moved into this larger studio space and Jowita was working on making art on the walls as people toured her studio.  She had some 3D houses and a painting on display in her studio in addition to the work she was working on the walls.

Jowita 's work

I enjoyed her use of very intricate lines & layers that create atmospheric and organic feel in her work.VERY COOL stuff. Definitely one of my favorites out of the artists I had the pleasure of meeting this weekend.  I found one site that talks a little more about her :

Chad & Jowita's Studio space

Also in the studio was Chad Tyler who is a designer and an artist, he had photos of his

Chad Tyler's work

environmental installation piece of a Rhino in the woods.  I found an interview that explores more on this project:

Chad Tyler's scale model

Following School 33, we ventured to Jones Valley area to a place called  The Mill Centre– a 19th century Textile Mill converted into artist studio spaces.  The first studio here we visited was Studio 215 that of Katharine Brieger , mixed media abstract artist, two of her

Katharine Brieger and her work

works that I liked were made with earthy materials, sand, gravel, tar and cement. She shared with me that she made those pieces about 10 yrs ago, her more recent work is with layer paper and paint, “not as heavy and involved” she laughed.  Katharine was kind and warm, when I introduced myself as Kat she asked if that was short for Kathryn ? I said yes it was,it tickled her that we were both “Katharines” although I spell mine as Kathryn -go by “Kat” she said she goes by “Katie”.  She shared with us her experiences as an athlete , training and running marathons at the age of 53, also as a woman a lot of the men were more competitive with her, “they did not want to come in behind an old lady” she laughed.

In hallway at Mill Centre (unknown artist)

I visited several other studios in Mill Centre, that of Charlene Clark, an oil painter who had an impressively bright colored studio full of her amazing work, but she was not comfortable with me taking any photos of her space.   She gave me some helpful hints about art studio spaces and places to check out – as I am new to the Baltimore area.

Also had the pleasure of meeting and talking to a very talented photographer , Dottie Campbell,  who shared how thrilled she is now that technology has finally caught up to her creative vision.  She discussed that she has always wanted to be able to print large photographs,  now she can actualize her vision of how her images should be displayed, “just not the same when they are printed smaller”, this larger format is much more fulfilling for her. She captures reflections and “paints” abstractly with her photography, focusing in on shapes, color, light in such a way that it draws you in to look closer to really figure out what it is that you are seeing-  I don’t have any pictures of her studio either b/c she also was uncomfortable with idea of me photographing her space/work. You can visit her website :

We did visit one more location, called the Butcher Hill Art Studios Building, home to MaxineTaylor’s mixed media work and some amazing wooden bowl work by Mark Supik.  and several other artisans and artists. However by that time (similar to day 1 of Open Studio Tours) my phone had died -where my camera is so unfortunately I could not take pictures.

I, Kat Johnston,  thoroughly enjoyed meeting and seeing all of these creative people and places, Thanks to all the artists and to School 33 for organizing this event that I enjoyed so much! It was very fun and useful to me since I only recently moved here, gave me the opportunity to see and experience the art scene here in Baltimore! Wonderful scene that it is! To see a collection of the mixed media collage work that I create please visit my website

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