Artist Kat Silver

Inspirations, ideas & a life of an artist http://artistkatsilver.wix.com/artistkatsilver

Archive for the category “Reflects”

My Artist Spotlight on Ugallery

I recently joined this excellent art community UGallery and they did a write on me, here is what they had to say and it was so well written I just had to share:

http://blog.ugallery.com/post/141983510554/new-ugallery-artist-kat-silver

New UGallery Artist: Kat Silver

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Which Road to Choose

Although Kat Silver’s surrealist, Dali-esque landscapes often feature figures with missing limbs and exposed human hearts, they are not ominous. On the contrary, they project something whimsical and enticing within their dream-like plots.

They expose the inner conflicts in Kat’s life, which are revealed through the imagery of her dreams and the symbolism encountered in her daily life. These conflicts are universal, demonstrating an obsession with time, choice, and fate. Which path should I choose? When should I pause and reconsider my direction?

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Be Still My Heart

The figures are headless because they are not mentally present. Dragged down by the mundane aspects of everyday life that distract us, they are missing the magnificent view in front of them. The image of the rabbit has become an important symbol and signature in Kat’s work. For her, the rabbit represents power and taking control of one’s life. The sweet, confident groups of rabbits surround the lost, faceless characters in her paintings. We may not know where we are going, but we have guides along the way if we look for them.

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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.   https://www.facebook.com/events/233432330112926/

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!

First Indianapolis Art exhibit; Joyfully enjoyed!

This past First Friday, July 6th, marked my very first art opening since moving to Indianapolis about 6 months ago.

We spontaneously moved, sadly leaving Baltimore and my very many new friends behind, to start a new chapter in our lives.  After finding out we were going to have our first child, we decided we wanted to be closer to some family.  We packed up our Volvo wagon and arrived 12 hours later.  6 months later now I am finally getting back into the swing of my career as an artist.

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Joyful Noise Recordings hosted this solo exhibit of my mixed media collage work.  Some new work, including one that has photo transfers of my ultrasound that I had done a few months back “Birds & the Bees”, was on display for the first time.  The opening was popping! Many people stopped in and I received positive feedback on my work. 

I am absolutely loving the Murphy Arts Center located in the very hip Fountain Square area of Indianapolis.  1043 Virginia Ave.  There were lots of art openings, music and audio-visual art events all happening right in the same building, a collection of art studios & galleries.  I hope to be able to do more shows there! Lots of great energy and people! To see some pics from the opening : facebook.com/artistkatjohnston

 

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:http://katjohnston.yolasite.com

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.” (http://www.shamanicjourney.com/article/5986/turtle-power-animal-symbol-of-mother-earth-fertility-protection-support-security)

"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.

“Intersections & Moments” paintings by Tahira Christian and Heather Day in Fells Point

Art exhibit at PAD in Fells Point

Kat Johnston here- reporting in on my very first First Friday experience in Baltimore.  I spent it in good company at the art opening celebrating the paintings of Heather Day & Tahira Christian on exhibit at PAD gallery in Fells Point.  I was impressed with the warm, welcoming space of this modern furniture store, PAD, and the spread of delicious appetizers and real wine glasses to enjoy the drinks provided.  PAD is located at 1500 Thames Street, in the heart of Fells Point.  Everyone was very friendly, I was greeted at the door and welcomed to partake.  The paintings were primarily abstract, wonderful use of textures and colors.  Set the mood and really drew me in to get a closer look.

Tahira Chrisian (Top), Heather Day (Bottom)

Exhibit called “Intersections & Moments”, these two artists work complimented each other’s style and color pallet.  Their paintings worked very well together. Almost to the point of having a hard time telling who’s was who’s. But not really.:)

Work of Heather Day

Heather Day is in her 4th year at MICA and works at PAD.  She is the matermind behind

organizing and putting on these fabulous art exhibits here. Heather is abstract painter but uses more then just canvas and paint.  One of my favorites I asked her about was made entirely of paper.  She explained that she was making and experimenting with paper for a while,  dipping the paper in variety of solutions,( rust, polyurethane, etc) to make it

firm then forming, shaping and stretching it. Heather discussed that the paper changes in form becoming sculptural in nature

Heather Day & Tahire Christian with their work

as it moves away from the wall/canvas form.  I also enjoyed Heather’s mixed media drawings, where she uses sowing in her pieces and different types of papers. She also had handmade books for sale.  To learn more about Heather Day,  check out her blog at http://heatherdayart.blogspot.com/

Tahira Christian's work (also w/ Books & drawing for sale by Heather Day on table)

Tahira was born and raised in New York City and currently also attending MICA, double major in painting and Art History.  I really enjoyed her abstract paintings, her colors and shapes were very provocative,as well as her more representational piece that was a portrait of 2 people (shown left). I loved all of the work at this exhibit!

It was exciting to see such amazing work from both these two upcoming Baltimore artists, who are not EVEN yet finished with their educations, yet already showing so SO much talent!  I am sure without a doubt we can expect great things from Heather Day and Tahira Christian.  I know I am a fan and plan to watch their blogs and websites as they continue to exhibit around Baltimore area.  Please make the trip to PAD Furniture and gallery at 1500 Thames St in Fells Point, to see these fabulous painting for yourself! You will not be disappointed!

If you are curious about the type of art that I do, or would like to learn more about me, Kat Johnston, please check out my website http:katjohnston.yolasite.com.   While you are in Fells Point , up the street at The Daily Grind 1720 Thames St  – on exhibit is my work but only until this upcoming Monday Nov 7th,  So hurry down!

The “Mothership Connection” exhibit at the Sub Basement Artists Studios

Last night I , Kat Johnston, attended the closing of the exhibit “Mothership Connection” in the very cool subterranean art space, Sub Basement Artists Studios Gallery.  Quite literally in the sub- basement of a building on Howard st, upon arriving I had to be buzzed in and then ride two separate elevators to get to the gallery.  “Mothership Connection” was an exhibit of works of Lauren Boilini and Bobby English, Jr about the idea of creation and destruction .

The exhibit was fitting for this underground art gallery, since it included sculpture and installation pieces having to do with Mother Earth, actual soil and piles of wood on the floor.  The way the space was laid out and the exhibit displayed

Installation & scupltures of Bobby English, Jr.

really made you feel removed from the life /world happening above.  Artist and recent grad from MICA, Bobby English, Jr., was a drawing major at MICA however now his work has emerged and expanded into a variety of media.  Bobby was the creator of the sculptures, drawings, paintings , installation work and did some performance art last night.  Bobby spoke about his work being his drive to

drawings of Bobby English, Jr.

connect with his ancestry and that his work emerges from a deeper place, beyond his conscious mind.  He did two performance pieces, one where he sat with a iron head piece that he designed in front of a painting by artist Lauren Boilini and his second performance where he crouched within the wood pile installation -covered in nothing but ash.

Performance piece by Bobby English, Jr.

Second performace art

Work of Lauren Boilini

Lauren Boilini was the artist of the large mural sized paintings.  She spoke about how her recent experiences being witness to the beauty

Work of Lauren Boilini

and destruction of Bull Fights had influenced her work, taken her paintings in a different direction.   She refelected that in the Bull fight -there was always death in the end but the struggle and the dance was beautiful and captivating.  Her paintings had a lot of movement and energy to them, the longer you looked the more you could see.  Lauren called her work “indulgent” because of the color saturation, color choices and content.  She just started an artist-in-residence at School 33 Art Center. she shared that she has two directions in mind for her future work- that of end of the world, 2012 themed work and the other being Hedonism and  indulgence.  I

Work of Lauren Boilini

commented that those two could be related because when being faced with death, end of the world, most people want to indulge and live to the fullest before its all over.

Another one of my  favorite parts of the exhibit is the large wall painting collaboration that both artists enjoyed despite the challenge.  In light of my recent collaborating , I was intrigued and interested in seeing how these two artists overcame their individual ideas and “egos” as they put it, to come up with a  finished product that looked whole /complete.  Lauren commented that she found she was very aware of not wanting to “step on Bobby’s toes” and make him dislike her. The artists had not worked together or

Collaborative painting on wall

knew each other prior to doing this exhibit together.  The finished painting I feel was very successful and beautiful.  It is a shame that it too will be destroyed, (the theme of the show- destruction) as they will be painting over it at end of the exhibit – it is not going to be a permanent part of the gallery. Life is constantly flowing and changing, as human beings we are threatened by this idea of impermanence.   As Bobby reflected about his work, he described that death and decay are a necessary and beautiful part of life.  His favorite time of the year is the fall because of all the decay –  this decay brings about the necessary change -making room for new growth and life that comes after. 

Wonderful,unique art gallery space, I definitely recommend taking the time to find and explore whats beneath the surface- venturing underground to the Sub Basement Artist Studios.

For info on Sub Basement Artists Studios -you can find them on facebook at : https://www.facebook.com/subbasementartiststudios.  If you are curious about who I am, Kat Johnston,  or what type of art I create,  check out my website: http://katjohnston.yolasite.com

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 http://matthewfreel.com/jack.html

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 :http://www.jonathanlatiano.com/points-of-contention.html

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 : http://www.baltimorefishbowl.com/artist-program/

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:  http://www.baltimorefishbowl.com/stories/baltimore-rhino-makes-a-splash/

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 :http://dottiecampbell.com/

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 http://katjohnston.yolasite.com

Baltimore- a NEW CITY — so much to see!

I have not even scratched the surface of what there is to see and do in Baltimore.  Some of the stuff I get inspired by is not the impressive sculptures or the museums and tourist attractions, its the small, quiet details of life. Literally stopping to look up, to notice, to slow down.

The down town streets are usually busy with traffic, noise, people rushing to and from their lunch breaks and meetings, but on this particular afternoon I was memorized by the reflections and the beauty in the streets

The ominous sky driving by I saw these birds and has to snap a pic before the light changed, I loved the lines that the poles created and the way the was naturally framed.  Unfortunately all of these photos were taken on my phone so the quality is not that great, but its more for me to be able to capture a feeling, a mood of the moment.I often then use this moments to create artwork, collages by combining the moods to create atmosphere.

I live in an apartment building in the Mt. Vernon area not too far from Penn Station and MICA.  I like to take walks and take pictures of things that catch my eye.  Obviously the very modern designed MICA building, stood out to me and I couldn’t help but to stop my walk for a lil mini photo shoot session.

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