The Watercolor Story Series
Katie Gallery Studio Tour featuring the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Line
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Funori Watercolor Process
All of my watercolor paintings are mixed from pigment by hand, creating unique, one-of-a-kind hues. Pigments come from all over the world and are light-durable, synthetic, and non toxic whenever possible.
In addition to gum arabic, the age-old watercolor binder, the pieces heavily use funori, a Japanese seaweed. Often used in archival book binding, the funori is used to lift and carry dense pure pigments over the paper with a unique body and flow not often seen in traditional watercolor.
The paper is beautiful 100% cotton Coventry Rag Legion made, like the artist, in the early 1970s, and is uniquely able to take the process. It was created largely for Erte, and had a certain stability in the gold leaf he used in his work. How it handles the metallic pigments and the dense layers is why it is the preferred paper above all others for the process.
The Fibonacci series is often used in my work to create patterns with the beauty and nuance of the numbers. The I Ching, with its patterns of lines coming forever down, up, and rising through the random noise to give us insight into the nature of change, is another patterning influence.
The patterns are laid in using a latex white, and despite much experimentation, the best resist is still Jackson Pollack's favorite, house paint. I also mix it with silk painting resists. This causes a ghosting and patterning around the resist, which is really beautiful and works perfectly with the paper.
Hundreds of test strikes are made, testing the various aspects of the pigment and the paint's ability to adhere and blend. These small paintings litter the floor of the studio, and are the cards that so many Meatpacking and exhibition friends enjoy.
Live with beauty.
The newest works feature shimmery pigments that wink their light refraction like ghosts in the room.
While large sheets of Coventry Rag are prepared for the major paintings. Each batch of paint is made fresh for the batch of paintings to come. Colors are mixed in family groups together; blacks and blues, yellows and golds, browns and oranges...
Each piece is worked with 2 - 10 others of like colors and must dry fully between color cycles. This usually takes 3 - 4 days. I prefer to spread out over a large studio so the paintings won't be disturbed. During their dry, the paint evaporates and becomes the next layer of the final piece.
There is no right way to look at these beauties. Turn them around and upside down, I make them on a table that spins so the right way is your way. The mica pigments change depending on the angle and light you see them under.
So, let them get a little sun, live with them, love them. These aren't just paintings, they are life long friends.
Color. Dot. Line.
My work shifts in color and pattern combinations through the changing seasons.
A constant and ever-revolving relationship with the visiting public at the NYC store-front brings new direction to every piece. This discipline of vetting done by the Meatpacking crowd allows my art to end up in the perfect location for my favorite client's homes.
I focus on creating pieces that are harmonious with the client's heart so they are favorites for life.
Art in Place
My paintings lead glamorous lives. They overlook beautiful homes all over the world. I love that my creations go out to have such adventures. A beautiful home in London, a place by the sea in Melbourne. Perhaps another little vacation spot in St. Kitts. Living perfectly in Atherton. Graciously in the hall in Houston. Good luck little paintings!
My goal is to see all of them in the Whitney and other museums after they have been loved and treasured and part of families in homes who who love them. When you are finished loving them, sell them at auction and please, set the bar high.
Please send me photos of the paintings in your life that you love. I miss them and would love to see what beautiful things have become of them.