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Kate Owen is an abstract artist who lives and works in northern New South Wales. The self-proclaimed perfectionist finds balance and satisfaction in abstract art and expression. “Painting gives me freedom from daily routines and expectations, allowing me to express myself through colour and liberate the jumble of constant ideas clamouring for attention in my mind. Abstraction is a form of rebelling against my perfectionist nature.”
Kate’s art is inspired by nature and her physical surroundings in countryside New South Wales. “The work I create comes through my subconscious from a love of the unique space around me, and the desire to share this. It’s important to me that the work lifts and heightens people’s mood and experience of the world around them,” she said. “I don’t paint ‘from’ anything choosing instead to interpret the impressions of my visual memories so that the work gives an overall sense of something I’ve seen rather than an accurate representation of it. It’s the organic nature of the shapes found in plants that I feel compelled to make. Plants also provide a perfect combination of varying colour and line in an unpredictable and surprising way.”
Colour is a dominant element in Kate’s art and her vibrant colour schemes talk of energy, positivity and joy. Her particular fascination with pink reflects the positive emotions it gives her during the creative process and then in turn, conveys to the viewer. For Kate, different shades of pink represent different emotions; playfulness, happiness, love, inner peace and contentment while adding dark greens and indigo introduces strength and sophistication. “Sometimes featuring pink by only having one little pop of it is all the work needs or perhaps all I need.”
The creative process is an all-involving experience for Kate. She works on large canvasses from easel to floor enjoying the physicality of making art on large scale. “I frequently work on the floor because it gives me a different perspective looking down on it. It makes it easy to walk around the work and view it from all angles as well as work on it from a different side. I alternate between the floor and the easel. If I want to add fluid paint that I don’t want to drip I transfer it back to the floor and apply it there.”
Moving from one art work to another is a natural and seamless flow for Kate. She often works on more than one painting at a time and similar colours and ideas move from one painting to another effortlessly. Inevitably the next work will succumb to some new ideas thus creating a flow from on to the next revealing the journey of exploration.
In Kate’s mind, art and interior design is a match made in heaven. “I think [art] helps to give our personality a real identity that is reflected in where we live, ultimately making us happy and comfortable to be who we are in that space,” she described. “To be able to surround yourself with artwork that you’ve chosen because you connected with it in some way or just plain love it, is a privilege. Every time your eye wanders over it you get a little jolt of the initial reaction, which is wonderful. It can help take our mind away from other more stressful thoughts and emotions.”
“I find joy in the process of creating an artwork and the unpredictable path that leads to its completion. I respond to it with my own emotions during the process. Passing this on for others to enjoy and forge their own relationship with the piece, is a great validation for what I create,” Kate said. The ability to add positivity and joy to someone’s every day is the blessing.