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Preview: Katherine Kean Fine Art

Katherine Kean Fine Art

Painting Nature in stillness and storms.

Updated: 2018-03-05T08:04:01.508-08:00


March 3 Grand Opening: New Location of Izen Miller Gallery


This weekend in Palm Desert, California 
Izen Miller Gallery in collaboration with D Gallery 
celebrates their Grand Opening.

The new location is 73111 El Paseo, Palm Desert, CA 

GRAND OPENING on March 3, 2018 5-8 PM

I'm pleased to have 6 paintings included.
Hope to see you there.

Artists' Panel Discussion for 'Four Million Angels'


DATE AND TIMESat, February 17, 20183:00 PM – 5:00 PM PSTAdd to CalendarLOCATIONAnnenberg Community Beach House415 Pacific Coast Hwy at Beach Coast WaySanta MonicaView MapPlease join us for a panel discussion featuring artists of Four Million Angels. This exhibition examines the people who fill the streets of Santa Monica on a sunny day. Whether they are visiting the Santa Monica Pier, the 3rd Street Promenade, Angels’ Attic, Bergamot Arts Center, a concert at McCabe’s Guitar Shop or Santa Monica State Beach, a diverse cross section of Angelenos will be in the crowd. Given the dramatic presence of the ocean, the four million people that live in the City of Los Angeles find Santa Monica to be one of our greatest magnets. The artists in this exhibit make work that reflects a passionate interest in the people of Los Angeles and speaks of our universal experiences. Four Million Angels investigates the City’s history, environment, lifestyle, psychological range, architecture, and geography. We hope to trigger a dialogue about the essence of our unique population and elicit a better understanding of who is beside us in line at Pacific Park.Featuring artworks by Mark Steven Greenfield, J. Michael Walker, Kathi Flood, Michael Massenburg, and Katherine Kean.Register here: Beach=Culture: Artists' Panel Discussion for 'Four Million Angels'The exhibition will be on view from January 18 through April 30, 2018.[...]

Four Million Angels


Width of a Wave   Katherine Keanoil on linen, tryptych   18 x 72 inchesI am pleased to be part of Four Million Angels at Santa Monica's Annenberg Community Beach House, featuring artworks by Mark Steven Greenfield, J. Michael Walker, Kathi Flood, Michael Massenburg, and me.Opening Reception: Thursday, January 25, 2018 at 6 PM - 8 PMAnnenberg Community Beach House415 Pacific Coast Hwy, Santa Monica, CA 90402Tickets are free but space is limited and reservations are required. Tickets are  available at Eventbrite.This exhibition examines the people who fill the streets of Santa Monica on a sunny day. Whether they are visiting the Santa Monica Pier, the 3rd Street Promenade, Angels' Attic, Bergamot Station, a concert at McCabe's Guitar Shop or Santa Monica State Beach, a diverse cross section of Angelenos will be in the crowd. Given the dramatic presence of the ocean, the four million people that live in the City of Los Angeles find Santa Monica to be one of our greatest magnets. The artists in this exhibit make work that reflects a passionate interest in the people of Los Angeles and speaks of our universal experiences. Four Million Angels investigates the City's history, environment, lifestyle, psychological range, architecture, and geography. We hope to trigger a dialogue about the essence of our unique population and elicit a better understanding of who is beside us in line at Pacific Park.The exhibition will be on view from January 18 through April 30, 2018.[...]

International Association for the Study of Dreams - Dream Art Exhibition


Red Horse Katherine Kean
oil on linen 20 x 30 inches
Two of my dream paintings will be part of an upcoming exhibition at the International Association for the Study of Dreams Annual Dream Conference. The conference will be in Anaheim this year, on June 16 - 20, 2017 at the Wyndham Anaheim Garden Grove in Anaheim, California.

The exhibition is open to the public, and you are not required to register for the conference to attend. A meet the artists event takes place on Sunday, June 18th at 7:30pm and an artists reception follows from 8:30 - 10:00pm.

Multiplicity: the Eye of the Artists at Izen Miller Gallery


Scattered Glow Katherine Keanoil on linen on panel 42 x 52 inchesI'm excited to be in this group exhibition at Izen Miller Gallery's new location on El Paseo in Palm Desert.Artists include Carole Beauvais, Carol Bishop, Ilana Bloch, Catherine Bohrman, Philippe Chambon, Michael Davis, Downs, Vivian & Ed Flynn, Ruth Gonzales, Marcy Gregory, Katherine Kean, Masha Keating, John Luebtow, and Barry Orleans. Opening Reception: Saturday February 18th, 6:00 - 8:00 pm For more information, please contact Deanna Miller:  or visit Izen Miller Gallery73-740 El PaseoPalm Desert, CA 92260[...]

ECO ART an exhibition January 10 - February 15, 2017


Sheltering Cloud, Restless Land, Desolate Tree Katherine Keanoil on linen 16 x 16 inchesI'll be exhibiting two paintings in this group exhibition. It opens next week.ECO ART an exhibition January 10 - February 15, 2017  Opening Reception Thursday, January 12  6:00 - 8:00 p.m. GWC Community Art GalleryFine Arts Building, Rm 108 15751 Gothard Street, Huntington Beach, CA 92647Free Admission Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Special viewing appointments may be made by calling the Foundation Office:(714) 895-8316Click here to download digital postcard with Free Parking Pass for January 12 6 - 8 p.m.[...]

Izen Miller Gallery at The River - Exhibition continues through November 13


Marsh Glow Katherine Kean
oil on linen 30 x 30 inches

I'm exhibiting nine atmospheric paintings at Izen Miller Gallery's inaugural exhibition at a new space. It is located at The River, Suite B113 - directly across from the Theater at 71-800 CA-111 in Rancho Mirage, CA 92270. 

Also exhibiting are Carol Beauvais, Philippe Chambon, John Luebtow, and Barry Orleans.

This is a really nice time of year to visit the desert. The gallery hours are Friday and Saturday 1;00 pm until 8:00 pm and Sundays from 11;00am until 6:00 pm. Private viewings are available by appointment.  

There will be a closing reception on Saturday, November 12 from 5;00 pm until 8:00 pm. It would be lovely to see you there.

Sketch Work from Dreams and Surreal Experiences


Night Swimming ©2016  Katherine Keangraphite 10 x 8 inchesNight Swimming 2©2016  Katherine Keangraphite 9 x 8 inches I never forgot having an encounter with an owl while swimming at night. My guess at the time, as it swooped very low just over my head, is that with just my head above water I must have appeared to be prey. I'm thankful the owl had second thoughts. I've heard of other owl situations that didn't end as well.Dream Drawing: Horse ©2016  Katherine Keangraphite 6 x 10 inches I've been finalizing drawings and preparing linen for painting. I've been gradually changing from stretched supports to linens glued down to panels. It requires a longer preparation time, but less, make that no, sagging, buckling, re-stretching, tightening, denting headaches down the road.I've been using Lineco glue for the archival and reversible qualities, but find it a pain on larger sizes. It sets so fast that the glue on one end of the panel is dry before I can finish applying it to the rest. I'm going to try BEVA film next time. It is heat activated, so I may be able to simply iron it down. Either way, I'm finding it handy to have many large format art books handy. They do make incredible weights.Chair Books Fire Water Dream wip©2016 Katherine Keanoil on linen on panelThe same art books appear in this dream based painting shown in the initial blocking in stage. Some of the drawings made to develop this image can be found here: Dream Sketch :Books, Chair, Fire, Water.[...]

Planning, Intuition, Imagination


"Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success." - PicassoCloudburst Over Marsh work in progress ©2016  Katherine Keanoil on linen 40 x 40 inchesDo your paintings talk back to you as you paint them?During Anselm Kiefer’s talk at the Getty last week, he mentioned that he starts a piece with an idea in mind, but during the process the artwork will often transform into something else.Usually I begin a painting with what I think is a clear intention of what the painting is about; the content, the subject, the mood and also the scale, the palette, and to what extent it will be painterly and textured. Cloudburst Over Marsh sketch ©2016 Katherine Keangraphite 8 x 10 inchesI almost always go to Nature as the source of inspiration. I also make use of the many intellectual rules of composition. You know them: the Golden Ratio, the Fibonacci Spiral, the Rule of Thirds, etc. With these ideas in the back of my mind I rearrange the elements of the landscape to align to the framework of the canvas. Clouds up and to the left, tree down and to the right, the curve of a road from here to there, and so on.Cloudburst Over Marsh study ©2016 Katherine Keanoil on linen 6 x 6 inchesMost of the time everything proceeds as imagined, and I’ll think I know when and how the painting will arrive.Cloudburst Over Marsh work in progress ©2016 Katherine Keanoil on linen 40 x 40 inches“An idea is a point of departure and no more. As soon as you elaborate it, it becomes transformed by thought." - PicassoCloudburst Over Marsh work in progress ©2016 Katherine Keanoil on linen 40 x 40 inchesLately I find that as I approach this anticipated completion, I’ll begin to see something else and if I slow down and let it happen the painting seems to suggest a direction it would like to go – which may or may not be what I’d originally intended. Cloudburst Over Marsh detail ©2016 Katherine Keanoil on linen 40 x 40 inchesOften the shift is subtle, a part I wasn’t too concerned about starts to become more of a focus point. A section of sky asks to be darkened, a carefully painted cloud all but disappears. A faintly suggested tree demands attention and detail. Other times it might as well be a completely different painting. If I take the hint and follow up, the results often make sense and I wonder why it wasn’t part of my “original plan” – or was it? It’s hard for me to tell where imagination ends and intuition begins.And yet, I’m starting to like this way of working.“Picasso was writing about this subject when he said: “I consider a work of art as the product of calculations, but calculations which are frequently unknown to the author himself. It is exactly like the carrier pigeon calculating his return to the loft. But the calculation that turns out to be correct is unknown to him; it is a calculation that precedes intelligence.” - Keeper of the Flame, An essay on Max Shertz and his Art of the Unconscious. By Daniel Kaufman, Artist and Writer[...]

Liquid Sun Splash


Liquid Sun Splash Sketch Katherine Keangraphite 8 x 10 inches“If you don't like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes.” - Mark TwainThe weather in Hawaii provides a similar effect, or rather than waiting as it changes, a person can experience radiant sunshine and pouring rain simultaneously. Liquid Sun Splash wip Katherine Keanoil on linen 12 x 16 inchesThis provides a new challenge for me when it comes to windshield weather paintings. Instead of a soft, misty background as a backdrop for well defined rain drops, the background is bright in places, and parts of the road are sharp along with some of the water edges. Connect the Drops Katherine Keanoil on linen 12 x 16 inchesBetween the Drops Katherine Keanoil on linen 12 x 16 inchesCounting Raindrops Katherine Keanoil on linen 12 x 16 inchesIt's less about a foreground veil for gazing out from a separate interior world and more about the sudden encounter and the dynamic patterns made.Liquid Sun Splash wip ©2016 Katherine Keanoil on linen 12 x 16 inchesI've let the brushstrokes remain painterly, brushy, a little bit textured and slightly raised, particularly for the drops. It's almost there, I think, just a few more touches.[...]

Did you hear that?


It’s not very loud. Just a faint scratch on paper, or a soft blerp or splat or splosh or slosh of paint, and perhaps an occasional sigh. The sounds of the art studio and work being made with pencil and paint.*First the thumbnail sketches... Then the studies.Eventually underpainting begins.And at last the first color layer.That's not the end of it. There is more to come, so stay tuned."Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks". Plutarch *onomatopeia - a word, which imitates the natural sounds of a thing.[...]

Three to Get Ready


Deukmajian Wilderness Trail Sketch ©2016 Katherine Keangraphite on paper 8 x 10 inches I read somewhere that just thinking about the future—not even the rewards, per se—can strengthen willpower.During the last few days of 2015 an artist friend had a great idea to sit down on an evening with calendars ready and pencils in hand and create a plan for the coming year. We mapped out how many paintings we would paint, what sizes they will be. We decided which new skills and levels of accomplishment we will reach and what kind of study, classes, or workshops might be required to reach these improvements. We also counted in time for travel, family, friends, and fun, time to experiment and time to take risks. When we were finished we marveled and laughed at our ambitions and wondered if the year would be big enough to hold all that we planned to put into it.Foothill Storm Clouds Sketch ©2016 Katherine Keangraphite on paper 8 x 10 inches“Time is short, my strength is limited, the office is a horror, the apartment is noisy, and if a pleasant, straightforward life is not possible then one must try to wriggle through by subtle maneuvers.” – KafkaI’ve always been curious about how other artists structure their days. I know what works for me, the hours that are the most productive, how to get started, and how to avoid distractions - that is, as long as I'm choosing to be productive. Mason Currey has put together a book that gives a glimpse into the routines and work habits of well known artists, composers, and writers in Daily Rituals: How Artists Work.Liquid Sun Splash Sketch ©2016 Katherine Keangraphite on paper 8 x 10 inches“I calculate that I must have spent nearly 20,000 hours in writing Ulysses.” – James Joyce“Sooner or later, the great men turn out to be all alike. They never stop working. They never lose a minute. It is very depressing.” – V.S. PritchettSo, with calendar, list of goals, and a calculator I added up my plan of paintings and divided by available studio hours to see if there is a possibility to make these studio dreams come true. Mathmatically at least, yes, seems that there is. Let's see how it goes...[...]

Winter Wet Paint


The winter months, such as they are in Southern California, should be a perfect time for accomplishing some studio painting. Once the holidays are over, there are fewer distractions and the garden is less demanding. The number of daylight hours is growing again, but it's still cool enough to work through the day. The catch is this - drying time slows down - a lot. A small study or painted edge that might dry overnight at other times of year might take a week - or more. I've taken to placing smaller work in front of the fireplace to try to speed the drying up.Storm and Eucalyptus Tree wip©2016 Katherine Keanoil on linen 30 x 40 inchesWhen I can, I paint working wet into wet. I find it more challenging than working in layers, allowing each to dry completely. Yet, working directly has certain advantages. The rules of fat over lean are less consequential in direct painting. Detail-Storm and Eucalyptus Tree wip ©2016 Katherine Keanoil on linen 30 x 40 inches Except for the underpainting layer, the painting above has been proceeding entirely with wet into wet technique, although I haven't decided yet whether to paint the tree into the wet paint, or allow it to dry first.Underpainting - Storm and Eucalyptus Tree wip ©2016 Katherine Keanoil on linen 30 x 40 inchesIn the meantime I've been keeping a drop of clove oil on the palette to keep the paint fresh overnight. The cool weather and the clove oil fumes are all it takes to keep the paint from drying, and it makes the studio smell amazing.[...]

A busy year


Volcano Night ©2016 Katherine Keanoil on linen 8 x 16 inchesSome years seem to go by with nary a milestone. That doesn't mean that nothing is happening, just that much of it might be confined to the studio, or even residing quietly in the imagination waiting to be born. For me, 2015 was not one of those years. How or why, I can't say. It has been a year of exhibitions and journeys.Here are some highlights.  National Weather Center Biennale Wilderness Mind, Activating Wonder TRAC 2015 (Thank you, Shanna) A visit to Cape Cod - and a quick trip to the Yale Gallery of ArtHawaii - Magic Island  Exhibitions, group, local, pop up, and open on the image for a corresponding post.Here's to 2015 and looking forward to a wonderful 2016. Wishing you all the best. Happy New Year!All images ©2015 Katherine Kean[...]

Happy Holidays and a Cumulus Christmas


Billowing Katherine Kean ©2015
oil on linen 30 x 30 inches

Warm wishes to all for a beautiful holiday season!

A Collection of Clouds for Holiday Cards and Gifts


I've added Billowing Clouds to a Zazzle line of Holiday Greeting Cards. The inside message is "Happy Holidays". This card is fully customizable, allowing you to make the message your own and comes in three sizes, including a jumbo size. This link will take you straight to the card: Billowing Clouds Go By and By Greeting Card.Cloud Chasing ©2015 Katherine Keanoil on linen 30 x 40 inchesCloud Chasing is now available from Saatchi Art as a 12 x 16 inch gallery wrapped reproduction, printed on a UV protected, museum grade, poly/cotton blend. You can choose either black or white for the 1 1/4 inch gallery wrapped sides. Here is the link to take you there: Cloud Chasing reproduction.Gathering Point ©2015 Katherine Keanoil on linen 24 x 30 inchesGathering Point is available in an 8 x 10 or 11 x 14 inch reproduction on fine art paper. Framing is also available in either black or white. Here's the link: Gathering Point reproduction.Billowing Clouds Go By and By ©2015 Katherine Keanoil on linen 16 x 20 inchesBillowing Clouds Go By and By as also now available as an 8 x 10 or 11 x 14 inch reproduction on fine art paper. Available at Saatchi Art: Billowing Clouds Go By and By reproduction.[...]

PSA 90th Annual at Whites Gallery


Sheltering Cloud, Restless Land, Desolate Tree
©2015 Katherine Kean
oil on linen 16 x 16 inches
I am honored and pleased to have two paintings accepted into Pasadena Society of Artists' 90th Annual Exhibition, juried by Scott Ward, Executive Director of the Armory Center for the Arts. The exhibition opens to the public this weekend at Whites Gallery in Montrose.

PSA 90th Annual Juried Exhibition 
Wednesday, December 2, 2015 - Wednesday, December 30, 2015 

Opening Reception: 
 Saturday, December 5, 2015 2pm to 5pm 

Whites Art, Framing & Restoration 
2414 Honolulu Avenue
Montrose, CA 91020 

Juror: Scott Ward, Executive Director Armory Center for the Arts 

Scott Ward has been the executive director of the Armory Center for the Arts since 2001. Prior to coming to the Armory, he was the executive director of the Palos Verdes Art Center from 1997 to 2001, and executive director of the Downey Museum of Art from 1987-1996. He has spearheaded a dramatic expansion of the Armory’s exhibition and education programs in the underserved neighborhoods of Northwest Pasadena. Ward also has extensive experience as an administrator, educator, curator, lecturer, panelist, executive coach, and artist. He has served as a speaker and panelist for National Guild of Community Schools of Art, The Wallace Foundation, and the City of Denver. As a grants panelist, he has served multiple times for the National Endowment for the Arts, The California Arts Council, and Los Angeles Metro. He taught Fine Art Photography at Loyola Marymount and was the University Art Gallery Director at CSUSB. He received his B.A. from the University of California in aesthetic studies, and earned his M.F.A. in photography from California Institute of the Arts.

Whites Art, Framing & Restoration
2414 Honolulu Montrose, CA 91020
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 9am to 5pm
(818) 957-4071

Training and Use of Visual Memory, Deborah Paris TRAC 2015


Morning Light Deborah Paris24 x 30 inchesAs mentioned, I learned much from Deborah Paris's presentation at TRAC earlier this month:The Training and Use of Visual Memory for Representational Landscape PaintersIn her presentation, Paris reminded us of how memory works and how memory training was once considered a significant part of training for artists. Her presentation reinforced the importance of memory in loosening the contemporary reliance on photography as a reference tool and showed how memory provides a bridge to working from imagination.The memory training method described by Paris is a logical extension of training made known by Horace Lecoq de Boisbaudran along with new, contemporary techniques developed by Paris.In a nutshell (and as I remember it), the basic steps in this training, when working from a master drawing for example, are as follows:   The big stare - at least 10 minutes of focused observation   Describe what is observed to another person (or yourself) and/or write about the observation   Make an air drawing - trace the contours of the subject in the air with your pencil, brush, or finger.    Make a drawing based on the memory and compare it to the original.    Repeat the process to strengthen and develop observation and memory skills.It may seem odd that writing about an observation or verbally describing it to someone would help, until you remember that memory works by association. The stronger the associations the more quickly and fully a memory can be retrieved. Associations can be formed from a variety of sensory and cerebral input. In training for a massage therapy license, a group of us had heard that scent aids recall. We agreed together to use peppermint, and so studied and memorized with peppermint oil and we all wore peppermint oil to our final exam.George InnesOther training methods include removing oneself further and further from the subject, in both time and space. A friend who long ago attended the School of Visual Arts recalls drawing classes where the model would be on one floor and the easels on another. One either sharpened memory skills or got more of a workout than bargained for.Nocturne James Abbott McNeill WhistlerYou can see how useful this training can be when you want to work from imagination, or consider the many subjects that do not easily lend themselves to a photographic reference, such as the magical hours of dawn and dusk or the constantly changing clouds and ocean, or the night sky, or stars, comets, lightning, and volcanoes.I've just touched the surface of Deborah Paris's presentation, and the subject of memory training in general. Fortunately, I understand that her paper will be published at some point.UPDATE: Deborah Paris's paper is now online. Here's the link: your eye on Field Notes  - Paris's teaching blog.A few more resources:Horace Lecoq de Boisbaudran's book is available online here:The Training of the Memory in Art and the Education of the ArtistMemory Drawing 2 Stapleton KearnsThe Tradition of Drawing From Memory Malcolm ArmstrongMemory Drawing Techniques  Carol AllisonDeborah Paris's offering of online classes and field and studio workshops can be found here:Deborah Paris, The Landscape Atelier classes and workshops.[...]

Implied Narrative, Joshua Risner From TRAC 2015


As I mentioned earlier I got much from Joshua Risner's presentation, Understanding Representational Narrative Painting as Implied Narrative. He succinctly laid out historical definitions of what narrative is and why it is important, how ideas have shifted, and then explained how much painting is not narrative, but is actually implied narrative.

(image) I've an interest in story telling strengthened by years of working in the visual effects for film business. One of the challenges of visual effects design and animation comes when handed a concept painting often depicting a culminating moment of a story, while asked to figure out/choreograph how the visual effects would support or move through a scene. This adds quite a new dimension to a highly technical job. A specific example that comes to mind is John Milius asking for animation around Conan in a rather long scene: . His visual reference was Frank Frazetta.

In live action this is the domain of a team of actors, extras, directors, and choreographers. Storyboards help film makers pre-visualize their narrative. Storyboards, comic books, graphic novels and movies are usually narratives. On how this differs from an implied narrative, read on.

Some key points on what makes a narrative:

A narrative demonstrates cause and effect
A narrative shows how cause and effect are connected
A narrative moves through time
A narrative has a definite conclusion

Difference between implied narrative and narrative:

Implied narrative does not suggest a conclusion
Implied narrative allows viewers a more open ended perception
Implied narrative reinforces paintings inability to depict more than a single moment, instead lies somewhere between the spark and the outcome

"Unlike a book or a movie, a painting can only represent a static moment because it does not unfold over time."

Paul Barolsky makes case in his article that There is No Such thing as Narrative Art.

This difference is actually a strength in painting, not a weakness,
"Implied narratives emphasize potentiality which promotes free thinking, imagination and creativity."

So, if anyone is keeping score, it seems a picture is still worth a thousand words. Perhaps many more.*

To learn more about Joshua Risner and his painting visit his website:

Joshua Risner's paper Ethics of Implies Narrative Art  can be found on his page and covers the subject in much greater depth.

*To the writers whose evocative words conjure incredible visions and feelings - you know I don't mean you.

15 of the Best Quotes About Art


Study of a Tree Vincent van Gogh"I am always doing what I can't do yet in order to learn how to do it." Vincent van Gogh, to Anthon Rappard, August 1885"The things that go into making a painting—the scale of the canvas, the shape of the rectangle, the texture of the surface, the length and force of the brushstroke, the selection of colors—all those things are connected to the painter at the deepest level, the way he or she orders the world. " - Eric Fischl and Michael Stone, Bad Boy: My Life On and Off the Canvas "Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun." - Pablo PicassoHorse Bath Odd Nerdrum"Light is good for the body, darkness is good for thought. Dusk is where they meet."  - Odd Nerdrum“Don't worry about your originality. You couldn't get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick with you and show up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do.” - Robert Henri  "What is essential in a work of art is that it should rise far above the realm of personal life and speak to the spirit and heart of the poet as man to the spirit and heart of mankind." - Carl JungSeashore in Moonlight Caspar David Friedrich"The artist's feeling is his law" - Caspar David Friedrich"The reason people are so moved by art and why artists tend to take it all so seriously is that if they are real and true they come to the painting with everything they know and feel and love, and all the things they don’t know, and some of the things they hope, and they are honest about them all and put them on the canvas. What can be more serious? What more really can be at stake except life itself, which is why maybe artists are always equating the two and driving everybody crazy by insisting that art is life. Well. Cut us some slack. It’s harder work than one might imagine, and riskier, and takes a very special and dear kind of mad person. " - Peter Heller, The Painter: A novelRed Rust Hills Georgia O'Keeffe"Making your unknowns know is the important thing." - Georgia O'KeeffeSpring Andrew Wyeth"I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious." - Andrew WyethThe Goldfinch Carel Fabritius“An individual heart-shock. Your dream, Welty’s dream, Vermeer’s dream. You see one painting, I see another, the art book puts it at another remove still, the lady buying the greeting card at the museum gift shop sees something else entire, and that’s not even to mention the people separated from us by time—four hundred years before us, four hundred years after we’re gone—it’ll never strike anybody the same way and the great majority of people it’ll never strike in any deep way at all but—a really great painting is fluid enough to work its way into the mind and heart through all kinds of different angles, in ways that are unique and very particular. Yours, yours. I was painted for you." - Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch  "Any great work of art revives and re-adapts time and space, and the measure of its success is the extent to which it makes you an inhabitant of that world." - Leonard Bernstein Self Portrait as a Young Man Rembrandt"Without atmosphere a painting is nothing." - Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn"That is what perfect painting is: neither entirely dull water and stone, nor weightless representation. Not merely a wooden panel coated with cracked and abraded paint, nor entirely a madonna and child. Or as in Rembrandt, not just a slat[...]

A Piece of TRAC 2015


I was given the opportunity to go to TRAC 2015 by a generous friend who gifted me with her pass when at the last minute an injury prevented her from attending. I couldn't take advantage of every event, but caught some wonderful highlights. I arrived in time for Breaking In: 21st Century Museums and Representational Art, a panel discussion between Elliot Davis, Michael Zakian, Peter Frank, and Vern Swanson, moderated by Joseph Bravo. The content of the discussion was just as you'd imagine, as the panelists explained all the ways the deck is stacked against all artists and biased against representational artists in particular. Paradoxically, museum attendance is highest for representational artists, as Elliot Davis, Curator of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston explained, giving the Jamie Wyeth retrospective as an example.Two other presentations I found informative and thought provoking were Joshua Risner, Understanding Representational Narrative Painting as Implied Narrative and Deborah Paris, The Training and Use of Visual Memory for Representational Landscape Painters. Both of these presentations put forth ideas that deserve more thought and I'll go into them in greater depth next week.Between presentations I managed to scoop up a big bunch of Rosemary and Co's Brushes. I went for the synthetic ones, of course, to spare the animals. The synthetic brushes also seem to last longer and hold their spring and snap for longer.Later in the afternoon, a line of shiny, black, limousine buses whisked us away to Thousand Oaks to California Lutheran University. One side of the bus had ocean views of the sunset through turbulent storm clouds turned red from the sun. The other side was a vista of mountains glowing gold set off by the deep, dark, blue sky and illuminated by a fat rainbow.At the end of the rainbow was Brad Kunkle's Artist in Residency at the Kwan Fong Gallery, Michael Zakian's talk Meaning in Contemporary Realism, and Transmission, a group exhibition at the William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art.It was cold, the wind was nippy, the hors d'oeuvres disappeared quickly, but yes, it was worth it.Detail of The History of Nature Brad KunkleA big part of the appeal of the TRAC events is the opportunity to meet other representational artists. Artists and educators travel from all over to attend so it is a unique opportunity to share ideas. It is also a pleasure to re-connect with TRAC alumni met during previous conferences.I wish I could have stayed longer.[...]

Sky, Field, Sheep Sketch


Scottish Sky, Sheep in Field Sketch
©2015 Katherine Kean
graphite 8 x 10 inches
"Whenever he could, he sought out a new road to travel. He had never been to that ruined church before, in spite of having traveled through those parts many times. The world was huge and inexhaustible; he had only to allow his sheep to set the route for a while, and he would discover other interesting things. The problem is that they don’t even realize that they’re walking a new road every day. They don’t see that the fields are new and the seasons change. All they think about is food and water. Maybe we’re all that way, the boy mused."  
Paul Coelho, The Alchemist

Art for Youth L.A.


I'll have one piece of artwork in this art auction on Saturday November 7th at Bergamot Museum - G1. This charity event starts at 11am and lasts until 6pm. Reception is 2pm-6pm.
Sophia Deutsch and Noah Kennedy are co-hosts for a silent auction featuring both student and professional artwork. All of the proceeds from the event will go to the organization A Sense of Home.

Storm, Eucalyptus Tree Sketch


Storm, Eucalyptus Tree ©2015 Katherine Keangraphite 10 x 12 inchesI'd like to make this a larger painting. I've been working on small and medium size work the past three months. I work in the smaller space under my house in the summer. It's much cooler! Now that the days are getting shorter and aren't as hot, I've moved back into the larger space, allowing me to scale up.  I was pretty happy with this sketch until I decided that the tree is just too static. Considering the wind that's pushing all the clouds around it ought to be moving, or bending. I'm looking at these Burchfield and Hopper paintings for inspiration. I'd be happier if I can get the tree to have the same feeling of wind and energy that I get from these paintings.  March Winds  Charles BurchfieldWindy Day Edward HopperAnd then, just about the time I was wondering where to turn for inspiration, I got lucky. allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />The Santa Anas came. Above, a quick video of a neighbor's enormous Eucalyptus in the wind.And last, a revised windy tree.[...]

A Cool Idea - Lawren Harris, The Idea of North


Mount Lefroy Lawren HarrisI like being reminded of North. Never more so than at the tail end of a late season heat wave while living in a hot, dry, congested city like Los Angeles. Lawren Harris's paintings do a remarkable job of transcending summer at the newly opened exhibition at the Hammer Museum titled, The Idea of North.Mountains Near Jasper Lawren Harris To many of us here in the Northern Hemisphere, the idea of north means cool, cold, snow. It may also mean remote, and isolated.Isolation Peak Lawren HarrisThe blues are strong, the shadows deep. The whites are made of many pale shades of yellow, gray, violet, and even green.Included among the large paintings were smaller versions; studies and variations. Many of them painted on beaver board; once a trademark, beaver board is a compressed fiberboard.In Buchanan Bay, Ellsmere Island Lawren HarrisArctic Sketch XXII Lawren HarrisHarris's paintings admirably restrained, simplify form. These landscapes are refined to essential shapes and subtle palette choices, giving us the peace and space we crave.This refinement has not reduced the sense of scale and strength. Harris has not left out the sense of awe and sweeping grandeur and immensity these landscapes evoke.Lawren Harris[...]