Thursday, January 5, 2012

Interview with M. Katherine Hurley, part one

Gentle Dawn 24x30 oil on canvas
Kay Hurley has been doing absolutely delicious work that everyone should know about and today is your lucky day!  Not only is her work gorgeous, but she is an excellent teacher and just plain fun to be around. Here is my interview with Kay. It's a two part interview, today and tomorrow. Enjoy!
Please tell everyone about your evolution as an artist.

Kay- I started as a ceramics major in college and still I feel that was very valuable. Through ceramics I learned to feel how light and form works. I explored graphite drawing, later moving to colored pencil and soft pastel and oil pastel.
Back then my style was more impressionistic. Over the last 35 years my style has undergone an evolution. More my work focuses on big shapes and mystery.
 At this time I have turned it around and in addition to my landscapes I am working with small paper pieces, text and many layers to create small collages with mixed media.

Tell us a little bit about your study Your work is very personal, very you. Please talk about your study and your time spent working with Wolf Kahn.

 Kay-. WK was a big influence on me, even before I met him. I worked with WK off and on for 5 years. In 1985 I began working with him at the Vermont Studio Center and later the Middletown Art Center. WK was a huge role model for me.
Other influences include Rothko. His minimalist use of shape on such scale and what happens in the spaces where the shapes come together….the edges. Rothko divides  the space into 3 shapes. Monet work touches me as a colorist and for its impressionistic way.
I really like the drawings of Van Gogh and Kathe Kollowitz. They have such drama and  emotional and  spiritual impact. My colleagues at the Pendelton Center influence me as well: Greg Storer, Michael Scott, Paula Wiggins, Helena Kine and Barbara Ahibrand, just to name a few.

Please talk about the metamorphosis of your painting process throughout the years.

Kay- My paintings now show much more of the actual process. I want to reveal the push pull that happens as I paint. When I painted before the edges were so fused there was no edge. Destroying my mark marking helped me make a dream like fog. Now I am trying to hold back from  destruction of mark. I want the view to see the layers of things.
Right now I am working with printmaking, mixed media and collage with oil paint on paper beckoning back to work I did in the 90s with Acrylic.
I am trying to “re-find” my own energy, bust loose a little. All human beings, whether they define themselves as creative beings or not, sometimes we need to force ourselves to grow a little.

Please talk about your painting process now.
How do you keep pushing yourself to be a better artist?

Kay- I don’t know if I do it as much as I should because I am making my living as an artist. I keep honing my skills. I’ve done a TV video, CD and books. Most importantly I just keep painting. That in itself is a learning process. Keeps adventure alive.

What inspires you to paint?

Kay- As a landscape painter, everywhere I look is an inspiration. I feel as if I am walking around with 3d glasses, especially in the winter when the bare tree lines are exposed. Beauty inspires me. Sunrise, sunset and gray days at the river. The  colors in gray are wonderful. Everywhere I look is an inspiration. Driving on the highways is beautiful. When I drive home to Cleveland that flat farmland is beautiful.

How do you keep motivated when it gets tough in the

Kay- Very often I just have to force myself because its my job. Anyone who thinks an artist’s life is easy is fooling themselves. It’s not. I would say its 80% forcing myself. The computer takes so much time away. I force myself to just get started. I always have something started, ongoing. With something on the easel or table it makes it easier to wake up thinking about it. I put paint to canvas before I go to bed. Once the ball gets rolling it feeds itself. It gets its own energy.

What is your daily routine?

Kay- I get up, get coffee and walk the dog. I return to the easel, not the email. I have two studios, one at home and one downtown. When I stay home I start painting, even if it is  just a 8x10 panel. I make certain to do a half hour of yoga. It calms me and helps me keep my muscles stretched.
If I go to the down town studio I don't go to the computer. I find that going to my creative space gets my endorphins going.

The photo of your downtown studio is quite beautiful. Please tell us more about that space.
Kay- It's 1000 square feet with 15 foot ceilings- all windows on the north and west sides. The building is 100 years old and has wooden floors and huge arched windows. I have an unbelievable view.
I have created  a life for myself where art can't escape me. I can't ever get too stuck watching TV.

More tomorrow. Meanwhile please check out her link.
M. Katherine Hurley
And try to beat the rush.... Kay will be teaching at the Dakota Art Center in Washington  State, June 28-July 3, 2012. It's a wonderful place Craig runs a good show. Here is the link to the workshops.


Janelle Goodwin said...

I ordered Kay's DVD last year and learned so much from her. I love her philosophy and the spiritual quality of her work. Thank you for this wonderful post, Loriann!

Casey Klahn said...

I have admired M. Katherine Hurley's work for many years. Thanks for doing this interview!

Donna T said...

Thank you for this interview, Loriann! I am a big fan of her work and love how she uses color. It's surprising to read that she has to force herself to work sometimes. It also sounds like she has no problem seeing beauty in her everday life so maybe that helps.

beeanddew said...

Fantastic! I can't wait to read more!

loriann signori said...

Hi Janelle,
You are welcome, in fact my pleasure. Her work is stunning I agree!

Hi Casey,
I am glad you enjoyed it. Stayed tuned for tomorrow's part two.

Hi Donna,
I am delighted you have enjoyed Kay's interview and her paintings. You are so right, her work is gorgeous!
There are times everyone has to push themselves to work....when there are so many other choices....opportunities one has to turn down because work comes first. I know what she means.

Hi Beeanddew and welcome to my blog. I am delighted you are enjoying the interview. Stop by tomorrow for more!

indigomar said...

It's strange that you've posted this interview. I was just thinking about her work today after spending time last night visiting her website. Serendipity at it's best! Thank you and I look forward to the rest!

loriann signori said...

Hi Indigomar! Thanks for visiting my blog! I am delighted that serendipity took you this way. Enjoy part two tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Hi Loriann,
Thank you for this interview. I have her DVD, Capturing the Essence of Landscapes in Oils. It is one of the best and even if you paint with acrylics it is very informative. I highly recommend this DVD.


loriann signori said...

Hi NJ,
Thanks for reading. I posted a link to her other dvds available at north light. She is a generous informative teacher.