SPOTLIGHT ARTIST Katelyn Alain
Thalo loves to promote artists and each month, we spotlight a member of our community!
This month we are pleased to have Katelyn Alain as the thalo Spotlight Artist.
THALO TEAM: Can you give an "elevator pitch" of your work?
KATELYN ALAIN: Hi, my name is Katelyn Alain and I am a figurative painter. I am interested in the way the brain enhances and distorts reality and my oil paintings document that perception. I internalize current events and personal events and end up with paintings that speak to my human experience.
Children at Sea, oil on canvas, 36"x60"
TT: Is there a common theme throughout your work? Is there something you want your artwork to convey to people who see it?
KA: Paintings come to me like visions and I am drawn to create them from that starting point. But once the painting process begins I let go of control. I am often surprised by the outcome. I'd like for others to take away some of that intrigue I feel and reflect on the ways we can visually articulate our world. Really I just want others to enjoy entering the dream space the paintings provide.
TT: Which artists do you feel have influenced your art the most?
KA: Rembrandt, Sargent, Giacometti, Matisse, it's hard to choose. Contemporary artists include Annie Lapin, Allison Schulnik, Tom LaDuke, and Kyle Staver.
Observing Culpability, oil on canvas, 36x48"
TT: Imagine you got to design your perfect Gallery Show. Tell us what it is!
KA: A new body of work showing Epic life sized paintings that distill my reactions to this world as I see it changing before my eyes. I'd like to see a new American Epic created from a powerful feminine perspective. I've already begun.
TT: Out of all of your creations (or bodies of work) which one did/do you find the most cathartic in creating?
KA: I find every painting cathartic as painting is essential to my well being. However, I'd have to say it was the painting I did depicting the birth of my son. It really surprised me as it looks very different from my other works, probably because it was a different experience seared into my memory in a remarkable way.
As It Is Now, oil on canvas, 60x48"
TT: How has your work (or technique) changed over time?
KA: There is a constant and changing learning curve. I'm always honing developed techniques and feeling out new ways to articulate the strangeness of memory and time. Perhaps lately my use of motion and movement in paint has calmed and I'm more focused on a deeper distillation of thought. They have become more still, but it seems to be a cycle.
TT: What project are you working on currently? What are you most looking forward to with your work this year?
KA: Right now I'm in the middle of a life sized self-portrait holding the hand of my son as we march forward through Brooklyn and time and space. It's a work in progress occupying all my thoughts. I look forward to making more epic paintings that respond to life.
Passing, oil on canvas, 60x48"
TT: What is your favorite medium to work with, or what medium brings you the most satisfaction to use? Are there any mediums that you don't currently use that you'd like to explore?
KA: I am obsessed with oil paint and there's always more to learn; more to experiment with in terms of glow and mediums. I'd like to make new paintings like an old master. I'd also like to do printmaking again.
TT: What would you consider to be your "biggest achievement" with your work thus far?
KA: Getting to a point where I've merged the realism the eye sees with the abstraction the mind creates. That marriage took years. And now I'm back at the beginning. I'm always at the beginning of understanding the myriad of ways my work could go. I hope to experiment more to force a breakthrough into expressing my truth. The problem (and the gift) is that I never arrive. I'm always just starting.
That Changing Sea, oil on canvas, 48x60"
TT: What was your first work of art that you were proud of? Where is it now?
KA: When I was 15 I stayed up one night and made my first self-portrait using watercolors. Before that moment I had no idea I could make something like that. I was shocked by it and it was like it didn't come from me. I showed it to my art teacher and it ended up winning a scholastic award. It was the first moment I thought I could be an artist and it gave me hope. I don't know where it is now.
TT: Do you take commissions? Why or why not?
KA: I don't usually. There's always an exception if it fully embodies something I need to create anyway. But my work is drawn out of personal experience and I have a hard time controlling what eventually appears on the canvas.
TT: What do you do when you aren't working on artwork?
KA: I love to read, I sometimes write poetry, and I have a five year old son who has his own agenda.
TT: More of Katelyn's work can be found:
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