Kate Kern Mundie is F.A.N.’s June 2011 artist… oh wait, that’s me!
I am excited about my third solo exhibition with F. A. N. Gallery. Fred, the man behind the initials, has nurtured me as an artist over the last three years — offering me valuable critiques, insight and encouragement. He challenges me to grow as an artist and to become a better painter.
For this exhibition, I have 34 new paintings. These are mostly rural and urban landscapes from in and around Philadelphia and Ireland, but there are also a few intimate interiors. In these pieces, I focused on instances of dramatic light on the landscape, or the controlled and atmospheric illumination indoors.
Here is a preview of some of Fred’s favorite paintings in the show. I have added a little description for each one.
I have done two paintings of the Delaware Water Gap. For this painting, I looked to Cézanne for inspiration, especially at how Cézanne painted Montagne Sainte-Victoire. Cézanne used warmer colors like green in the sky, as if the sky reflected the earth instead of the other way around. I tried to bring some warmer blues and greens into the sky and use a lot of purple in the vegetation the way Cézanne did.
Now, all I need to do is go to the south of France and actually paint Montagne Sainte-Victoire for myself.
I had not been in that part of the city at that time of day since my college days biking back and forth to Penn and the city has changed quite a bit since then. It is cleaner, there are bike lanes, and beautiful architecture is well lit so its features can be enjoyed.
French Room No. 2 was developed from drawings I did of one of the historic rooms at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Back in the studio, I did a drawing in charcoal on the painting surface and then blocked in the color in oil. After that it was just a matter of putting in a few details.
I am a fast painter. If the painting is not coming together in the first hour, I might stop and start a new painting. I usually do a quick sketch to figure out my composition. If I am painting an interior, I will use a T-square to lock down the perspective since I have a tendency to tilt to the right as I am a left-handed.
I completed the painting over the course of an afternoon while listing to NPR. After it was finished, I would refer to the painting as “the mob painting” because I was listing to a Fresh Air interview with mob informant Frank Calabrese, Jr. Now the painting is completely associated in my mind with that interview. It seems a strange juxtaposition.
When I am painting on site, I do not want any music or distractions. I want to hear what is going on around me; it enhances the experience. When I am in the studio, I listen to music or the radio to help me keep track of time, but I may have to stop so I don’t end up with weird associations.
I recently confessed to my neighbors, Chris and Martha, that I had done a painting of their living room. I did a few drawings and took some photos in their house while I was cat sitting for them.
Chris is a sculptor and Martha is a writer and picture researcher. Their home is warm and inviting and filled with rich textures, objects, and art. I did some drawings of a few views in their living room, focusing on a chair or table. For this painting, I chose to edit out some of the objects in the room and focus on the warm colors in the carpet and the deep shadow cast by the ottoman. At some point I want to do a painting of their kitchen, which has a Vermeer-like feel.
June 1-26, 2011
New Paintings by Kate Kern Mundie
opening reception: Friday, June 3rd, 5-9 PM