Kathleen Weber, “Tavern In Olneyville,” 24 X 30 inches, oil on canvas
Kathleen Weber will be showing new landscape and genre paintings at FAN Gallery in June. Her paintings depict everyday life in saturated color.
What is your first creative memory?
My first creative memory is having a fist full of crayons, drawing a sailboat on some scrap paper my mother had. She ooh’d and ahh’d- big mistake! And I ended up becoming an artist instead of a doctor.
Kathleen Weber “Coco Pazzo,” 20 x 20 inches, oil on canvas
How has your painting practice or style grown or changed in the last year or two?
In the last couple of years I’ve been doing a lot more portraits. After reading about Anders Zorn and his limited palette- black, white, yellow ochre, and cad red light- I spent a lot of time using just those colors to see what I could make them do. You can get an incredible range of skin and hair color, and I’ve ended up teaching portrait classes where the first class is spent just doing a color chart so that everyone can see the range it is possible to achieve with such a limited palette. I’ve added other colors now when I do portraits- I love burnt sienna and I really missed blue! But that basic palette remains.
Kathleen Weber, “Windows,” 18 x18 inches, oil on canvas
What is the most challenging part of painting figures?
Some years ago I was in a gallery where I had some work and a woman told me that she never bought paintings with people in them. When I mentioned this to a friend who has bought a lot of my work, he said, “what, she wouldn’t want the Mona Lisa, or Nighthawks?”
I actually think that the most challenging part of painting figures is creating the atmosphere around them. Of course you want to be able to draw them well, but with enough practice that’s achievable. They can teach that in art school. What they can’t teach is, what’s inside you that’s different from the next painter? What do you paint when you stop imitating painters you admire? That’s something you can only figure out by spending a lot of time in front of your easel. I’m still working on that.
Do you have a creative habit? How do you shape your art making practice to nurture your work?
Now that the good weather is here again, I hope to get outside and paint landscapes for a change, because although I do a lot of work from photos, I actually prefer working from life. I try to get some of the energy of plein air in my studio work.
Kathleen Weber, “Yellow House,” 20 X 24 inches, oil on canvas