Spotlight on Watercolour Artist Kate Osborne
See more work at: www.kateosborneart.com
Being an artist
Please give us a few words of introduction about yourself
I was born in Africa, at the tail end of British colonial rule, raised in Kent, Yorkshire, Sussex and Hertfordshire, wandered over to the States for a few years in my twenties (Los Angeles and New Mexico), and secretly believe I was a cowboy in a previous life. I’ve lived in Brighton for the last 27 years, during which time I got married and had two sons and started to pursue painting more earnestly
When did you decide to pursue art as a career?
Once I decided on art as an A level subject art college followed, initially I did stage design, but only took a few weeks to realise I was a 2D person, so switched to textile design and loved it. I found watercolour during my college years, and got hooked.
What training did you have?
West Sussex College of Design Worthing from 1972-76
What has been the high point of your career so far?
Showing at the Mall Galleries in group shows; selling paintings to the Hilton in Dallas, doing a poster for the London Underground. Seeing one of my textile designs (the only time ever) on someones back!
What’s your favourite quote?
‘You are a sad strange little man and you have my pity’ (Toy Story), a lovely moment, and the whole film is associated with my children in their single digits. A lot of Bob Dylan such as ‘I was so much older then I’m younger than that now. ‘
Who is your favourite artist?
At the moment, early 20th century britsih artists, Spencer, Nash, Piper, onwards to Nicholsons, Hitchens etc. Just found Barbara Rae’s watercolour sketchbooks which are wonderful, expressive works
What are you aiming for?
A wider public!
How will you get there?
I can’t face tweeting, but have found a good print publisher, which means I can focus on the painting.
Is anything holding you back?
Time and the shortage of it.
You and art
What feelings or reactions do you hope to arouse in people who view your work? Are you ever surprised by reactions that you get?
Delight and a desire to eat the paintings, the same way mothers want to eat their babies (or does that just sound weird?)
From start to finish, how long does it take for you to create your work?
Very little time, a few hours maximum, some much less. If the painting takes too long and I start to feel like I’m tweaking and fiddling its already overworked. Some paintings I can rescue by washing them off and re-doing them. At this stage the original has failed and I feel much braver and more free to take risks.
What music do you like to listen to when you work?
At the moment, Camille, the Unthanks, Martha Wainwright’s Piaf cd. But mostly listen to Radio 4 or Radio 3 and some books on tape.
What are you working on next? Any future plans or projects in the pipeline that we should look out for?
I’ve started going to an oil painting class which I’m loving. Its lovely plastic quality allows you to think on the surface, make a mark and change your mind, which is almost impossible with watercolour; its a liberating feeling. I haven’t yet produced anything that will be going public, but that is the aim.
Being inspired by art
Who (living or dead) inspires you? and why?
friends, family, animals, for their endurance, or tolerance, or insight, or the good that they do, wittingly and unwittingly.
What feelings, subjects or concepts inspire you as an artist?
The natural world.
What is your favourite work that you’ve produced so far and why?
The large cockerels, with no background. They were painted with a lot of confidence and are simple and strong
an artist’s advice
For those thinking about turning a passion for art into a career, could you give any advice?
Peristence and practise.
Any tips on how to get your work seen and get the commissions coming in?
I’m sure this has been said many times: getting yourself out there, stands at art and trade fairs, where galleries, publishers and dealers can find you, and where you can find licensing opportunities if that’s a direction you’re happy to take