Spotlight on Watercolour Artist Kate Osborne

By in Interviews


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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.

KO.23 Gallo by Artist Kate Osborne


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!

General Questions

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

KO.41 Butterflies Moths 5 by Artist Kate Osborne


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.

Rooks in the Snow by Artist Kate Osborne


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

KO.20 On The Run by Artist Kate Osborne

10 comments for “Spotlight on Watercolour Artist Kate Osborne

Danny Flynn

December 13, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Hello Kate…

I’m just building a site of my own in here at present and was just browsing around the artweb site, so decided to read your “interview”

Just wanted to say that I love the freshness and fluidity of your work and enjoyed the answers you gave to the questions…

All the very best with your work

Yours Danny

caroline dorling

December 14, 2011 at 11:09 am

Dear Kate,

Loved being reminded of your work, being brought up to date and the starkness of the rooks.

and A Very Happy Christmas and hugely prosperous New Year!

love, Caroline


December 14, 2011 at 11:10 am

I could certainly eat your paintings too, I love them! Good luck with this fabulous work you deserve great success. Caroline

David O'Connor

December 14, 2011 at 11:14 am

Hi Kate

Lovely work and lovely words as always.

Looking forward to seeing you soon.

best wishes David

Anjali Sanghi

December 14, 2011 at 11:36 am

Really Like the way you create art and use colours. All the best

Sharl Heller

December 14, 2011 at 3:21 pm

We are fortunate to own a large and wonderful watercolor, given to us by Kate during her New Mexico years. It is a fanciful conglomeration of items in and around our home at the time and portrays our two children perfectly, even though I was pregnant and didn’t know the sex of the second child when she painted it. If I could, I’d upload a photo of it, as it deserves a wider audience. Kate’s sensitivity to nature and the force of life shows up in everything she paints. I’m a huge fan!

David Westwood

December 14, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Kate’s watercolours are masterpieces. I’ve never seen a more masterful hand and eye.


December 18, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Hi Kate
Brilliant paintings, wish I could do work even closely up to your standard but am off ‘in the wild blue yonder’ and probably 200 years ahead of my time. Though ‘the system’ probably thinks I’m whacky or from another planet. Anyway, good luck, you wield a fine brush.

Susan Edge

December 22, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Just brilliant,Kate – there is no mistaking your work and I am also a huge fan! Wishing you even more success in 2012………..


May 31, 2015 at 6:35 pm

I will be traveling to Brighton the last week of August 2015. I would love to participate in one of your watercolour workshops! Will you be offering any workshops or lessons that week?

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