“As I stand before my easel, I see beauty in simplicity, and I work towards finding harmonious tones among the characters in my ‘set up’. The exquisiteness of floral and everyday elements captures my attention and is the focus of my originals oil paintings.
The love of art and gardening collectively come together to influence the aesthetics in my work. My gardens provide an abundance of colorful, luminous subjects, always changing. They reflect the seasons and elevate my mood. The shelves in my studio are lined with old vases and Indian pots, collected over a lifetime by my precious mother. It is an inheritance that represents my life and that of my family, manifested as subjects I cherish.
Before I start a painting, I spend hours, sometimes days, formulating an idea and arranging the still life. Staying true to the original idea, I contemplate the relationship of colors, shapes of objects, and the feelings invoked by the interplay of light and shadow. Every time I approach the canvas, there is the desire to create something as painting for me is a thought process that inspires meditation. As I begin to move around the buttery texture of the paint and feel the familiar brushes in my hand, a transformation occurs that silences the chatter in my mind and lifts me to another place. Beauty reveals itself during this process. My completed paintings, with dark backgrounds and focused light, reveal elegance in the simplest of images and always invites contemplation.
For me, painting is so also comforting. As I enter the studio, I start with a blank canvas and a full mind. I usually begin with a warm, thin undertone of yellow ochre, and I map out the composition with a variety of grounding earth tones. The dark shapes are then massed in, finding a rhythmic pattern of form. The light areas are developed with a transparent warm tone that will reveal itself even through after thicker opaque paint is layered on. This gives the objects a special radiance from within. The real fun occurs as I begin to express my emotional response through the use of opposites.
There is a unity that appears as I develop the interplay between opposites in value, texture, edges, and temperature. I feel a tremendous thrill with the experience of creating the lustrous light. As I paint, I feel something on a very deep level that I don’t have words for. I have discovered that through my brushes I express my gratitude for my life and the discovery of my own creativity. My intent is that my paintings also leave room for the viewer to find their own mystery and simply pause and interpret the story they see guided by their own experiences.”
This series of iris, painted by Kate O’Donnell, features flowers from her own garden. As the art curator at La Posada, it is my great honor to present her original oil paintings. I have known the artist since she was born, a little girl named Katie Deal in Los Alamos, New Mexico, where for years I baby sat for her and her two sisters! Sixty Five years later we are still bonded. I love her and everything she does. Enjoy her work, Folks.
Art Curator Sara Eyestone 2017