Monday, July 11, 2011

Q &A with New Art Tutor Kathryn Stevens

Kathryn Stevens

'Pulse', 1200 x 1000mm oil on canvas 2010

Viewfinder at bath st 2008

“Painting ... is just so... open and endless. Painting can be anything that you want it to be."

Kyla Mackenzie interviews CEAC's new tutor Kathryn Stevens in the lead-up to her Adult Art Classes in August. Click HERE for the full class descriptions and enrolment details.

KM: You will be launching a new beginners 6 week art class at Corban Estate Art Centre from 17 August to 21st September; after 10 years of teaching painting and drawing, what are some of things that you enjoy most about teaching others?

KS: The thing I enjoy most is students surprising themselves, both in what they can achieve and in how much fun they can have in the process.

KM: What do you start with first when teaching beginners?

KS: I start very much at the beginning, with building practical drawing skills, learning to really look at whatever it is you are drawing, and gaining trust in your creative process.

KM: You like your students to loosen up and play; what are some of the exercises you teach to allow the creative process to flow?

KS: I think that creative flow is about engaging with painting in a curious way so I like to work on developing that curiosity. To approach painting with a desire to find out ‘what happens if...’

KM: What are the best ways to overcome painter’s or artist’s ‘block’?

KS: New materials or even just a new paint colour can change the game enough to get the ideas going again.

KS: The most important thing though is to just keep showing up and doing the work regardless of, in fact especially, if you have that feeling that you aren’t getting anywhere. Working always generates the inspiration and ideas not the other way around.

KM: Are there other areas of ‘play’ or hobbies that you enjoy?

KS: Making things with my seven year old daughter, cardboard, glue, paint etc...

Learning anything new.


Gardening, I like to keep a vege garden and even when I don’t get much time in it I love the fact that it is growing and I can walk out and pick something to add to a meal.

KM: What are some good working habits for artists to learn?

KS: To make time and space for your art making and then just stick to it.

KM: What value do you place on the creative process for a person’s overall happiness?

KS: Being creatively active is normal and essential and benefits us in most areas of our lives. People are usually happier, more stimulated and better to be around when they are creatively engaged.

KM: What was the catalyst or catalysts for your own foray into art making? You began with engineering..., so what made you change tack?

KS: My studying engineering was largely as a result of being directed (at School) in an academic direction, and at that time that was to the exclusion of art. I guess the catalyst for the change was pretty much dissatisfaction and a determination to find my right place.

KM: You’re also a make-up artist for the fashion and advertising worlds – do you find there’s any overlap between the layers of colour and texture that you play with in both fields?

KS: I guess there is but they never seem linked to me. Painting for me is just so much more open and endless. Painting can be anything that you want it to be. Everything about my painting is driven and evolved by me and that makes it ultimately challenging and rewarding.

KM: What are you looking forward to most with this new course at Corban Estate Art Centre?

KS: I just love starting people off on the journey of painting, and showing them that they can do it!

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