KO Artist Feature Katie Green
I was first acquainted with Katie Green during her exhibition In Stillness, at Artpoint Galleries and Studios where I have my studio art practice. I remember walking into the gallery during closed hours and turning on the lights to reveal these deeply honest and organic paintings. The compositions were so powerful and raw. They were the kind of intentional details that made me walk up very close to the paintings not wanting to miss a thing. I caught up with Katie after she completed a one month artists residency at Institut für Alles Mögliche in Berlin, Germany to ask her about her artistic practice. This past month upon her arrival back in Canada, Katie completed a large-scale mural at the Bowness Library in Calgary, AB. Unlike most artists, no matter what scale she works in, small or massive, all pieces still hold their delicacy and power.
KO: What is your personal definition of art?
KG: I see art as a mode to express and interpret. It’s a way to observe and process the world around us. It’s a form of communication, connection, and challenge. For me, the act of creating constantly acts a mirror for aspects of myself I need to both question and celebrate.
KO: What is your favorite medium to work in?
KG: I work primarily with watercolor, acrylic inks and graphite/pen. I am currently very aware of wanting to experiment with new mediums and ways of working.
KO: At what age did you decide you were an artist?
KG: I don’t think there was ever really an ‘ah ha’ moment, it was more a process of embracing my artistic practice as an integral part of my life. Perhaps the decision to begin my studies in the art department at the University of Calgarywas a moment that initiated my transition from viewing art as not only a passion, but as something that could fuel my career.
KO: What is your earliest “art” memory that evoked the feelings inside you?
KG: I used to spend a lot of time with coloring books – these were a big part of my childhood. I could spend hours with my pencil crayons coloring in all the lines and forms. I loved the images that were coded with numbers. All the ones orange, the twos blue and so on. Remember those? I can see this approach reflective in the meticulous nature of some of my work now.
KO: Yeah, I remember those! I just became aware that coloring books are making a massive come-back, but for adults!
What is your favorite film?
KG: That’s a tough one. The first one that comes to mind is Now and Then, but that is because its associated with good memories from my childhood. I absolutely love watching films and have enjoyed many in my lifetime, but one thing to know about me is I am the worst at remembering the titles of films. A really good film I watched recently is Victoria. I saw it in the theatres in Berlin and it’s a 2 hour film shot in one take. It was fantastic.
KO: Who is your favorite fashion designer?
KG: I don’t have one. I love fashion, mostly because it allows people to express themselves. I have never been into labels or designers. I shop mostly second-hand. If you asked any one who knows me well If I had a favorite fashion designer they would most likely have a laugh. I have been trying to make a point to downsize and simplify when it comes to my possessions and wardrobe. But I love the process of going into a second-hand store and finding something unique and being creative about reinventing an item.
KO: What are the staples of your wardrobe?
KG: I am finding more and more that my wardrobe consists of basics. With trying to downsize I think its important that everything fits and works together. I love trousers and anything high-waisted. I like comfort and layers.
KO: What kind of music do you like to listen to while you are working?
KG: Something that is soothing. I love r n’ b and soulful jams. My favorite group right now is Hiatus Kaiyote.
KO: Who is your favorite artist?
KG: Right now I am really interested in the work of Joram Roukes.
KO: What artistic movement or period has influenced you the most in your own practice?
KG: Rather than the historical segmentation of artistic periods I am more interested in a thematic exploration of nature through a more current context.
KO: What did your parents do that help encourage/discourage you in your artistic practice?
KG: They believed.
KO: What advice would you give future artists?
KG: I know this is said a lot (and mostly because its true) is keep creating. This is something I always have to remind myself of. Everyday do something that is just for your artistic exploration. Honor the fact that you have creative freedom and with this comes the ability to explore and express. Do something every day that helps you move forward. Not for a job or a commission, just for you.
KO: Are you superstitious?
KG: No, not necessarily. When it comes to broken mirrors or black cats I don’t feel as though these things have significance in my life, but there are certain patterns that repeat in my day-to-day that I pay close attention to. I do take these reoccurrence as signs or signals pointing me in a certain direction.
KO: What does your creative process look like?
KG: It is all sorts of things. It is constantly shifting and evolving, especially at this time in my life. Right now I am constantly trying to push myself out of what feels comfortable. I want growth and discovery and with this comes challenge and doubt. All healthy and interconnected. While maintaining a studio practice and doing various commission work, I am also currently doing numerous public art works such as the utility box program and a mural for the University of Calgary.
KO: Where do you create?
KG: I create both in my studio and in public areas depending on the specifics of my various mural projects. My studio is located in my home where I have dedicated a space to my practice.
KO: How has your style evolved?
KG: That’s always an interesting question. To see this requires space away from your practice and time to notice how it has naturally shifted and evolved. I think there is more freedom and surrender with my work. I feel as though I am allowing more moments where I relinquish control.
KO: Where do you ideally see yourself in 7 years from now?
KG: I hope to be in a place in which I feel accomplished and that I have consciously made the effort to live without restriction or doubt. I am not sure exactly where that is or what that looks like but I have been shown in my life that when I remain open and trusting the right path is consistently presented to me.
Special thanks to Katie Green for sharing with me. All photos courtesy of www.katiegreenartist.com