Welcome to Wednesdays on Create Everyday where I interview an artistic soul about their creative process. Today, I would like to introduce Kat Corrigan.
Is there a particular rhythm you have around your creative work time? If so, what does it look like?
I commit to two month-long daily painting projects every year, one in July and one in March. These help me kick my daily-painting habit into gear, usually just as it has been petering out again, and the added pressure of a public audience (on my blog) keeps me on it. I do like to paint every day, and make the time usually after our 4 year old is in bed, around 7pm. Then I can paint until 9 or 10~
On the weekends, I may paint in the morning while our "morning stuff" is going on. What helps me as well is to be prepared for small bouts of work time, rather than preparing for an extended hours long spree.Carol Marine
How many work spaces do you have and how/why do they work for you?
My main work space is a desk area in our dining room. It's about 3 feet by 3 feet, with shelves above and some storage below, as well as storage "cubbies" below the dining room window. I paint at the dining room table, using a stool and sometimes a table-top easel, referring to images on my laptop. My husband and I also have a studio space that I use mostly for teaching Painting Lessons, as the space is divided into work space for my husband's sculpting and tables for students. I will use this space when I am painting larger works, and also for painting with oils, as the space allows for the dry time and my son won't get into them either.
Do you do any "cross training" (activities that may enhance or spark your creativity)?
I like that thought, of "Cross-training"- I NEED to get outside and walk with my dog, and I NEED to have exposure to REAL ART and paintings- I love looking at brushstrokes-
I also love to make Frankensweaters, as a way of sculpting with fabric and thinking three-dimensionally and about the body and fashion. It is refreshing to make something that has no judgement whatsoever, and are at this point mostly for me! Pulling together two cashmere sweaters of complimentary or analagous colors and cutting them and sewing them to fit me in a flattering way makes me think in an entirely different creative way. It is sculpting rather than painting- And excites my brain!
Where do you seek inspiration for your work?
There are a number of excellent daily painting blogs I follow, and I love to read as well. I look at paintings at the MIA and other local art museums and galleries- the Russian Museum just had Nicolai Fechin's works, which I loved seeing! You have to LOOK to see how others paint, and then figure out your own confidence from there~
Generally, how long are your work periods?
At least an hour, usually two or three, though if it is late at night, I may just do a pencil sketch on black gesso for a "starter" for the next day. I use a "stay-wet" sealable palette that keeps my acrylic paint wet for a very long time, which means I just pop the lid and paint when I have time, and the colors I'd been using are always there. I also tend to use a limited palette of colors, quindachrinone magenta, phthalo blue (red shade AND green shade), primary yellow and titanium white. All my current work is painted with these four colors- this keeps setting up quick and also keeps my work cohesive~
When do you know that you need to "take a break" or stop working (for the moment)?
When I can't see it anymore, and I know SOMETHING is off, something is bugging me, but if I keep at it I'll trash it! I know I need to step away and get some fresh eyes. Also, if I am not enjoying my painting time, and I do other tasks to avoid sitting down with my colors (like if I would rather balance my checkbook, BAD SIGN), then I know I need to pull out my sweaters and chop some up.
Do you suffer from perfectionism and if so, what techniques do you use to manage this?
At times I do suffer from the desire to make my work look more "slick" but this usually backfires and I tend to over-paint, futzing and fussing till it is muddy and unclear. I really think the limited time helps me, because I have to step away, and then when I am able to return to my work I can see it all over again without judgment.
If you don't, what experiences do you feel are responsible for taking you off the hook here?
Working quickly and getting my art OUT THERE and away from me helps me not over focus and mess it up!
Do you have a creative support system? How important is this to your process?
Oh good LORD do I have a creative support system! And it is VITAL to my process! I have been incredibly lucky to, first of all have an artist and art teacher as my mom. She has been my number one fan my entire life and is still a major player in my art life. Secondly, I have an incredible husband who is also an artist and who rarely ever says "that's crazy!" when I make a suggestion- he just figures out how we can do it. Then there is the glorious fact that I live in Minneapolis where there is a HUGE population of artists, who tend to hang out and support one another across various disciplines. And then there is my participation in the Women's Art Institute retreats and studio intensives, which focus on supporting women in arts, and led me to investigate WARM's mentor program, which led to the creation of L7, which has kept me in creative consorts for upwards of five years now, I believe...
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