Katie Long Stevenson is one of my favorite modern artists, and also a great friend! I had the opportunity to ask Katie a few questions about her work, inspirations, and favorite things:
SK: How do you find your color inspiration/palettes?
KLS: Choosing color can be as simple as what moves me that day or what looks most fun to work with at the art store, but mostly depends on my approach to painting abstracts. I start each by listening to classical music and let the rhythm and emotion of the piece dictate the mood of the painting. I associate bolder and faster music with bright colors, so reds can be dominant; whereas a slower and softer piece inspires me to use pastel hues. I have been going through a big neon stage for a while, so I like to include a little hint of it here and there.
SK: Do you prefer figurative or abstract work?
KLS:I love painting both figuratively and abstractly. Rather than having them be dueling genres, I've been working toward keeping the approach and goal for each very similar so that the greater difference is that one has a more obvious subject than the other. However, I go into phases with both--for a few weeks I'll focus on one body of work, then switch to the other. It's important to keep exploring one genre until you've pushed yourself as far as you can go, then move on to something new...you always come back to the first with a fresh take. I abandoned figurative painting for nearly a year, and when I came back to it the images were much more abstract.
SK: Where do you find your inspiration for you abstract works? I've noticed that titles of a few have music references...?
KLS: The biggest inspiration is music, and if a painting is "built' listening only to that piece, then I consider it a literal interpretation. That's why some are named after the composer. Others have numbers beside them, like "Concerto 28x", which meant that I listened to the piece exactly 28 times through before it was finished. I'm also incredibly inspired by Willem de Kooning, Simeon Braguin, Mark Rothko...
SK: What are three things you can't live without?
KLS: My son, my husband, and sleep/fruit/dark chocolate/Shu Uemera eye lash curler (how can I choose?!) :)
Below are a few of my favorites of Katie's pieces.