My work generally focusses on people in action. I like to observe their gestures, habits and characters, absorbed in their work and at one with their environment. Movement is one of the key things that I like to capture in my work.
The last few years I have embarked on a project entitled Scotland: Darg and Drams. Having lived in Scotland for over a decade I see its beauty in the natural grit of everyday life. My picture-postcard Scotland gives a ‘rough around the edges’ portrayal, a Scotland absorbed in work and play, and at one with its environment. This body of work captures life at the shipyards, heliport and hangars of Aberdeen, the ‘Oil Capital of Europe’, where workers ‘grump and joke in muted tones at red-eye time’. Life in the barns where the whisky casks are made; a trade associated with traditional skills and craftsmanship, yet a modern part of Scotland’s industrial landscape. At Knockando Woolmill, who create woollen textiles on Victorian machinery, at Thainstone Mart, where the ringmaster auctions off livestock by circling them before a captive audience and in the pubs where fiddle music carries the locals into the early hours after a long week of grafting.
My current work includes Japanese ink drawings of Conductor Matthew Waldren, a rising star in the UK Opera Industry captured in action at the rehearsals for Puccini's late masterpiece, La Rondine, in Opera Holland Park. New work features also the internationally known Masters of Glassworking captured amidst the furnaces at the School of Glass in Murano, made possible through Visiting Guest Artist Full Fellowship Award in Venice.
Drawings are created at unique locations, amidst the hustle and bustle, with production in full swing, and subsequently transformed into oil paintings, ink drawings and limited edition copper plate etchings. Not only I find life drawing vital for capturing the essence of a fleeting moment, but life drawing provides a means of discovery. I find my artistic response to the environment, and explore what details I pick up, how they are described and equally significant what I omit, it is crucial to for new ideas as the response tends to inspire.
In my ink drawings, I apply Japanese ink using a bespoke calligraphy nib. The relatively large tool delivers large expressive mark-making which varies at the angle it touches the paper. This tool helps to approach my subject matter more freely and emulates the impression of spontaneity more clearly. In my oil paintings, I tend to use rigger brushes a lot, on primarily wooden boards, as I like the resistance of the panels, and I can ‘etch’ into them if needed. In the etchings, I use techniques of hard ground, soft ground, drypoint, aquatint and sugar lift.
Born and raised in the Netherlands, Kate’s diverse career path has taken her from semi-professional tennis in her youth, to civil engineering at Delft University of Technology, a PhD in Coastal Engineering from the University of Aberdeen, to fine art.
Now as a multi-award winning emerging artist she produces contemporary work on heritage, landmarks and industries using oil paint, ink and intaglio printmaking techniques.
2016, Visiting Guest Artist Full Fellowship, Scuola Internazionale di Grafica, Venezia, Italy
2015, The Colin Dakers Memorial Purchase Prize, Meffan Museum and Gallery, UK
2014, Royal Scottish Academy Latimer Award, UK
2012, The Aberdeenshire VISUAL ARTISTS' AWARD, UK
Multiple works held by Aberdeen Maritime Museum / Work purchased by Angus Council and part of art collection.