artist interview - kat hannah

Making her home in the 33rd American state, Kat Hannah is an artist who uses paint and canvas as her medium of choice. We had a chat to her about her practice, motivations and the best art advice she's ever received.

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What is your name and how old are you? My name is Kat Hannah and I can no longer blow out the birthday candles with one breath.

Where were you born and where do you live now? I was born in New Jersey and now reside in the neighbouring state of Pennsylvania. I'm making my way up the East Coast of the US to the rocky shores of New England.

What kind of media do you use? Why do you choose to use these media? I work primarily in the genre of oil painting. Oil paints can be executed in a wide range from a thin, fluid transparent layer to a heavy, rich opaque impasto. For me, no other medium can compete with the lusciousness and luminosity achieved with oils. This medium also affords the ability to come back the next day, after realising you couldn't possibly show that work to anyone, and wipe it out to start over.

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Are there any downsides to this medium? The downside of oil paints is their possible toxicity and the need for proper ventilation. Also drying time is an issue – you are literally watching paint dry. Plan on investing several months of drying time before varnishing.

Is there a running theme to the work you create, or do you just make whatever comes to mind? A theme running through my work is that of the female form. These figures, found many times in states of peril, give off a sense of vulnerability and isolation as if caught in the moment. You will find them immersed in water, perched on hillsides, or providing comfort to one another with a touch of bittersweet melancholy.

What kinds of ideas and things are you working on at the moment? Currently, I'm dabbling in landscapes relying on form, shape and colour in a more minimalist style. I've also switched back to painting on hardboard, as opposed to my more traditional linen canvas.

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Do you think people need to understand the artist's intention to appreciate the art? As an art lover, I am drawn to works that strike an emotional chord. For me, painting and drawing provides a sense of connection and communication. I leave the interpretation up to the viewer to involve them in the storytelling.

What's the coolest art tip you've ever received? Not a tip, per se, but the best advice I received (or maybe I said this) is that, while we are all influenced by other artists' creations, it is imperative to create your own style. Then, each of your works will convey a genuine, true emotion.

Which era of art do you appreciate the most? I find the mid-20th Century art movement to be especially exciting. This ushered in the rise of non-representational art, innovative poetry and music with a message.

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What do you enjoy doing when not creating art? I am a fan of tasty Italian food and my Golden Doodle pup. I spend as much time as I can enjoying both.

Where can we see more of your work? Prints and original paintings can be found here and mother and child based works here.

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