Friday, April 1, 2011

Kathrine McDowell - Photographer

Kathrine McDowell
I have been an Artist for longer than I can remember and a photographer for eleven years. The love affair began when I developed my first print in the dark room. There is nothing like that feeling as the image begins to form under the thin layer of developer. I was hooked I knew photography would be part of my life forever.

I studied photography at the University of South Dakota. I was a semester away from graduating when I quit school “temporarily” to help with family financial problems. From there I stumbled into a career in event planning. Last year I decided that it was time to turn my passion into my business. Since then I've had a show at The Pearson Lakes Arts Center in Okoboji, IA and had my work in a group show in Worthington, MN. My husband and I relocated to Saint Cloud from Okoboji, IA in December and we couldn’t be more excited to start our life in Minnesota.

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past project?
I have developed affection for photographing in bad weather and heavy fog. I love it when the fog covers everything except for the path in front of you. The fog isolates elements of landscape and forces you to appreciate something that you wouldn't normally notice.

In the past I have mostly focused on vacant landscapes. My interest has shifted into nude portraits and surrealism. The series is about transformation and it’s inspired by a drawing I did last year. The Drawing is of a girl turning into a tree. I plan to use theatric makeup techniques to achieve the transformation look. I really want to explore the beauty of the nude in a personal and unique way.

What is art? Is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?
I have always wanted to make art that made people pause and thank what is the story there? Or make art that people feel a personal connection to. Mostly I try to make art that I love and find meaning in. And I just hope the others will find it meaningful as well.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

Don't make art for anyone but yourself.

A few years ago I ran into a creative wall. I could not seem to make any artwork of value. I doubted whether I could ever make art people would like. The breakthrough came when I realized that I had to stop making art for others and make it only for myself. When I stopped focusing on making art that people would like, my work improved. I started enjoying it once again and that is when people started appreciating my work.

Tell me about your workspace and your creative process.
I have a spare bedroom that I set up for a studio. But much to my husband’s dismay, I usually I work in my living room. I have only spilled paint on the carpet once, maybe twice.

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?

Doug Holtquist wicked cool sculptures

Ana Cole Sweat and soulful Photographs

Chuck Smith Awe inspiring nudes

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota which places would we go? What would we see?
It depends on the day. We might go to the Paramount Art Center in Saint Cloud or we might go for a long walk on the beach or down the Head Waters Recreational trail to check out Doug Holtquist's sculpture “Farm Family Portrait,” just because it's there and I have not seen it yet.

Where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what's going on in the art world locally and otherwise?
I love, love, love surfing random flickr feeds. You never know what you're going to find and you never know what will inspire you. My favorite resource thus far is Alyson Stanfield. I listen to her podcast and subscribe to her blog feed. She always has useful tips. I seriously cannot recommend her enough to any artist that wants to make a career of their art. I also of course follow Local Artist Interviews! As somewhat of a transplant, I have really apreciated being able to read about local artists.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

I am working on a self- published book of my “Dream within a Dream” series. Then in May I am going to start on the series “transformation”. Hopefully I will finish by September and then I can start planning a show.

1 comment:

Christine Robinson said...

What an insightful young artist Katherine seems to be. Her philosophies play out in her art and photography in a unique, fresh way that I find most welcoming. I look forward to adding Kathrine's prints to my collection.