Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Kalama Owl and Harvard

First off, I am far from a collector of *things*. The shopping-gene missed me and I am often passionately against clutter and things sitting around, unless they have a true purpose.

On Saturday, my family and I cruised through our hometown antique shops, enjoying Kalama. I came across this little owl and for some reason she visually jumped out at me. I realized she was broken and sold “as is” but that didn’t bother me and she brought back memories of the illustrations I used to create before my children came along.

In the early hours of Sunday, I woke to tend to one of my boys and then found myself thinking about that owl and having an urge for her to hang in my studio – she became more than just a *thing* to me then and I was excited for the Antique store to open today so that I could go purchase her :)

She represents my past illustrations, but also motherhood, and I will always remember Kalama when I look at her, even if/when we no longer live here. She will also make me think of the owner of the Antique store whom I think is just so kind. She now has a purpose, and as soon as I can wrestle her away from my little boy who also loves her, she will hang in my studio.

So, I found an artistic connection here, which made me want to share :)

My illustration of Harvard the Owl is from 2002.

Have a great day! Sincerely, Katie

Thursday, March 26, 2009

All Is Well & Something Beautiful

Two new 8x8 paintings have joined the 85 8x8s collection, All Is Well and Something Beautiful.

Thursdays are becoming a natural release date for 8x8s, find more posted next Thursday!

Learn more: http://kmberggren.com/portfolio-85-85.htm

Something Beautiful:
...Simply sweet, simply pure, innocent, inquisitive, fresh and beautiful...

All Is Well:
Lately, I've been relating stories to my 4 1/2 year old son - stories of him as an infant ~ how he slept in bed with me every morning ~ how we stayed together for hours, sleeping, waking, dozing, nursing, talking and singing. The house was empty except for us and all was truly well within that little world between the sheets. These are still the words I whisper in the middle of the night when he or his brother has woken with a fear, all is well...

Have a great night! Sincerely, Katie

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Crush, Johnny Cash and Jason Mraz

Thursdays are becoming a natural release date for new 8x8s... that means tomorrow I'll be posting All Is Well and Something Beautiful (possibly Earthen, too, but we'll see :))

Crush was released yesterday and I'm pleased to be receiving great feedback so far, here is the completed painting (left) and it's very simple statement:

The emotion I feel for my children can sometimes only be described as falling head over heals ~ again and again.

See and learn more about Crush here:

Now, what do I have to say about Jason Mraz? Mostly about his song I'm Yours, let's start at the beginning.

A few weeks ago, Vancouver's North Bank Magazine released a profile of my art and me talking about my art and the opportunity to show your personality through your art (be it fine art or music or...) I can be quoted as saying "when you get to a (certain) stage in your career, you have more leeway, you want your personality to show". I use Johnny Cash as an example. Read the article here: http://www.kmberggren.com/inthenews.htm#nb

The Johnny Cash song I'm referring to (in the article) is Jackson, and at one point in the song, while June Carter Cash is singing (my ipod has become exhausted for the night, so I'm pulling this from memory) "yah go to Jackson..." Johnny flirts "mmmm-hmmmmm" to her, causing her to laugh mid-lyric. I love that ~ it's my favorite part in the song.

And now, I use Jason Mraz (http://jasonmraz.com/) as an example - in his song I'm Yours (which I have recently added to my ipod and have been listening to over and over) he uses the words "reckon" and "bestest" in the same sentence - the fact that he can use "bestest" and grace us by tucking his laugh into the song a couple times just pleases me! He is showing me his personality and lack of insecurity, and I'm responding by wanting to hear his whole collection.

When we begin an endeavor, we strive to be so perfect and not make any mistakes, but at a certain point, we realize that our "clan" or followers want to experience our true personality, our true self - they want to be there when we let go and refuse to be held back by fear (of success or failure), when we feel the free will to laugh, or even flirt, mid-song.

I'm not saying that I have reached this level, and this is not a new idea, I know. This is me maneuvering my way into and around the concept of complete freedom of expression and confidence.

I've been saying it for double-digit years: act as if ~ confidence is key ~ success begets success.

And just why IS Jason Mraz looking at his tongue in the mirror? :)

Have a great night. Love, Katie

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The State of My Studio

I snapped this photo this afternoon to show the progress on my five newest 8x8s (three to be posted tomorrow, Thursday) and an in process 16x20 (based off of one of the new 8x8s)! With my husband on vacation this week, I have found more time to paint while he is playing with the boys.

These three paintings (the three on the bottom in the picture; left to right: Swing, Greatness, Song In My Soul) are what I call Studio Sisters, conceptualized together, designed together and painted together – and tomorrow they will be released together.
Have a great night. Sincerely, Katie

Monday, March 16, 2009

Two New 8x8s Posted Tonight - Fever and Here Comes The Sun

Here Comes The Sun and Fever were completed last night and are now featured at http://www.kmberggren.com/ - Fever will be safely packaged and shipped to it's new home tomorrow :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spring is Coming

Alas, I discover this week that I am not invincible - my kiddos and I are suffering from what has come to be called the Cowlitz County Crud - it's awful, so my daily studio visits have been short - I am ACHING for a good long session with the ipod and my brushes, you have no idea.

In the meantime, I do what I can do and feel thankful for my health (because I know it's coming!) Spring is also coming, and I am working on a new 8x8 painting titled Here Comes The Sun. I'll show you a process image of it soon :) Take care, love Katie

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Pure Contamination of My Paints

Years ago – my brother who is a great painter (http://www.kevinleeconrad.com/) was watching me paint and while looking into my jar of white and seeing the bits of every other color in there as well said “Do you always contaminate your paints?” Feeling embarrassed, I said “no” and took steps for a while to avoid this.

Over the years, I’ve discovered that my lazy and creative contamination tendencies work very well for me! I am not very fond of washing my brushes, and am usually too ‘in the moment’ to do a very good job at it - I am always mixing paint on the canvas anyway, so having bits of gold in my white and bits of blue in my brown and bits of white in my yellow is actually quite inspirational.

Over the years, I’ve grown in experience and confidence, and now I have an answer to that question: “Yep! I contaminate my paints like crazy. I love the way colors mix and mingle – pearling and swirling together in the paint tub. It feels pure." :)

Have a great week!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Just Found the Quote I Referenced

"Making the decision to have a child is momentous....It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around the outside of your body" ~Elizabeth Stone~

I referenced this quote in the previous post. Isn't is great?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I Paint (and Write) to Remember

When I’m going grocery shopping, I write down everything and if I think of something additional I have to write it too – as soon as I hear myself say “I’ll remember that…” I know that I won’t.

When I’m feeling inspired, while painting, listening to music or going about the day with the kids, I often get the urge to write something down – I get ideas and messages that I know belong in writing so that they can later be realized in paint – frequently I tell myself “I’ll remember that… when I get to the studio” but I probably won’t.

When I’m hanging with the kids and they do or say something funny or crazy or sweet, I know I should write it down - I hear myself say “I’ll remember that… when I’m writing in his journal”. I know I don’t.

I used to think that the urge to write things down meant I had a bad memory. Now I think I’m realizing that creative people get ideas – we get inspirations, we dream up compositions and techniques in the middle of the night, we come across moments that we find amazing because we are creative and open to the possibility of amazement.

Writing (then painting) structures, saves, morphs and improves upon our creative bursts. Without writing, phenomenal ideas are lost – creative compositions and products will never exist. (I think one of the keys is having a central location to write them down.)
I paint to remember, then I tell myself that writing is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness – and I WILL remember that!

image: Go Where I Go, 8x8 painting #9 of 85