A Patchwork Fall

A Patchwork Fall
"A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art." ~Paul Cezanne~

February 24, 2017

Inspiration and Blooming Aloe Vera

Re-post (first published 4/29/12). 


One thing that is wise for an artist these days is to have plenty of your very own, original reference photos whenever possible. It's also good for an artist to plaint en plein air when you can to just get a good reference on color and how light and color intermix in nature rather than a camera interpretation. I don't paint en plein air a lot, so I am trying to do that more often to let my brain work on the color theory. So, while we were out of town visiting Mesquite, NV last weekend, I painted my little "Bottle Bush" painting en plein air one morning. I also took some good reference photos of the Bottle Bush and also an Aloe Vera plant that is about to bloom to add to my reference photo file. (I've never seen a blooming Aloe Vera before - have you?)

February 17, 2017

FRIDAY FEATURE: Featured Artist ~ Catherine Darling Hostetter

Here is a re-post of my Friday Feature of whimsical artist Catherine Darling Hostetter (first published 4/24/15). Enjoy!

I am trying a new thing with my blog that I am going to call FRIDAY FEATURE. These posts might include Top 10 lists, products/services I have found useful, or other art-related topics (beyond writing about my own art). 

To start out, I am writing a series of features about artists I admire. My goal will also be to provide some personal input from each artist - though that might not prove to be possible in every case. But, I will try my best.

With that, I welcome you to my inaugural FRIDAY FEATURE post...let's begin!

Welcome to the wonderful, witty, and whimsical world of Catherine Darling Hostetter!

"Adoggio" ©Catherine Darling Hostetter

Catherine, a full-time artist from Midvale, UT, also happens to be a friend of mine (though I don't get to see her as often as I would like). A truly talented artist, she is also one of the sweetest and most humble people you will ever meet in your life. 

While I have known of Catherine for nearly 12 years (since I joined the Utah Watercolor Society in 2003), I did not really get to know her as a person until I was an artist at Local Colors of Utah Fine Art Gallery in Salt Lake City, UT in 2010-2011. I worked very closely with Catherine for several months before I left the gallery in 2011. Those of you who are familiar with the book series or PBS television series "Anne of Green Gables" will understand what I mean when I say that Catherine is a Kindred Spirit. :) 

"Then It Dawned on Her" ©Catherine Darling Hostetter

Catherine's paintings are full of fun, texture, and movement. I will admit to not understanding her whimsical style in the beginning (12 years ago - when I was first exposed). But, over the years and more exposure to her work, I came to see the beauty and feel the emotion in all of her work. I am truly a fan! No matter the subject, when you look at one of Catherine's paintings you will feel an emotion. Whether it feels you will humor, thoughtfulness, tenderness, pensiveness, or peacefulness...each painting conveys something to the viewer in an intricately thought-out design. 

"Saint of Motherhood" ©Catherine Darling Hostetter
My husband and I are the fortunate owners of this particular
beautiful painting. It hangs in my living room and I see it
every day as I walk down the hallway from our bedroom.
Every time I see this painting I smile and remember
how grateful I am for my two beautiful children and the
blessing they are to me!

I reached out to Catherine to let her know of my intention to write this series of blog posts and asked her to answer some questions for me. She was kind enough to comply. 

"Flying Below Radar" ©Catherine Darling Hostetter

Q: What are your favorite materials and tools...the ones you just can't live without?

A: I am a collector of art supplies, or in other words, I have more than any decent person needs. I love to try new mediums so it's hard to really pin down what are my favorite materials and tools. My favorite gifts on my birthday or at Christmas are gift cards to art stores. I paint in acrylic or watercolor, so perhaps I should say my favorite tools are something to paint with and something to paint on! I do like artist-quality supplies.

Q: Who are your artistic influences and why?

A: I love Gustav Klimt. He was a very good figure artist and then departed into his own style with all his patterns. I love patterns. There was a period in my art a few years back that I put patterns in everything. Patterns can still be found today in my art, but not quite as much as before. 

A contemporary artist I love is Jeremy Lipking. I love his figures. They are just beautiful and I would love to take a workshop from him. 

My favorite watercolorist is Joseph Alleman. His work is fabulous and I was able to take a workshop from him several years ago. 

If you look at my artwork, you will see that I don't paint anything like those artists mentioned, but I love their work. I paint whimsical art, and my influences are James Christensen and Brian Kershisnik. I love both of these artists' work. 

Q: What is/are your favorite subject matter and why?

A: My favorite subject is painting people and my second favorite is animals. I have always loved these subjects since high school.

"Aubrey"  ©Catherine Darling Hostetter

"Patience is a Beggar's Virtue"  ©Catherine Darling Hostetter

Q: What are your favorite quotes?

A: My earliest favorite quote is from the play Auntie Mame: "Life is a banquet and most fools are starving to death." We performed that in high school and that is the PG version. Another favorite quote is from JRR Tolkien: "Not all those that wander are lost." Another favorite is "If you don't know where you are going, any road will do." from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

"Alice Laughing" ©Catherine Darling Hostetter

Q: What advice would you give to emerging artists?

A: Develop your basic skills. Learn to draw very well and always be in "learning" mode. Take workshops and, if you can't afford them, go to the library and get books. Focus on one style. I see a lot of artists that want to show you all the ways they can paint. If you are looking to get into a gallery, they are looking for strength in one style. Focus! (I need to follow my own advice.)

Q: What would you most like to be remembered for in life?

A: Being a good, kind person.

"Unlimited" ©Catherine Darling Hostetter

Catherine served as President of the Utah Watercolor Society in the 2008-2009 year, and is currently the President of Local Colors artist co-op. She publishes a blog of her thoughts and her art at Cathy Darling's Pure Art Studio. You can also find her art page on Facebook and she has prints and originals available at her Etsy Shop. Catherine is represented by Local Colors of Utah Fine Art Gallery in Salt Lake City, UT and Paisley Pomegranate in Park City, UT.

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog!

I hope you enjoyed this first in my Featured Artist series of posts. Please leave a comment with your thoughts and feedback. I would love to hear from you!