Sunday, 1 January 2017

Roots and Vines with Kim Valentine: Local Painter Inspired by Nature

SceneRazR had the opportunity in late October to attend a vernissage of Kim Valentine's work at The Tea Party in the Byward Market. Tea Party is a lovely establishment that sells a wide variety of loose tea, makes delicious food, and brews a comforting cup of coffee if you are stumbling in with wet sneakers on the night of the NCR's first heavy snowfall. Snow before Hallowe'en? Not cool man, not cool.

Which is what I'd have to do if there weren't awesome places like The Tea Party.

Kim is a local artist and performer who uses palette knife and oils to create dynamic interpretations of Nature. Palette knife painting is not necessarily the first go-to method for oil painters, but certainly not unheard of. Give the people at Palette Knife Painters a follow to learn more.

Kim Valentine's weapon of choice!

Read on to find out what inspires Kim as an artist, and to learn more about what she'll be creating in 2017.

SceneRazR: What inspires you to grab your palette knife and start creating something?

Kim Valentine: This sounds so cheesy...
I really love nature. I mean trees are just so crazy. They just take up as much space as they can, so unapologetically. I love them so much. I love watching the way grass, or leaves, or flowers move in the breeze. 

Sometimes, it’s just a colour that I spot somewhere, and I’ll have to get to the studio and start playing with similar colours.

Kim with one of her choice creations :)

SR: There is a very dynamic energy to your work. I overheard a remark from a guest at your vernissage: "Her paintings look like she had so much fun creating them." How do you feel during your creative process?

KV: Oh, I love hearing that! I am definitely having fun while I paint. I used to have some serious anxiety issues. I couldn’t do anything without feeling anxious about what other people would think. It prevented me from even trying art for a long time.

Since I discovered painting I’ve been able let go of all that. I paint for me. It makes me happy, and I think that maybe that’s coming out in the art.

SR: Are there other artists who inspire or influence your work?

KV: This is a hard one. There are soo many awesome artists around. I love Nava Waxman, Stephen Frew, Brenda Dunn, Alison Fowler. There are so many more. I just think that art inspires more art. When I see something great that someone else has made, I feel totally inspired by their creativity.

SR: Describe your ideal creative environment - as in: what's your best time of day/night to work? How is your studio set up? Do you have music playing? Do you work best in isolation?

KV: I’d probably describe my studio as a mix between a ten year old’s bedroom, and a hippie’s living room. Full of soft lamps, and Christmas lights hanging all over the place. I have a ton of plants filling the window, and a stupid cat yelling at me when I pay too much attention to the canvas. Other than the cat, I prefer to be alone while I paint. Except for the cat.

I love listening to music while I paint. Specifically instrumentals. They allow me to get into my head, and swim around in there.

I’m a big fan of mornings. I feel most productive, and usually crazy inspired first thing in the morning. I think a dream would be to have a studio with a window facing the sunrise. I could paint with the sunrise, and drink an obnoxious amount of coffee. I’d never get tired of that.

SR: The majority of your work portrays plant life, but you have also done pieces featuring still life and animals. Do you see yourself focusing more on non-flora based work in the future?

KV: I think so. I have a few things that I’ve been playing with lately that are more elemental than flora based. I’m really excited about where these thoughts are going, and I’m looking forward to sharing them in the new year.

SR: Do you do commissions?

KV: I do! Commissions are so fun. It’s so nice getting to know the people who order a commission, and creating something with them in mind. It feels so nice to hand over that piece of original art in the end.

SR: In addition to your painting, you have several acting credits under your belt, and you play ukulele as well. Are there other creative avenues you'd like to explore?

KV: I feel like you can never have enough art in your life. I wrote a feature recently for STATUS, which is a local online publication. I interviewed Frank Sukhoo about his designs. I really had fun with that, so I’m going to see where else that can take me.
I recently joined a local band with my ukulele - which is crazy to me. We started performing a song that I helped co-write. I didn’t realize that performing your own original music could give you such a rush. I’m hooked on it. I’m going to spend a lot more time exploring music writing and performing.

SR: You've just completed a vernissage at The Tea Party Cafe in the Byward Market - congratulations! Please tell us of any upcoming installations and let SceneRazR readers know where and how they can obtain your paintings.

KV: Carben Food + Drink is a restaurant in Hintonburg that will be hosting some of my pieces for a while. That started on December 5, and will be ongoing. I’m going to be involved with the Hintonburg Happening, which is a really cool new festival happening May 3 - 6 at different locations throughout that neighbourhood. There’ll be a month long show at Irene’s Pub on Bank St. starting June 4, 2017.

I have a few other things in the works right now, but I’m keeping quiet for now. Once details are nailed down, I’ll let you know!

SR: Thanks so much, Kim! For all the maniacs reading this, you can stay current with Kim's creations via the social media links below. It sounds like we'll be hearing much more from Kim in 2017!

Keep up with Kim Valentine on: Twitter

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