Creating painterly still lifes
This story was featured in the July 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art July 2013 print issue, or get the Southwest Art July 2013 digital download now…Or better yet, just subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!
Kathy Tate knows that life sometimes takes an artist in surprising directions. A sixth-generation Texan, Tate was raised in rural surroundings where cattle and horses were regular fixtures of the local scenery. She and her husband owned a dairy farm for 37 years. Today people ask her why she doesn’t paint the things she knows so well. They say, “Why are you painting still lifes?”
Tate’s answer is that she has a special appreciation for the Texas antiques that she often paints, including old family heirlooms like her mother’s favorite pitcher or cast-iron pots from pioneer chuck-wagon days. Tate is drawn to objects that tell a story. Her works have been included in shows such as Salon International at Greenhouse Gallery in San Antonio, and she currently has a still-life painting on view at the Oil Painters of America Juried Salon Show in Petoskey, MI.
Tate’s serious interest in drawing originated, in part, from drafting classes at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, TX. But she credits fellow Texas artists Martin Grelle, Bruce Greene, and George Hallmark with being major influences on her work today. And, she says, a workshop with painter C.W. Mundy in 2007 was a significant turning point, when she began to focus on a looser and more impressionistic style. “Most people start out as very photorealistic. But what I want is to stay as painterly as I can,” she says. “I don’t want to spell out every detail.”
Although still lifes are her first artistic love, she is fond of depicting the architecture and rural life in Texas from time to time. “I like to keep my work fresh, and I achieve this by incorporating a variety of subject matter,” she says.
When it comes to accomplishments, she is most satisfied when someone buys a piece of her artwork. “I feel blessed when people buy a painting because they work hard for their money, and they are contributing part of their livelihood to something I have created,” Tate says. “It’s the biggest compliment of all.” —Bonnie Gangelhoff
Featured in the July 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art July 2013 digital download
Southwest Art July 2013 print issue
Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!
MORE RESOURCES FOR ART COLLECTORS & ENTHUSIASTS
• Subscribe to Southwest Art magazine
• Learn how to paint & how to draw with downloads, books, videos & more from North Light Shop
• Sign up for your Southwest Art email newsletter & download a FREE ebook