Friday, 21 February 2014

Katy Prints by Kate Dunn

After a lovely break over Christmas, registering herself as self-employed (yay!) and juggling some teaching work, we were finally able to catch up with the lovely Kate Dunn, one of our newest studio members who has a great love of tea and soul music!

Acrylic sunset painting
Kate's specialism is painting serene, abstract canvases using blended acrylics, but she also likes to delve into the realms of print making and double-exposure photography too. Her work is rather intuitive and she cites landscapes, music, moods and colours as main influences of her paintings.

Work in progress
Monoprint and transfer

Double exposure photography

So meditative is her work it can also be found to enhance the soothing environment of the Leigh James Hypnotherapy clinic in Macclesfield. We chat art and music over a bar of Dairy Milk (Marvellous Creations) in the sewing room, here Kate tells us more:

F6: Hi Kate, how are you?

KD: I’m very well.

F6: Glad to hear it. Your paintings have got a very calm and therapeutic effect, how did you come about painting in this sort of style?

KD: Well, I’m really inspired by landscapes…[bursts into laughter]…all I can hear is popping candy! [More laughter] I’m influenced by landscapes and I’m really influenced by colour as well. I’ve got a few favourite artists like Turner, and I really like the way he washes the colour up in layers, and I kind of like doing that. I’m really influenced by different times of the day, so you’ve got kind of different effects of light coming through clouds…

F6:…like sunrays?

KD: Sunrays, and the difference when weather changes, the kind of different points of change.

F6: So you’re a bit of a romantic at heart then? A romantic artist!

KD: Yeah definitely.

F6: So what are your favourite colours to use? I’ve noticed you use a lot of blue.

KD: Erm quite a lot of blue, and, I really like a lot of deep oranges as well, and kind of warm, rustic colours...sunset colours, and warm Mediterranean type colours, cause I like a warm climate...I’m in the wrong part of the world!

F6: It takes you to a better place!

KD: Yeah.

F6: What do you use to help you get in the right mindset for painting, yours are very fluid and meditative, how do you prepare for that?

KD: It takes me ages to get into it, but I build up paint in layers anyway. I try out lots of different patches, but I mix up loads and loads of different colours first, and then use different kinds of surfaces to paint on just to see how they’re going to react on different surfaces.

F6: So things like music, what kinds of music do you tend to listen to when you're working?

KD: Um, I quite like simple guitar music, people like Nick Drake and Jeff Buckley, which can be complex, but I love PJ Harvey, she’s one of my heroines…yeah she’s amazing.

F6: So if you had to be stuck on a desert island with three records…

KD: Three records, ohhh! I’d have to have a Stevie Wonder, because I love Stevie Wonder he makes me feel happy, and he’s eternally optimistic, and sunny! Erm…ohh..I don’t know which record, I don’t know!

F6: Just artists then?

KD: Oh, when I’m working at night I have to listen to Boards of Canada. It’s all kind of, electronic. I quite like electronic music, Boards of Canada I really quite like, I can write to it, or I can paint to it…oh and Buena Vista Social Club as well. Actually I listen to quite a bit of classical music as well, I've played the violin since I was five. If I’m stressed out and I can’t concentrate, I have to listen to Bach, I find it really relaxing.

F6: Wow bit of a mix there! A lot of your work’s very calming to look at and it’s now in a hypnotherapy clinic, how did that come about?

KD: Well…I sold some pictures on Ebay, and someone approached me after the auction and said ‘oh, do you have anything left to sell, I’m opening up a new clinic and I’m needing stuff for the walls so if you’d be happy to do some stuff…’ and I said (puts on exaggerated voice) ‘Uh yeah, I would’! [laughs]

F6: It’s really exciting.

KD: It is really exciting, so he approached me and that was really good, so we’ve met a few times and he’s very much into producing images that go with his work. So he’ll have a client and he talks through hypnotherapy sessions with them, using a script like a meditation where he takes them to a forest, or a river, or a lake, and he wants images to go with these kind of stories that he tells.

F6: Ah that’s really nice how the two work together, it’s that whole relaxation thing again. Obviously you already have some work on Ebay, what's next?

KD: I’ve got some more paintings to do, I need to do one that’s based on a loch, and one that’s based on mountains.

F6: Are these for the hypnotherapy clinic?

KD: Yeah for the hypnotherapy clinic, but I want to do more drawing as well, like illustrations for greetings cards. But also, what I also want to do is more photography, experimental photography but based on landmarks in different parts of the country.

F6: Like the double exposure ones you brought to The Stand (comedy club)? They worked really well.

KD: Yeah, I’m interested in printmaking as well. Cause I’m really into doing printmaking as well like mono-printing, and I’ve bought this mangle...there’s kind of a bit of cross-over like with a bit of photography that you can then make into mono-print, or print over the top of.

F6: So you’ve got quite a lot going on at the moment then! When is it you graduate from your PNE (Project North East) course again?

KD: I graduate from PNE on 14th of March.

F6: On 14th March you’ll officially be a self-employed artist!

KD: Yeah self-employed…oh no my own business!

F6: It’s scary but exciting. You're already off to a great start and you're in great hands, good luck with your launch!

Kate's artwork can be bought on Ebay at is also in the process of setting up her own website for 'Katy Prints', so we'll post a link as soon as soon as it's up and running!

To contact Kate about commissions, please contact via email at ''.