Painter Kathryn Wills creates abstract landscapes using a complex additive and subtractive method. Enjoy her engaging portfolio and find more of her work on her website.
I paint to engage or share with the viewer my experience of a place of special significance through abstraction.
Colorful formations in a canyon, 360 degree views from a ridge top or a trail winding through wildness all have a golden thread that weaves in and out of my work. There is a warp that connects earth to the heavens and a weft that moves horizontally pulling cedars, rooftops and hills together.
As a painter, I am deeply affected by a sense of place or my environment. The more I paint my mountains, water, trails or skies, the more they become symbols of life’s beauty and challenges.
I was born in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. It was a good start into the appreciation of landscape. And now I find myself influenced by west coast smooth rocks in pools of salty water, the redwoods and the golden hills.
I consider myself a painter, a builder, a maker but primarily a painter. To create is to nurture a sense of hope. Contrast gives me traction… geometric and organic forms, light and dark, clear and nebulous, the past and present. Landscape and nature form the backbone. Houses, barns, buildings dot the horizon.
My process consists of building up layers of paint, scraping them away, adding more, digging through shifting layers finding a way for shape or color to resurface, to become the “a ha” moment in the abstract. My tools are nails, brushes, knives, trowels and blotting papers.
Sometimes I do small watercolors or pen and ink in notebooks on my walks or road trips. I rarely work from photos. Most of my work is done from memory or preliminary drawings and then sometimes I’ll just start making marks on the surface to see what happens.
My attempts to work in a non-representative way always fail and get hijacked by the imagery and lifelike forms. Nature and the great outdoors keep knocking on my door. I was meant to paint abstract landscapes. The sense of place always wins in the end.
Kathryn Wills invites you to follow her on Instagram.