Katheryn Stott Oil Paintings Art Artist
INTO THE BUTTERY BLUE:
For this section I have a little story to tell. My final show for my BFA consisted of 10 large interpretive paintings from the perspective of the inside of a forest, so the values were for the most part on the darker half of a value scale. Years later I was living in Pennsylvania being a mother of 3 and totally absorbed in that occupation but still painting because my soul needed it. I was painting in the basement of our home which was not finished, and technically was only a crawl space as the floors were gravel and dirt underneath, although there was electricity so I could have light and heat. Pennsylvania can be very gray and rainy which was previously exciting to me but when there is no sun for weeks, well, that's different. One day when I was missing the sun I suddenly painted over an entire painting sky blue, almost the whole painting sky with only a sunflower reaching up into it from the bottom edge. I had never done such a thing before. Was it allowed for a serious artist to do? I wondered. But I left it because it made me happy to look at. Our friend Patrick lived in New York City, and he would come and visit us every few months. He was a friend from college and an artist. When he came I would hide my blue sky painting, because he would always want to walk down to the basement to see what I had been working on, and I couldn’t let him see that. I had a reputation to protect. Well one day I forgot to hide it when he came and he walked down there before I remembered and he came up and said “Katheryn, that is such a beautiful painting down there. Its all this buttery blue with just this one flower reaching up into it from the bottom. I love it.” I said “Wow Patrick, you can have that painting because you have liberated me. I can now paint whatever I want.” He was very happy and took it home and hung it in his apartment in New York. So this section is for the paintings that I paint that don’t fit in with any of my other explorations, and that I paint for therapy, to make me happy and sometimes not just for me but to make someone else happy.
'Afternoon' Inspired by a photo I took on a quiet afternoon in Provo Canyon
'Blue Spruce' In the dead of winter in Pennsylvania when I was homesick for my mountains and Utah desert I worked on this painting a little bit each day, while I was very busy with young children. Laundry gets dirty again, food gets eaten...so much that a mother does gets undone so quickly.....it is very therapeutic to have something that doesn't get undone after you work on it a bit.
'Desert Cottonwoods' While walking through the desert to see some Pueblo Indian ruins on a very hot July day, I took a picture of the desert landscape. No highway or road in sight, just desert landscape as far as the eye could see, all the sandy chalky tones of desert grasses, sand and stone. Then there was this small gathering of Cottonwood trees in this gully, below me that made the only shade in sight...such delicious looking shade in contrast to every thing else. The painting shows a storm approaching because I felt like it....who doesn't love a desert storm?
'Otherwise No One Would Know It' A thriving desert Bush has a magnificent presence. It seems to have grown only through a lot of determination and hard work, battling the elements and thriving in spite of them. This one seemed particularly triumphant and had a wonderful rock face as a stage. I took a picture of it while on the same July hike a spoke of for the last painting.
'Dance of the Willow Sprite' A Willow Sprite is a creature that my daughters 9 year old self created one school year. She wrote a couple of chapter books about them, in a world she called Faren Verdia. I painted two large paintings about her Willow Sprites when she was a few years older, using her as a model. We dressed her in a something green and pretty and I took pictures of her in the woods behind our home.
'Dance of the Willow Sprite' (Detail)
'Wandering Willow Sprite'
'Wandering Willow Sprite' (Detail)
'A Young Tree Guarding the Meadow' This painting, like the blue spruce was a therapeutic exercise. I remember taking the phote on a hike near Spirit Lake in the Uinta Mountains. It was the brave little tree that caught my eye, an I painted it one winter when I needed sun therapy. I tried carefully to represent each branch of each tree in the photo, wanting to be exactly there, representing that moment in time in paint.
'Grandma's Backyard' This is my Grandpa and Grandma Stott's backyard. The last time I saw my grandma before she died I was 26. I took these pictures of her backyard, with the old lawn chairs that were always there. I did not know that I would never hang out there in that yard again. Grandma Stott died suddenly and unexpectedly not long after that particular visit. So many memories there. They had such a wonderful mature old cherry tree that gave such nice shade on Sunday afternoons where we would sit, and eat cherries while listening to the grownups talk and tell all the stories again. Grandpa followed Grandma not long after, and then the house was sold. I think of these chairs as representing my Grandparents.
I have painted the desert sunflowers of Utah many times over and I'm not through painting them. I don't expect I ever will be,,,,there is something so tenacious, brave and determined about them. This one has a mourning dove in flight, which I added later, at my dad's request.
Sunflowers at Dusk
A painting of my dad and my daughter when she was little