Today as we are still awaiting the arrival of a hot summers day, ICC Digital is so delighted to bring you this beautiful, refreshing painting by the gifted Irish artist Kate Kavanagh. This image, “Cherry Blossom Season at Herbert Park – Dublin” is the first of seven wonderful paintings from Kate’s Gallery, which we will be bringing to you in our ‘Artist Corner’ over the next seven weeks.
This inspiring and refreshing watercolour is so vital, alive and rich in colour, it actually lights up the page. It’s so beautifully observed and so full of joy that you can almost hear the trees singing and feel the characters relaxing in the heat of the sun.
The painting appears to be so simple and yet the lines, the perspective and the movement and motion in the piece reveals the skill of a great drawer and water colour painter, who can sit back and smile at life and who has a beautiful observing eye..
Here is what Kate Kavanagh has to say about herself and her approach to her work…
I have been drawing my whole life. After more than 20 years working as a journalist in national Newspapers and online broadcast in RTÉ, I returned to my first and pursued art as my primary profession. I started doodling character and situation insights – comic book style – and this developed into strong narrative and reportage … it’s always about story. Mostly I sketch-report live on site to record what, when and as ‘something’ is happening … a budding cherry blossom, a bunch of buskers, a conference, or a political demonstration … me actually being there as the artist-reporter captures the energy of the moment. I look at the subject – people, birds, foliage on a breezy day … and it doesn’t stay still … and I look and look … for a long time before I begin … and my pen follows the movement and the movement chases my pen … and as I’m drawing I see even more detail … even in a wall, where all seems still, I see how the tendrils creep imperceptibly around the stones … and I feel the pulse of them growing – especially in spring. When you look this hard everything comes to life … even the stones … and the birds become characters in the narrative. I especially love musicians … I love how they get lost in the moment and how they seem to move independently of intention, which can’t be right but sometimes they move so fast you think the intention must be catching up with the action. My process can be a bit scary as I usually go straight to paper with pen and waterproof ink … so it’s first lines down and that’s what I have to live with – and that’s OK … I often don’t know how things are going until I’ve finished because I’m mainly looking up at what I’m drawing rather than down at the paper. Initially I explored all media but am now totally in love with watercolour and ink … for it’s vibrancy and vitality. It used to be thought that watercolour wasn’t lightfast – but that’s a myth … contemporary artist quality paints are ever bit as good as oil – and environmentally better … and then here’s the challenge of not being able to ‘correct’ in watercolour … but this is compensated by how well watercolours respond to intuitive painting … it all adds to the dynamic energy. I am influenced by the natural world and am constantly amazed and reassured by the resilience of life on our planet – especially in areas under the threat of human impact and lets face it – greed. I want to use art to report and reflect the positive energy that’s all around us – and fighting back … not just rural areas but urban too …from the day to day human activity … to daily and seasonal changes. I love this earth … I want to forge a path to raise awareness of its beauty though art … and to bring people with me on this what I hope is an eye opening and exciting journey … we need to keep an eye on things.