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Who I am:
Katharine (Kat) Gilbert- old enough to have processed certain information that I don't have to process again and young enough to continue to challenge myself with hopefully enough time to do the things I wish to accomplish. I am a seeker for I am continually looking for that which inspires not only me but others to look. I have exhibited up and down the east coast and recently on the west coast.

What Else Besides Art:
Born and raised in the country, there has always been a reverence for nature for that is what fed and clothed the family. All the adults were gardeners and growers of flowers and the food that ended up on the table so that has translated as one of my passions and I have added bonsai to the mix though time seems to be at a premium to do this correctly for the focus is as demanding as it is when I do my art.
I also love architecture so I have taught myself architectural drawing and construction principles that add a few coins to the budget. (Built my home and greenhouse with the help of many great friends.) With this I do material take-offs for building and try to stay up-to-date on the materials especially the "green." I wish for more time in the day for there are so many things that I love doing and there is never enough time so juggling has become part of my pattern of living. Art is the main focus now and I believe that all my passions are tied to my art and one feeds and leads to the next.

How Art Became The Focus:
My family was and still is a family of farmers and musicians but my path was always slightly different. My first business was drawing pictures in 1st grade and selling them for a penny until my mother found out and made me give the money back. There were no art classes in elementary or high school so my inspiration and drive to learn came from any tiny source I could locate. So when I went to college I dove in it with all that I could find and fit into my schedule. Four years and then two years for Masters opened many doors for me and my passion. I have taught in 2 colleges but I didn't like teaching, worked as a designer for Kings Production and a designer for cultural center in Saudi Arabia with various other occupations thrown into the mix. I started a graphic design business that did two and three dimensional design which grew through the years and kept me connected to the creative world of design with a touch of the fine arts. That is where I learned computers and the programs that are my main stay for my prints today. I still do graphic design but on a very limited bases. With these programs my visions of so many years ago are now coming to reality for all the processes that I have worked in the past could not come close to that vision. My sculpture is the only process that has not changed- I still do steel welding and for this I have no other substitute- it is what it is. I do not wish for this to be anything else for it completes the 3-dimensional part of my art.

My Statement:
Somewhere between light, shadows and dreaming the images happen without verbal thought. Tied to past knowledge and memories, the landscapes are where my visual thoughts have freedom to roam. When I work on these images, whether sculptural or two dimensional, there are no sounds only the presence of moving through the space being created. For me, it is a world filled with mystery and magic and I love being there. I am my work and my work is about me.

Is in the eye of the beholder. Some are abstract and some representational. I know where the imagery comes from that led to the piece and all are from nature. I have always love cameras though I do not claim to be a photographer; they have been a constant in my life and art and are a record of the inspiration for my work.

to continue to be creative and explore all the possibilities that I can... I am older than probably most of the members so my goals are at a different point in my life. Most of all I am working towards never having to say "I wish I had......."

Other Sites To Which I Am Connected:
(some of which I need to update- there is that "time" factor again)

Challenges To Myself (with a sense of humor):
Focus, focus, focus
Don't get discouraged- just doing is the major goal
Explore the art of sound and movement
Find a way to accomplish all that wish to accomplish
To share through my art
Stay connected
Stay informed
Stay creative
Stay alive long enough to see the results

My Question:
Art supplies are not cheap. No matter what the media there are major cost involved. In a world that doesn't really realize how much of their world is art/design based, take it all away and there will be little if any visual beauty produced by man. Nature would be the only one left and I am not sure how many stop to admire that art. Do you think the general population would notice? Do you think most people think art for the home is not worth the price or not as important as art for public buildings, museums, etc.?

Thank You:
I know how valuable time is for us all and I wish to thank everyone now who is reading this and if you wish to respond that would be much appreciated. I always have worked hard to maintain a sense of humor even in my work for that helps me keep a balance for living.

I have no new work completed at this time so please go to my page to see my work. I would love any and all comments/reactions. Thank you again and I look forward to this special forum of communication. I cannot thank the people enough who started a2a for here I have found wonderful friends and wonderful conversation that I treasure each time I log on to this site.

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Replies to This Discussion

Dear Katharine, Hi! it's been quite a while since we talked; your work is most imaginative and special. A few weeks ago I was discussing art and the subject progressed to Alexander Calder, not the mobiles nor the stabiles, but his early work drawing in space with metal wire. It seems that Alexander Calder had an exhibit at Yale the University Museum and the executive powers were concerned that there were no crates of sculpture in the galleries or anything for that matter and the show was to open within a week. When Calder showed up with a roll of wire over one shoulder and canvas bag filled with tools in his hand. Arriving rather disheveled he asked for a chair, a table and proceeded to get to work. Twisting and forming the wire soon the rooms filled with all sorts of people animals doing all sorts of things some mundane, some fantastic and heroic. The galleries were full and the show was a success and if you go to the Whitney Museum in NYC you can see Calders' Circus which is an example of the type of work in the Yale show. So you see Katharine your limits are only the limits of your imagination. As to the cost of materials and a the price of art? The bible says, "Cast yee not pearls before swine, lest the be trodden under foot" well I don't consider you customers to be swine they think that art supplies are cheap,because the have no point of reference and further more they don't care and given the time spent on education and trial and error and your vision the materials are insignificant to the price the cost you choose should be representative of the market given your status in the art world. In the 1950's I could have had Jackson Pollack ink drawing on handmade paper for $50 and I didn't buy one. I was making one dollar an hour in gallery that was exhibiting his work, but when I asked him to recommend a book to better understand modern art, which was Skria "Modern Painting" and I bought it paying for it on time, it was $25, but that's where my priorities were at that time, just remember clients have to be taught about art and artists have to be taught about the market. All the best, Donald PS I still have the book.
Thank you Donald. I remember Calder's Circus but not sure I ever knew the story behind the "happening." His work has always held a special place in my adoration for the freedom of creation is so powerful in his work. Something I continue to strive for. My point of reference in $ of things is in regard to what people buy and are willing to pay for things that are mass produced but a work of art is seldom considered as a necessary part of life. I have often wondered if the general public feel that the arts are NOT for them and are done for others- that they are intimated by what is call "art" and that comprehension is only for the elite. Having come from humble background I was not taught this so nothing was beyond my reach. All I had to do was go for it. In the meantime, it is wonderful to talk to you again for you are such a well of knowledge and it is a joy to "talk to you."
thanks for posting katherine! your metal work seems very complex and difficult (i have not worked with metal much - just enough to know it is hard work!). do you imagine the fire pieces used? the "bowl" could be more abstracted if that is a problem. however, i enjoy ambiguous sculptures (think dada fur-lined cup), but i was just curious.

re your question - no, i don't think most people would miss art if it disappeared. i see so many people surrounding themselves with "art" - sequined sweats and one-joke paintings... most people have no clue. art first is for the artist making it. that transcendent connection with creation is what made us shamans when we lived in caves. making "something" out of "nothing". magic! these days, magic has mostly left our world (but we get to see it happening in the studio!). the general public is blind, and those who are not blind are wed to commerce far too often. we want to make money, but not at the expense of our vision.

but as you say, keeping a sense of humor IS very important. thanks again for sharing!

Jay, thank you. I have received that question quite a few times on fire and though it is possible for these bowls are tempered steel I think of the fire as more mythical than real. One person asking me thought of sterno (sp?) which would work. But steel being what it is these bowls are polished to a chrome finish and then of course I have to lacquer it to preserve the finish. So you see the thought is more a reflective thought than actual.

You are right about the magic being pretty much hard to find in our culture today. Saddens me greatly for I grew up with a very healthy imagination and loving where the mind could take the thought. I create because I must but do not wish for it to be in a vacuum.

I am sorry that I did not get a chance to respond to your work when you were the featured artist- that life thing.... Your paintings remind me of Rothko whose work took my breath away the first time I happen to be in the presence of. His are of a quiet but powerful nature and yours powerful but with much more happening. The play of color and the intensity of that play are wonderful! I am so happy that you had been picked up by a gallery. I know that you will have great success. Thank you again.
Your work is magnificent . Love the fire sculptures . Can hear the fire crackling.Also like DWG-37 . Very powerful .Like your list of chanllenges,however you have explored the art of sound and movement very very well. I am with you on not getting discouraged . Very hard to do these days.. Thank you so much for sharing your work .
Thank you Ryan, I think all of us know that no matter what we will continue to do what we call art- that it is our breath and without it we would not exist and where it may lead us is the wonder and mystery.
Dear Katharine,

Despite what it may seem I am somewhat computer there any pieces of artwork on your other sites that you could copy and put them here? Just a couple would be helpful!

Also, After some studies/classes I have discovered the difference between putting a canvas together yourself vs. buying one. The time money and effort it takes for that alonevs buying a cheap canvas I would not have known until now. Unless someone knows about art, art some things you can go cheaper on since they don't know the difference. After doing enough painting I have come to realize that buying a huge painting for $, you are not necessarliy being over charged, especially since you know that the gallery gets a chunk out of the comission. That being said I don't know what people expect. I guess everyone can go to target and get the same picture to decorate thier walls. Perhaps artist need to mass product reproductions of thier art so it falls into the "average" persons "resonable price range.
I myself love to live in art. I want it all around me. That's why I love my visit's overseas since I also love history so much, I feel lost in a sea of living art where ever I go. I want that for my homes to. There was a scene in a movie where someone was appreciating the other man's art and he said, he had paid top dollar for the reproduction and the orginal is in a vault. I thought how sad! A beautiful piece of art being sealed away for one reason or another. I want every piece to have meaning, a story. I will never forget one of my first art purchases over 10 years ago. There was this one painting that I loved but thought I was over-priced, instead I got 2 paintings for about 1 1/2 price of the one I loved. I don't love the paintings that hang on my walls, I like them but not love. They always remind me of what I did love and walked away from. Luckly some regrets are worth the lesson.
How well I remember building my own canvases. I did purchase from time to time from a fellow artist who was building them to help pay for his own art supplies. Most of all I remember purchasing my first art kit and newsprint paper pad- I was afraid to use it for it cost $$. Took awhile to get past that- think that was the beginning of thought that "art is precious."

Though my prints can be mass produced I limit them to 10 prints only- but not trying to make them precious just that they are not created for masses only those who will appreciate what they are. Most of my art purchases were and still are through trade or barter and these are treasures. My sculpture is not reproduce- able so the $ value is materials + time + how well I think I achieved what I intended.

Sloane, I will put a gallery installation attachment to my statement. Thanks for you comments and observations.
It's hard to put a "value" on art. So much of it is priced based on location and what is the popular trend. It's as much about who you know as what you know---unfortunately a trend that runs through most of the arts. Talent matters, but so does circimstance.
For me, I think that public art serves a purpose, and that is to expose everyone to aesthetics that they might not have access to in their private lives. As you mentioned in yoour own statement the Arts are like a poor orphaned relation in many of our educational systems. It's hard to get young people who are taught that art is merely "peripheral" or a subject without any gravitas to begin to take it seriously. I see a lot of commercially-driven styles ( like anime') become very popular and elevated to "art" status, and I think the lines are even more blurred.
I think in the end you can only paint for yourself and hope you find resonance out there with your work. I still purchase art for my home, and I think that others will, too. It's difficult right now when peoples' personal resources are stretched. I see a lot of enthusiasm from the general public for art in general when I'm at a show or exhibit, and I see real longing in their eyes when they view some pieces that they literally can't afford. I think more people appreciate art than can own it. Local galleries that are more reasonably priced can fill that gap, but there is always a danger of giving the message that art isn't "worth" it. Most laymen have no idea of the price of supplies or the time involved.
(I recently was approached by someone online who wanted an oil portrait of two persons on a 2' x 3' canvas--with a deadline of a month's time. I estimated my price to be around $800-$1000 dollars, which I thought was quite reasonable for a realistic piece of that size. I never heard back.) I want to get my work out there, but at a certain point I don't want to work for so little that I feel taken advantage of. Trouble is, as artists, we are given a lifelong message that we should do everything "for the love of it"---which is incompatible with setting income goals. We're made to feel guilty or that we aren't "real" artists if we are concerned with cost. Whether that's true, I don't know. I know I love my art but I am not driven to feel that painting in some dingy garrett subsisting on pasta and candy bars is worth doing--especially now that I am in my fifties. It's not romantic anymore. I don't think it proves I'm less dedicated because I'd at least like to pay for my supplies with what I sell. My husband makes enough of an income that I can devote most of my time to art--and without that I would not produce half the work I do. Daniel Greene can afford to have entire scenes replicated in his warehouse so that he can paint from life. I'm lucky to get a friend once in a while to be a guinea pig--or use live models that the occasional art class provides. I prefer the aesthetic advantage that live models give ---but unless I stick to still life, that's very expensive. It is less costly to do an abstract or collage.
I don't even know how sculptors manage!
Keep doing what you do, and what moves you. That's the most important thing. You as an individual have a gift that only you can give. Keep exploring new ideas and materials, and keep your sense of humor! That's worth its weight in gold. Hope this isn't too rambling...I haven't actually viewed your work yet so I'll write after I do!
You are so-o-o right about who you know not what you know. It is a shame that art has to fall in that arena also. I am afraid that when the economy goes south that art is one of the first things that is deleted from the educational system as well as from peoples' lives- not a necessary! The $ value finds its way into all areas of creativity. I also have given estimates for requested graphic design projects. In that there is more of a comparative value as to what others are charging for the same type of project which helps. I do little sculpture because of the cost involved. But when I must because of personal "must" I find a way and I think that all artist follow suit that where there is a will there is a way!

I would hope that one would think of comparative prices and realize that the enjoyment and future value could come back ten fold if they go with what can enrich their lives. Where would we be without music, books, poetry, drama- theatre and all the areas that we think of as the creative mind?

This is the wonderful part of this site that we can encourage each other to continue on the path we have chosen for we all have a voice that only we can share. Thank you!
This is a reply to Barbara Kirby for she responded at another place that I posted my statement:

Barbara, thank you... no one has made the connection before. My adoration of Frank L. Wright and his work that is so connected to nature but very architectural. People have often told me that my prints pull them in. Thank you for making those observations. I love the process for both. Because the process of prints is less demanding technically I do these more frequently. The process of the sculpture is much more involved so I have to plan- thus be in the right place mentally and physically. I weld outside so weather is a factor and the materials demand their own space for I work mainly with pieces that are 8 to 10 feet. I hope to be able to do both for now own but if not then at least I have the 2-D.
And this is a reply to Alison Galvan who responded in the same place:

Alison, I have worked with so many different medias but have finalized my choices to the paper and steel- two very different opposites. I guess that is why once in a while I have to go to that which gives me the most resistance. Funny though it can be the paper that gives me the most trouble for the image just will not comply and I know it is because I am forcing the thought. The sculpture on the other hand is very physical and often tells me what will work and what won't so I have to listen. Nice when control isn't allowed and things can just happen and often to the amazement of the artist or should I say the one holding the pencil/brush/torch/or what ever the media is. I love it when that happens and I step back and say "where did that come from." That to me is the real joy of creating!


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