The September Strange

Guys, I have a theory.

I’m convinced that my theory is like Einstein’s Theory of Relativity: not necessarily provable enough to be a law, yet it’s still so undeniably true that it should be a law anyway.

September is the month when the crazies emerge.

I don’t know why this is, but I can prove it’s true because when I sat down to sketch just some of the weirdness I’ve come across over the last two days, I was flipping through my sketchbook and saw I had recorded the same kinds of weirdness on the exact same dates last year.

Coincidence? Certainement pas.

“Comings and Goings in the Everyday” – © Katie Kath 2022

I don’t know what it is about September that makes The Strange happen.

Is it the barometric pressure? An astrological alignment? Or has it something to do with the atmospheric change in the Southeast when the seasons change from sweltering August to still-sweltering September?

Does the annual arrival of the much-anticipated PSL strike such a desperate yearn for cooler temperatures that the hoards of pumpkin-spice-addicts become completely unhinged when the realization hits that NC’s September weather will NEVER deliver on the Insta-cozy, cottage-core vibe they were hoping would suddenly imbue their souls after their first sip?? Does this unhinged-ness then propel itself into the atmosphere, coating everything it touches like so many motes of pollen?

Perhaps.

Anyway, it’s just a theory.

(Stay tuned…)

Getting In The Saddle…Or Did I Ever Leave It?

Two posts ago I wrote about my extreme distaste for my current watercolor situation. So, I decided to begin at Square 1, which was: clean my palette completely off and start hunting for a wider range of colors.

“My Reflection” Gouache and pencil. © Katie Kath 2022. Do not copy or reproduce.

I’ve been using the same color palette/scheme since about 2014. While the colors one can potentially mix from a mere set of reds, yellows, and blues is supposedly infinite, I’m here to tell you that’s honestly a load of horse patties. Sorry, color-theory folks.

Now, I was faced with the first problem. Paint is expensive. Like, seriously expensive, even for .5 measly little fluid ounces of the stuff. Granted, a little Daniel Smith goes a long way, but still. I can go through a whole lot of Shadow Violet.

And then, I remembered.

The GIANT TUB of gouache and watercolors I received from a dear friend who lost her cancer battle several years ago had sat languishing in the back of my closet for quite awhile, begging to be organized. Well, then. It was time to organize.

What a treasure awaited me.

Tube upon tube of colors arrayed before me. So many exciting new colors I’d never used or heard of–or simply hadn’t bought because of the expensive gamble of buying a color and deciding I hated it–were miraculously at my finger tips. Folks, I haven’t been this excited about painting in awhile.

I spent an entire evening sorting through almost all of the empty tubes, dried up tubes, leaky tubes, and perfectly fine tubes of paint all in an evening, creating a pile for gouache and a pile for watercolor. Then, I organized each paint type into color families so I wasn’t spending valuable time hunting for a Dioxazine Purple amid my Yellow Ochres. I made color charts and painted various experimental doodles with both gouache and watercolor to decide which I liked best. It felt like I was putting all of my favorite pets into little comfy corners of the room, waiting to be doted upon.

I think I might finally be heading in a better direction for myself. As always, stay tuned.

A Post Dinner Sketch

With company over last weekend and this week shaping up to be very full as well–we have a toddler starting a Mommy and Me gymnastics class and a husband who has started school again–I haven’t found the energy to post something lately.

“Playtime for Little Ones” – © Katie Kath 2022. Do not reproduce without permission.

So: for now, here is a quick sketch of M., happily stacking plastic rings after dinner this evening.

Good night!

Something Other Than

I had a realization yesterday afternoon that just about shook me to the core.

I was toying around again with the idea of going back to a personal project I had shelved more than a year ago, (more on that to come), and had even hauled out my watercolors to start painting, when a distinctly and increasingly uncomfortable feeling began creeping up my spine. As I watched the painted sections dry, a sudden awareness came into focus like a developing polaroid: I no longer like to work in watercolor the way I have been. The worst part? I can’t remember a recent time when I did.

“Ol’ Paint, the Dapple Hobbyhorse” – ©Katie Kath 2022. Do not use without permission.

For an artist whose current career has been built on a certain medium, this is akin to waking up one morning and suddenly realizing that you have been in a souring relationship for many years and despite your numerous, desperate attempts to save it, it has, in fact, gone permanently south.

And, like many relationships that fall apart, there have been obvious (ignored) signs along the way. So many signs that you feel like a total idiot for not recognizing them in the first place. (Or, perhaps, it was the refusal to recognize them).

I’m not saying it’s time to chuck, along with my brushes, every single tube of Daniel Smith and Winsor & Newton out the window, but this is a sure sign I need to step back, scrub out my old painting palette, reevaluate, and ask myself some questions. Maybe I need to expand my current color palette? Maybe I need to try some dyes? Maybe I need to take a seriously long break from watercolor altogether.

The long and short of it is, the current situation of this “relationship” needs to drastically change. I don’t know what it will look like in the end, but for now, there’s a road ahead of me and I have to travel it.

A Wee Cuppa

“Small Cup” © Katie Kath 2022. Do not reproduce without permission.

This little china cup, odd though it may be, embodies everything I associate with my Grandma. In fact, if I had to choose only one thing out of all of her many collections of objects (for she had many tchotchkes too numerous to recount here, from beer steins with painted faces lining the top of a china cabinet to a small collection of glass elephants, trunks rearing up at the ever-silent, antique cuckoo clock hanging in the hallway, its tiny bird patiently waiting to reanimate once again) I would choose this cup over anything else.

We didn’t get to visit that often since Grandma lived so far from us, so when we did it was all the more special, and I like to think she marked the occasion as well, letting me drink my morning milk from the china “milkman cup” as she called it.

I don’t know much about the cup, (or the whole set, for that matter, for I own it in its entirety now) other than that it was made in Japan, possibly in the 50’s or 60s, but it doesn’t matter that much to me whether it’s vintage or antique, worth a lot of money or chump change: the memories it holds would fill a hundred cups of its kind.

It also makes a pretty rad little still life.