Blog: Artist Focus | Studio Interview | Kimberley Harris
An artist who is at ease with applying the full spectrum of colour to her work, her highly desired oil paintings of wildflower meadows are simply breathtaking. The combination of blended skies and highly textured impasto foregrounds, adds to the 3D effect of each vista.The tactile nature of these vivid paintings brings them to life - you feel you could reach out and pick the flowers!
This week we caught up with Kim for a studio interview to find out more about her inspirations.
How did you come to be an artist?
Art was always my strongest subject at school but after I completed a diploma in Art and Design at college it went on the back burner. I was introduced to a local artist in 2013 and was intrigued by his heavy impasto technique with oils and a palette knife, I hadn’t used either before so thought I would give it a go after a some tuition from him.
My own style emerged and I found landscapes to be ‘my thing’ I set up a shop on the Artfinder website whilst still working full time and it took off! After a few months I was approached by Buckingham Fine Art Publishers to come on board.
Describe your work in three words
Textured, colourful, atmospheric
What draws you to creating in your chosen medium?
The flexibility of oil paints, for my painting technique acrylics would dry too quickly and watercolours wouldn’t work with the knife so I’ve struck a perfect balance, plus there’s a huge variety of shades so over the years of experimenting there are probably about 30 I use regularly in every piece.
Does the area in which you live, or other areas influence your work?
Hugely. I grew up and still live in the Suffolk countryside, I'm a huge nature lover, I’m never happier than when I’m on long dog walks or pottering in my garden planting my own wildflower patches to study.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Most of my inspiration comes during the months of May and June when the verges and meadows are coming to life with colour and before the wild grasses get sun scorched.
I’ll often walk or drive around in the evening before sunset to achieve the most atmospheric shots when the light is dancing on the wild grasses.My camera roll stretched to capacity is evidence of that!
Do you listen to any favourite music, radio or podcasts while working in the studio?
I listen to all sorts depending on the mood or what I’m working on, mostly something chilled, a good Classical, Jazz or Motown playlist on Spotify normally. I think I’ll give some audiobooks a go this year too.
If you could invite three artists or art influencers (living or deceased) to dinner who would they be?
How do you pick just three? Maurice Sapiro, an American artist was a huge influence on me when I started out, he has a great grasp of capturing light in an ethereal mood, I would need to see a live demonstration!
John Atkinson Grimshaw, a Victorian artist, under appreciated but an outstanding talent especially his nightscapes.
And probably Salvador Dali just to liven things up!
What drew you to exhibit at the Watergate Street Gallery – do you have a criteria for choosing the galleries where you would like to show your work?
I was really excited about the exhibition which was due to be at the end of November last year, it’s a beautiful gallery in a great city so it was very disappointing it didn’t take place. As soon as it is safe to do so we’ll put on an extra special show in Chester.
I don’t have a criteria as such, I try not to do more than 6 exhibitions a year due to the amount of work and time that goes into them.
What are you most excited about artistically in 2021?
Sadly I don’t think exhibitions will be on again so I guess just more experimentation, hoping to find some new landscapes to photograph in the spring/summer and build up some good photography to work from for the rest of the year. Me and my fiancée are set to move house in the next couple of months so I’m looking forward to having a proper studio-finally! It’s been a long time coming.