Interview With Artist Kerry Steele

I've got quite a treat for you today!  One of my very favorite abstract artists, Kerry Steele, agreed to answer some interesting questions for us:

What are some sources of inspiration?

 My inspiration comes from so many places. Sometimes it is the color palette of a vignette I saw on Pinterest, another brushstroke or shape in a painting and often just a passing thought of what might work.

Christus Murphy

 How do you get over painter’s block?

When I get "stuck" it is usually near the end of a painting that I am working on. I often do something else for a bit and try again but if I see that I am getting nowhere, I put that canvas aside and work on something else.

"Brass ring Sunday" Kerry Steele

 What did you draw as a child?

 This question is so interesting to me because I often drew flowers and in my past painting life (12-15 years ago) I painted flowers. I still like to paint vaguely floral abstracts now. I liked to paint with my grandmother and recently ran across my first abstract, painted when I was 7.

"Boxwood garden" Kerry Steele

 When did you decide you wanted to pursue this as a business?

 It took me a long time to believe that selling my work was more than just a fluke.  I would sell something and think it was a miracle that the one person on earth who might like what I paint found me. I think I woke up when I started getting commissions. My husband was not in love with how my painting changed our household at first and now he is my biggest supporter. The viability as a business is what brought him around.

 Do you start with a plan or is your style more free-form “see what happens”?
 Most definitely free-form. This is hard to explain without sounding silly, but I get so lost in the dance of the brush and what feels right that I forget about any plan. I have started painting with a clear idea of what to do and "behave " at first but somewhere down the line I realize that I went another direction.

"Fibonacci came to my house" Kerry Steele

 Favorite materials?

 I prefer liquid acrylics and I have a few favorite brushes that are bright or flat tipped.

How do you feel about commissions/working for decorators? 

 Commissions are interesting because they add a challenge in that I am not the one who needs to be satisfied by the result. Commissions bring me back to earth when I start to float away on my own ideas. Probably the best part is that they are generally large and I love large canvases. Most of my commissions are from decorators and decorating enthusiasts.

Kerry Steele Art commissioned by Jennifer @ The Pink Pagoda

 Where do you work?

 This is hard for people (especially my family, haha) to wrap their head around but sort of in my kitchen. We have a large great room that includes a TV room, a breakfast room and kitchen. My easel is in the breakfast room and other supplies are in baskets on top of the fridge and in the pantry. I am looking forward to the day that I have a dedicated studio.

 Messy or neat?
 I have to be relatively neat because of where I paint but there have been little splatters. We have a running joke about this because I absolutely hate the flooring and anytime I find paint on the floor I say, " Oh no! now we'll have to replace it". 

"Mater tua" Kerry Steele
 Do you listen to music (or something else) when you paint and if so, what types of music do you choose?

 I would love to listen to music but my space is shared with my family and I like to paint at night. 

Favorite time of day to work?

 I paint at night because, in theory, everyone is out of my way but teenage boys eat at all hours.

Have you seen any trends emerging recently in regards to style, colors or canvas sizes?

 I see more pink than ever before. It is fine with me because I love pink.
Linda Monfort
 Favorite Painter?

 I love the work of Sally Benedict and just recently have been drooling over Joan Mitchell paintings. 

Joan Mitchell

 How do you know when to stop?

 Knowing when to stop is the hardest part. You always think it could be a little better.

Thanks so much for sharing this with us, Kerry!  It's so interesting to know more about how you work.

For those of you who've known me awhile, you know I've posted about Kerry and her work before.  She's such a lovely person and so talented.  And you know that I love abstract art.  It's very clear that I'm not alone.  Of all of my boards on Pinterest, my Abstract Art board is the most followed.  I'm also seeing it all over blogland.  Are any of you fans?  Do you have any, or plan to acquire some in the future?


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