I grew up in Oxfordshire and studied art at the University of Edinburgh and spent a year at the Universite de la Sorbonne in Paris. I now live and work from my studio at home in Wimbledon.
I have painted my whole life but upon leaving university I started work in advertising. Whilst being great fun, after a decade in advertising I found myself becoming increasingly claustrophobic in an office, yearning to be outside battling the elements with a paintbrush. The past 7 years have been dedicated to just that.
I would describe my work as colourist. I obsess about colours and spend a long time mixing across three palettes before I start painting. My aim is to explore all the ‘true’ colours in the subject I am painting. For example, take an orange. At first glance you may just see the colour orange on whatever background is there. However, look closer and in the lighter shades you will certainly see several patches of clear yellows and possibly some pinky reds and peach. On the darker side, you will see dark brown, purple and probably blue; the opposite of orange on the colour wheel. That does not even take into account any reflections from the background.
The next dilemma is balancing form with colour. In this pineapple painting I had to build the complex jigsaw that is the pineapple using all the different greens, organs, browns and yellows. What is surprising is how dark the darks are. The shadow cast by the pineapple looks almost black – although of course it is not black at all but a mix of ultramarine blue, cadmium red and a touch of cadmium yellow.
For inspiration I look to the colourists of the 20th century: Matisse, Derain, Peploe, Vlaminck, Hockney to name but a few. I am very lucky to live so close to all the fabulous exhibition spaces of London. I try to see all the big exhibitions and write my reviews of them in my newsletter and on instagram.
Follow me on Twitter @kath_rowe
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October 2017: Wandsworth Open House studios
Summer 2017: Rehang of solo exhibition at Fox&Grapes, Wimbledon SW19
May 2017: Solo show at Sprout Arts, Furzedown SW11
October 2016: Wandsworth Open House studios
September 2016: Solo show at Sprout Arts, Furzedown SW11
Feb 2015: ArtFinder pop-up exhibition, The Foundry, Camden NW1
October 2014: Solo show at Webb’s Fine Art, Webbs Road SW11
May/June 2014: Untitled Artists Fair, Chelsea Town Hall, SW10
May 2014: Portraiture at Putney Library, SW15
2014 ongoing: Resident artist at Fox and Grapes on Wimbledon Common, SW19
October 2013: Wandsworth Open House, SW18
Summer 2013: Summer Exhibition, Kings Road Gallery SW10
Spring 2013: J Design, Barnes High Street, SW13
December 2012: Selected Southfields Artists, SW18
October 2012: Wandsworth Art Trail, SW18
Ongoing 2013: Salt & Pepper, SW18
October 2011: Wandsworth Art Trail, SW18
Christmas 2010: The Old Sweet Shop, SW18
September 2010: Wandsworth Art Trail, SW18
July 2009: Chelsea & Westminster Hospital