Thursday, March 28, 2013

Artist Talk Summary: Kate McCammon

I really enjoyed McCammon's talk; she had a lot of good advice and experience to share, and I related strongly to her methods and subject matter as a painter. 

McCammon began by discussing a series of large scale portraits she created during her sophomore year at MICA, which led to her spending two months in the studio of respected Norwegian painter Odd Nerdrum. She discussed how this experience changed her world outlook, as well as her painting style, and encouraged her to pursue more painting opportunities abroad. 

McCammon has primarily worked abroad since then in Italy, initially moving from figurative to landscape work, and eventually combining these two subject matters. She is currently working as an art instructor in West Virginia, and will go on two more international artist residencies later this year, one in Venice and another in Ireland. 

What I most enjoyed about McCammon's talk was her discussion of her initial struggles as a painter at MICA, particularly with paint application, as well as her shifts in compositional styles and subject matter. McCammon's art explores themes of personal narrative, the imperfect nature of memories, and the capturing of the essence of a place, person, etc, through the depiction of small detail (in her landscape paintings, McCammon was fascinated by drawing hanging laundry as depictions of Venice, Rome, etc). I also loved her explanation of how she was influence predominately by the old masters in her work, and how the experience of stumbling upon one or two small paintings or drawings by such masters had at times greatly influenced her perception of her field and subject matter.

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