Which tools did you use for the creation of this piece?
For the creation of Sublime Wilderness I used several tools including a palette knife as well as different types of brushes. For some of the textural details, I actually used my fingers to apply the paint.
What was your creative process like?
My creative process with this work was intuitive. I love going on long hikes in the forest and then coming back home to create. I don’t necessarily take a photograph in my mind of the place or the thing I want to paint, but I am always left with this feeling that I want to try and make visible on the canvas through colour and texture. For Sublime Wilderness I remember experiencing this beautiful storm on one of my hikes and thinking about the sublime quality of nature. The beauty and destruction, these two powerful forces in constant tension with each other. I actually remember applying the first strokes with my fingers to the canvas and eventually building up the paint as I went along. I do often paint wet on wet with oils, so I completed this work after seven hours, moving in a circular path around the canvas until I felt it was complete.
What were your references, influences or inspirations during your creative process?
The inspiration behind this work came from my experiences outdoors and those ephemeral moments in nature. There is a certain energy flow within this painting that comes directly my own observations outside.
“My background as an artist is also in philosophy, so I’m always considering the ways that all materiality is connected and I try to explore this in my work.”
What did you enjoy the most about the process?
I really enjoyed how fluid and organic this process was from the beginning to end. It was important for me to really capture that energy and life force that is always moving around us. Being able to take my own experience and observations in nature and translating those on to the canvas was a really beautiful experience.
What was the hardest thing for you?
The hardest thing for me and I think for many artists is the constant struggle with the self while painting. Abstract art in particular is like holding a mirror up to the self , so I’m always confronting things that come up for me and working those out on the canvas in a productive way.
Recent M.A. Graduate Kathryn Last is a full time practicing artist, scholar and teacher. Kathryn is an internationally shown and sold abstract painter from Toronto, Canada.