The artwork of Katie Hoffman is mysterious, dreamlike and filled with large shapes of bright color and symbolism. To see more of her paintings, visit her website.
My BFA emphasis was drawing, but in the last year of my studies I fell in love with oil paint. The paint itself seemed alive with possibilities, but every painting I completed disappointed me. After all the planning, preliminary drawings, and steps to completion, the finished painting seemed dead.
In a fit of pique one day I attacked a finished painting with a scraper to random remove bits and haphazardly threw paint onto other parts. The result was something I could react to; I let it tell me which parts to develop and which to let be.
That’s how the first painting I was truly pleased with came about (see “Dissipation of a Dream on Waking”), and from that moment onward I stopped planning my paintings.
Instead, I begin by building a surface of random textures and colors that allow me to react intuitively, on dozens of canvases at a time. This keeps the process fresh and surprising for me; I move from piece to piece and I never know exactly what I’m going to end up with.
Human faces and animal imagery dominate the work, and the themes tend to be reflections of whatever I’m ruminating on at the time—this can range from ancient myths and bible stories to worries about insomnia or a runaway dog. I am frequently influenced by whatever music or audio book I listen to while in the studio.
My aesthetic goal for the future is to improve my paintings. For me, that means finding the sweet spot between too little and too much information.
I find my most successful works to be those where I stop just before I feel that it is completely finished.
The urge to overwork is always with me, and I am striving to drive that down and develop a lighter touch. A little less certainty and a little more mystery is what I’m shooting for.
My professional goal is to continue showing and selling work in a rapidly changing economy with a challenging real estate climate. For four years, I operated successfully out of my public studio in Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe; unfortunately, I lost that studio at the end of January.
I know my next step may be venturing outside of my own state for these opportunities, and the thought is exciting, but a little daunting, too.
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