Kathi Peters has always loved horses and always liked working in different art mediums, playing with the shadows and light to create her own art style. She is called an “American Contemporary Impressionist”, who is represented by equine art galleries in United States and in Italy, where Kathi studied. Influenced by her love of horses and her travels to many different places, she now lives with her husband and animals in
One of the unique aspects of Kathi’s work is that she works in the milk-based paint called casein, the same type of paint used by famed artists and the ancient Egyptians to create painting of times gone by. She also works in watercolor, oil paintings and paper cutting. Learn more about Kathi’s works of art in our exclusive Q&A below!
Location: Morrill, Maine, USA
TFS: When did you start working in casein? What are the differences between casein and other mediums?
KP: I have been using casein and tempera paint for years. I started using them as a child growing up in Italy. Then when I went to college at a commercial art school in Rome Italy , we used casein and gouache a lot. When I started back into painting after we moved to Maine, I was working in watercolor mostly, then when I found I could actually get casein in the USA . I was happy to get back into the great earth colors that casein is known for and what attracts me to it. It is a difficult paint medium to work with, but after years of working in it, I am more than comfortable with it.
TFS: Would you tell us how you started paper cutting? Have you always admired this medium?
KP: I have been intrigued with paper cutting and silhouette works most of my life. I was introduced to works by Ugo Mochi when growing up in Italy. I was drawn to his work which showed such movement and depth when only done in one color….All cut from black paper. His work is amazing. For a time I was enjoying figuring how I would approach a 3 dimensional scene when using only one color paper…. Figuring the depth and how to portray it. It was a challenge. But it isn’t something that really draws me to do it now. I feel a need to paint and draw.
I also met an artist who did cut paper silhouette work when I was working for a silk screen business when we first moved back to the USA back in the 70’s. Carol Labeux did beautiful traditional silhouette cuttings of people and scenes and then had us silkscreen her images for calendars that she sold. I loved working with her and she has always been an inspiration to me on my travel through my creative growth as an artist. I believe people come into your life for a reason ….. She came into my life at the very right time.
TFS: what inspires you as an artist?
KP: I am always inspired by movement and design. Light and shadow create movement. Design is everywhere… the body of a horse, a sedentary person, a running dog…. a flower blowing in the breeze, the ocean pounding on Maine’s rocky coast…everywhere I look I see design, and it all inspires me.
TFS: Any wise words for other aspiring artists?
KP: I guess I would tell any aspiring artist to draw , draw , draw. Painting is fine , but drawing hones your skill and your ability to capture your imagine… to be able to actually see. And drawing , working in grays and whites help you develop an eye for values, capturing light and shadows. Until you understand that , you can’t really work in paint correctly. You also need to acquire a thick skin if you want to be an artist!! You need to be able to come back from rejection and critique , stronger than before. Learn from rejection, because it will always tell you something about your work. Some artists wilt or get argumentative when their work is rejected from a juried exhibit , or when some criticizes their work… but they need to remember that is only one person’s opinion. Learn from it and move on.
TFS: Any upcoming shows/exhibits?
KP: I have work in several galleries here in Maine and I and I am also represented by Equis Art Gallery in Red Hook , NY and in Florida by the Chisholm Gallery (equine art). I enter juried exhibits here in Maine where I am always in several shows during the year. I have work in an exhibit in Falmouth, Maine … ‘A Taste Of Tidewater “. But the months of July and August have been put aside basically for my husband and I to enjoy carriage driving up at Maine’s Acadia with our pair of Morgans. I have a website where people can see my work and buy works and you can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram.
KP: Would you tell us more about your style?
When I got back into my art full time after our sons had grown and were out on their own, I was into horses, so of course horses became my main subject matter. I have always had a leaning toward Impressionism , I even have created some work that some might consider a bit more fauvist . Some have called my work contemporary realism., but I feel I am more of an Contemporary Impressionist. All I know is that I am driven to paint… moving from one medium to the next…with the need to create. I do a lot of drawing, and lately I have been selling my charcoal or pencil sketches and drawings. When painting, I work in watercolor, casein or oil paint. I do a lot of mixed media work too, using what ever medium works for my purpose at that moment… Whatever it takes to get it done! I have never done encaustic work, working with melted wax and pigment… that medium intrigues me.
Thank you for this interview, Kathi!