Artist Interview: Kate Fitzpatrick

Who are you and how long have you been an artist?
My name is Kate Fitzpatrick and I’m a visual artist from Northern Virginia. From a very early age I can remember wanting to create my own language using symbols and color to express myself. My parents always supported creativity in the house, be it musical, theatrical, or crafts. My siblings and I were always involved in the arts and I always wanted to create “something” even if I didn’t always call it “art” or call myself an “artist”. One thing I have always carried with me is that it’s important to create something. Putting a small piece of yourself into anything could make it art.

What medium(s) do you work in & why?
Currently, I describe my artwork as mixed media. I use a variety of materials to create my art. I find it really interesting to create pieces that have a variety of textures. I also like to repurpose materials that have meaning. I specifically use maps to create texture. But maps also carry information. I use that information to create something new and unexpected. I make the maps serve a different function to create a new map that carries new information. In my artwork I also leave open space with acrylic washes, and add delicate lines using pen and embroidery thread.

by Kate Fitzpatrick

by Kate Fitzpatrick

What is your creative process like?
As soon as I think of an idea, I have to act on it. I draw in my sketchbook or write about it. I’ll create studies to test techniques I’m thinking of using and research themes for my body of work. Then, I get straight to work. I work on many pieces at a time, so I can put it aside for a while and come back to it. It helps to work on different pieces at the same time because I have different moods or feelings, and I feel that it directly influences how I work.

What is the best art-related advice you’ve received?
The best art related advice I have ever received was to “just make art”. It doesn’t matter where you are or what kind of space you have, you just have to carve out time and space to make stuff. Artists will come up with a number of reasons why they are unable to make art, but in reality, there are a whole bunch of reasons why we should. I believe that an artist has the ability to help make sense of the world and to tell a story. If we’re not making, then how can we share what we know or make sense of anything?

What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist?
A challenge I face as an artist is having confidence. I work in my home studio regularly and have many artist friends who I can talk to about the direction of my art. But I’m always anxious how the general public might think or perceive my work. I have come to realize that it’s most important to make art for yourself, and if you have a clear vision of what you are making, most likely that will come through. It’s a subjective world, and people will be drawn to what they can relate to.

Choose one piece that you currently have on display at Artomatic and tell the story of that piece:

"Willoughby" by Kate Fitzpatrick

“Willoughby” by Kate Fitzpatrick

One of my favorite pieces that I’m showing at Artomatic 2015 is “Willoughby”. My tributary series is a group of paintings that focus on water sources that I have some connection to. Willoughby Run is really a very small stream the flows through Adams Country in Pennsylvania. The run is a tributary of a larger creek. That creek connects to river that runs through Maryland eventually connecting to the Potomac River. Around the world cultures have evolved along the banks of important rivers and have developed a confluence of multi-cultural civilizations. A diverse tapestry of many peoples is reflected in these waterways and it is particularly seen among the communities along the Potomac River. My current artwork embodies this theme because it directly draws upon rivers and waterways as it relates to the environment and people who inhabit the land.

What is your favorite part of the Artomatic experience so far?
Artomatic has been a great experience. I am excited to be a part of an artist community that helps and respects one another. The number of ideas that are exchanged in personal conversations and interactions amongst the artists create camaraderie.

What is your website (or other method of contact):
If you are interested in my art, or would like to see additional examples of what I like to make, or even peruse my daily musings of art, yoga and education you can find me here at katesfitzart.com or wanderlustwithmsfitz.com. In January I will begin a long journey in South India on a Fulbright scholarship in which I will research the importance of art education with disadvantaged youth.

You can see more of Kate’s work on display at Artomatic 2015 on the third floor, space 4-026.