I was interviewed for an article about gender equity in the art world in the Sept/Oct 2016 issue of Art New England Magazine. You can read the whole article here: http://artnewengland.com/ed_columns/the-51-gender-equity-in-the-art-world/
My 2015 op-ed piece for the Sacramento Bee
Women make up half the population, yet when we venture into our museums and public parks, notable galleries or high-end auction halls; it’s rarely our work that we see on the walls, in the plazas or on the block. According to numbers released last year by the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., women make up more than half of the working artists in the country today, but virtually disappear when it comes to representation in the repositories of American culture.
Read the full story on the Sacramento Bee here: http://www.sacbee.com/
You’ll see more landscapes coming out of my studio in the coming months. This piece was inspired by many trips over the Yolo Causeway, a connecting bridge on Interstate 80 between Davis and Sacramento. The highway spans a seemingly empty stretch of land that serves as a run-off area for flood waters in one of the most flood-prone urban areas in America. It’s also the home of the Vic Fazio Wildlife Sanctuary, providing a home for millions of birds along the Pacific Flyway.
The creative juices were flowing at our watercolor & yoga workshop at the Buck Scholar Retreat in sunny Squaw Valley in California’s High Sierras last weekend. Creativity research tells us that breakthroughs often occur when two or more disciplines intersect. Whether you call it Chi or Prada, the life force was with us as we explored color – yet another form of energy – and gave our muscles a good creative stretch.
“The act of creation,” wrote Arthur Koestler, is based on “the thesis that creative originality does not mean creating or originating a system of ideas out of nothing but rather out of a combination of well-established patterns of thought–by a process of cross-fertilization.” Koestler calls this process “bisociation.” “The creative act,” he said, “…uncovers, selects, reshuffles, combines, synthesizes already existing facts, ideas, faculties, skills.”
The cross-fertilization between yoga and art had rich results. Participants juried a selection of their works to be matted, framed and included in a silent auction to benefit future Buck scholarship recipients.
Call it a wrap – another two-day Watercolor Yoga Retreat successfully completed at the Crocker Museum of Art. Here, class members strike a pose surrounded by the glorious colors of the Sam Francis show. Aligning the art of watercolor with the Seven Chakras – otherwise known as energy centers for yoga practitioners – is not as much of a stretch as you might think. Since color is simply the visible manifestation of the energy field of the electromagnetic spectrum, the control and flow of color on paper is a practice akin to the control and flow of energy in the practice of yoga poses. Working with Yogi Madeleine Lohman – a terrific teacher and coach – we are able to make synergy happen as participants flex their creative muscle and enjoy a workshop like no other. We’ll be facilitating another one at Lake Tahoe this summer as creativity retreat for the Buck Foundation. Can’t wait!
From American Art Collector • November 2006
Kathrine Lemke Waste finds a beauty in common, ordinary objects that other people may just pass by without noticing. Her watercolors, done in a tight, hyper-realistic style, focus in on these objects in order to bring out a sense of narrative and history.
“I’m doing these in a larger format than ever for this next exhibition,” says Lemke Waste. “I’ve had a shift in perspective and these new works make me feel like I’ve really moved into a good place. I’m just looking at things more closely and want to see things other people see.”
For Lemke Waste, this new focus would not be complete without a narrative strain running through each of the images.
“Each of my paintings is the end result of a journey that both begins and ends with a story,” says Lemke Waste. “The first is the personal story or voice I bring to the object I’m painting and the last is the narrative the viewer associates with the finished work.”
The Gallery says…
“What makes Kathrine Lemke Waste’s watercolors so distinctive is her sense of reflection and perfection. She reflects upon objects from her generation and uses the reflection of light as her hallmark. In an unforgiving medium, her sense of color is perfect and her edges all well defined; true marks of a master watercolorist.”
– Clark David Olson, Owner, Bonner David Gallery
CANDY, Watercolor, 17¾” x 36″
Photo narrative: The artist says: My sweet tooth. Collectors will appreciate the contrast between the electric, artificial color of salt water taffy in a cooled environment as seen through opaque wax paper wrappers.
POP CULTURE, Watercolor, 17½” x 26″
Photo narrative: The artist says: It was 110 degrees outside when I painted this – I think I was thirsty! Collectors will appreciate the technical challenges of light bouncing off of, and reflecting through, clear glass.
This narrative is designed to allow viewers to bring their own stories and experiences to the work and, in doing so, strengthen their own connection to the painting.
“I want them to think, “My grandmother had that iron. I grew up with that very same toaster. We had a coffeepot just like that, “” says Lemke Waste. “The most important thing is that people respond to them and bring their own history, own past and own stories.”
The objects in Lemke Waste’s watercolors are also chosen quite carefully. Most have a historical popular culture appeal to them and span the whole range of Americana from baseballs and salt water taffy to Wonderbread wrappers, vintage toasters and soda pop bottles.
“I paint my objects in a bright, straightforward way following – and am indebted to – a long traditional of realist painters like Wayne Thiebaud and Janet Fish,” says Lemke Waste. “Patterns of light that dance on a reflective surface are an important part of my work and provide a way to take the viewer’s eye from one end of the painting to the other.”
Lemke Waste works very hard on the technical aspect of these paintings, which is intensified even more than usual by her use of watercolor. To her, it is important that the paintings are technically well-executed and she shows proper respect for the medium.
“Old assumptions about watercolor just don’t hold true anymore,” says Lemke Waste, “thanks to technological advances in the chemistry and permanence of the pigments used in the paint.”
Another aspect of the medium that Lemke Waste finds intriguing is the effect that happens when light travels through the work and reflects against the surface. This gives the painting the vibrancy and radiance that is needed to properly convey the bright colors and reflective surfaces of the objects rendered in the work.
“I’m drawn to the inherent luminosity of the finished painting,” says Lemke Waste. “As light passes through transparent layers of color to reflect the white of the paper as it bounces back toward the eye. Watercolor has a mind of its own; it’s alive, it moves, it is a force of nature.”
From Southwest Art Magazine • June 2007
If you ask Kathrine Lemke Waste why she prefers working in the still-life genre, she replies without hesitation, “Because it doesn’t wiggle.” But then she adds, on a more serious note, “Because it’s like painting poetry.” Indeed, Waste’s visually poetic images have often been described as “luminous.” Her works are distinctive in the way they capture light and reflections. Simple, ordinary objects like a kitchen toaster are transformed into beautiful shiny objects through her imaginative eye. Balls resting on a pool table become cheerful spheres. Waste is drawn to subject matter or objects that have iconic meaning from her childhood, such as baseballs and Wonder Bread. “A lot of life happens at the level of these little objects,” she says. “But irony is not my intention, nor are comments about consumerism. I feel love, affection, amusement, and joy in painting these things.”
Although she paints with watercolors, a medium she acknowledges has a bit of an underdog reputation in the art world, Waste points out that old assumptions don’t hold true anymore because of technological advances in the pigments that are used in the paint. “I’m drawn to the inherent luminosity of the finished painting – a quality of light that just isn’t possible with any other medium,” she explains. Waste is represented by Bonner David Galleries, Scottsdale, AZ, and Elliott Fouts Gallery, Sacramento, CA.
– Bonnie Gangelhoff