For Katie Dobson Cundiff, painting from life produces honest paintings that are full of energy. Most inspired by old boats, barns, farms and villages, remnants of a world that seems to be disappearing, she prefers painting in plein air and being present with her subjects, of which she has many.
“Whether painting in plein air or in the studio, I try to capture the essence of my subjects to express a moment or sense of place,” says Cundiff. “I consider myself to be a ‘shape painter,’ and am drawn to abstract shapes between the light and shadow. I look at a scene as an abstract arrangement of shapes rather than identifying what I see.”
She begins by editing those shapes down to only four and builds her piece on that foundation. “These contrasting shapes of light and shadow are what I find most exciting,” she says. Cundiff often starts by drawing a four-value thumbnail sketch or painting a small color study in gouache. Once clear about her direction, she uses a large brush to incorporate darks with thin transparent paint, or may wipe out the lighter shapes or add thin washes of color. “I am always working to develop my eye and skills as a painter,” says Cundiff. “While I may start with a clear image in my mind of how I want a painting to look, I also allow myself to let go. I savor the moments when the painting takes control and I find myself engulfed in the creative process. It is important to allow yourself to experiment, make a mess, figure out how to clean it up and discover something new.”
Cundiff has an upcoming show that opens at TSJ Fine Art Gallery in Englewood, Florida, on January 27, 2024. —
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Represented by TSJ Fine Art Gallery
2980 Placida Road | Englewood, FL 34224
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Instagram: @Katie Dobson Cundiff
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