Issue 6: Kay Black
About The Artist
I paint from my studio in my home in Santa Ana, which is perched 1,800m up on the top of a Mountain, with a breathtaking view of the whole of the Central Valley, which during the day offers beautiful views of trees, mountains and volcanoes, and at night is transformed into a twinkling oasis, which of course provides me with incredible ideas and inspires me to paint, paint, paint!
I am from Yorkshire England and spent 4 years in the Middle East between 2004-2008, and now live in Santa Ana, Costa Rica, where I have been based for the past few years. I love the climate and natural beauty that is all around me in Costa Rica, both of which provide me with incredible inspiration and creativity, which I feel is reflected in my paintings.
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My approach to painting is a combination of accident and deliberation. I am always striving for unity and harmony in my paintings, and often I may start a painting with no idea of where it will take me, which is one of the key reasons why I am so passionate about painting and Art, as it is like embarking upon a new journey, knowing that many adventures lay ahead, but not knowing what they are until they happen, and where they will take me!
Currently I am experimenting with different creative mediums, and have recently for the first time created a number of small pastel paintings, which have brought a new dimension to my work, and enabled me to broaden my repertoire by using a new medium to express myself in my paintings. I am very much a mixed-media artist that is equally at home with a wide range of techniques, and my imagination and versatility fuel the creation of original, one-of-a-kind works of art. I am extremely Internally driven, and emotionally charged and I think my work has a look of a mixture of different styles.
I constantly seek (and find!) inspiration from a multitude of sources... nature, people I meet or observe, life's experiences, the world is such a fascinating place and there is so much inspiration to draw from!
In my paintings I always try to create a feeling of the beauty that I see all around me in nature, always produced in an abstract manner, my very latest painting Vista is a testament to this…I love using colors to express different emotions, thoughts, and ideas.
My goal is to create paintings that establish harmonious arrangements of tonal values, colors, shapes, textures, and repetitious directions based on my subject matter, and I like to think that I offer an exciting, expressive, experimental and interesting body of work.
Prior to moving to Costa Rica I lived in Dubai for four years and many of my paintings are still hanging on the walls in apartments on the famous Palm Island development. I still have paintings in various locations in Dubai including the Madinet Souk and many are still displayed in the Ladies personal shopping area and men’s hairdressing in the prestigious Harvey Nichols store at the Mall of the Emirates, Dubai.
My art career really started off in Dubai, this was in 2004, and when I arrived painting was the last thing on my mind, and I certainly couldn’t call myself an artist, I had never even painted an abstract piece. I went to an art class and from then on I spent hours teaching myself at home until I got to a level where people began to notice what I was doing.
The art scene in Dubai was small and underdeveloped and appreciated because of the relatively recent development of a country, which the world was focusing on with awe and amazement, which had previously been known only for its deserts and small sea port. Here was a country that previously few people outside the Middle East had heard of, or if they had, paid little attention to, that in such a short space of time built a futuristic, technologically advanced city of gold…literally! A city built almost overnight from the desert it once was, a city that became the most sought after destination in the world…in almost the blink of an eye Dubai became the most talked about city on the planet. I witnessed in awe, as I visited hotels built in the sea, luxury homes built in the shape of a palm tree, and ski resorts built in malls. It was this intoxicating, exciting, can do anything, everything is possible belief that gave me the inspiration, belief and self confidence to make a career there as an artist, and there was also an incredible property boom in Dubai, so I worked flat out week after week, very rarely having time off, I was completely driven and highly motivated.
After about a year of hard work I was in the thick of it, and well known in the art scene there, my paintings were selling and it was the most exciting time, there seemed to be exhibitions on almost every week from local artists in fabulous hotels, and I loved it. I was asked to go with a fellow artist to the local radio station to talk about our work which was great, and following on from this I was approached to appear on the local morning television show to show off my artwork and discuss my work. Then a woman’s magazine contacted me and they did a three page spread on me and my paintings…it was a heady time for me!
Looking back on my time in Dubai, I have come to realize that my own personal growth, in developing and eventually achieving considerable success, was largely influenced by the incredible positive attitude, and pioneering spirit that described Dubai during the four years I was there.