Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Sewn, 22" X 22", acrylic & ink on paper, 2011

What are you working on in your studio right now?

Last year I had a solo show in Kansas City, MO. The space was large so I ended up working non-stop in my studio for several months to prepare. After that I needed a bit of a break. I felt my work had become repetitive and it needed to digest for a while. So I took a few months off from the studio, but over the past few months I have gone back to my studio to start working again. I am working slowly & freely with no real plan in mind. It’s actually really nice.

Can you describe your working routine?

I work in blocks of time, sometimes almost every day for a few weeks and then nothing for a few weeks. I really have no routine; sometimes I work better at night and then sometimes better in the morning. I often walk by my studio, something grabs me and I go in for 10 minutes and paint blocks of color on all my paintings. Then walk away for the rest of the day. I always check in with my studio at least once a day. It helps to keep it fresh in my mind, and then as I’m doing other things throughout the day I have a crisp image of what I’m working on.

2010 studio

Can you describe your studio space and how, if at all, that affects you work?

I am always moving studios. Living in NY it is has been hard to find a good, affordable space. So for the past 15 years I’ve been packing it up and moving it around every few months. Right now I am working in a small bedroom of a house my husband and I recently bought, it’s 2 hours outside of NYC and luckily it came with a barn that we are going to fix up this summer for studio space. I can’t express how excited I am about the idea of settling into a space. I have simple, but wonderful fantasy of shelves with supplies, clean wall space and a giant worktable. The space I work in really affects my work, if the space is small and clean then my paintings become small and clean. If the space is larger and I can make a mess then my paintings become looser and I can really work the way I like to work. A larger space lets me work on many paintings at one time, sometimes 15 or more. I walk around with one color and paint just a touch of something on each painting. Then stand back and assess the situation.

Future studio

Tell me about your process, where things begin, how they evolve etc.

I paint on many paintings at the same time, each one works with the one next to it. Working in this way I layer the paint, ink and subtle imagery. I paint intuitively, without thinking of the finished painting. I paint until something clicks and I know it is done. Often the real meaning of a painting comes out after it is finished, and often I don’t really quite understand what they are about. I feel that throughout my years of painting my paintings are slowly turning more and more abstract, and I’m slowly becoming okay with that. I used to try to define everything, or think that each painting had to have its own story. I’ve learned to let the story be less defined.

Present studio

What are you having the most trouble resolving?

I have a pile of unfinished works on paper, probably 100 paintings or so, that are unresolved. I go through them about once a month and look for something to pull out. Sometimes I’ll finish a painting I started years earlier, so a simple work on paper can be a painting that was started 5 years prior.
I rarely toss a painting I feel is unsuccessful, I put it in the unfinished pile, and sometimes it is so satisfying to pull it out a year later and paint completely over it.

Pushing up, 22" X 22", acrylic & ink on paper, 2011

Do you experiment with different materials a lot or do you prefer to work within certain parameters?

The final piece is usually always a painting, but I do experiment with other materials. I often make 3D work with all sorts of materials and sewn versions of my paintings. Most of these things never leave my studio, but they are a necessary part of my working routine and help feed my paintings.




  1. Love the work- have loved it for some time- thank you for this interview- very exciting to get to know more about the artist-

  2. Fantastic work and a fantastic blog. Thank you so much for putting the effort in to keep something like this going.

  3. Hi Seamus,
    Thanks for your positive feedback!

  4. Ky is an amazing artist and I love seeing what she produces.