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Catherine Darling Hostetter

Artist's Interview

How long have you been creating?
This may be a trite response, but my earliest recollection of a creative spirit was when I was two years old and I was attracted to patterns and art in my bedroom. I was still in a crib and must have spent some time there, because I would study the walls covered in floral wallpaper. In Kindergarten I was passionate about art, and was particular about what kind of paper I drew my early masterpieces on. I really think I was born with my creativity.
What is your medium of choice?
Currently it is acrylic. I began with watercolor, which I love still, but the necessity of earning a living moved me on to acrylics because I could get higher prices for my art. Sad to say, watercolors take much more time (at least mine do), and in general do not fetch the prices that oils and acrylic can bring. I am speaking as an emerging artist, one that lives on my art income and found this to be an important consideration. I do oils occasionally which is said to bring even higher prices, but the additional cleanup and drying time discourages me from using them as much. I have been spoiled with acrylics where I paint one day and ship the next if necessary! However acrylics are recognized by art authorities as an archival medium and accept acrylics alongside oils. It is the public we need to convince about acrylics being archival!
What are your motivations for creating?
I wake each day with ideas and thoughts of things to paint. I love creating art with a passion and it brings me much joy. There are several motivations for creating, not all of them poetic, but I receive much satisfaction in all aspects of my motivations. I love to study art and find inspiration in just looking at any type of art. Of course some appeal to me more than others, but looking at art brings ideas and inspiration to me. I am faithful in my attendance at our local monthly gallery stroll. I live in a city where there are many fine artists and I love associating with them and appreciating their work. Here in Salt Lake City the government has been a great patron of the arts and we have a wonderful art culture. Another motivation is simply when a painting sells. There is a high that comes when someone loves your work enough to pay money for it!!! It is a validation of myself as an artist to have that happen. I have to say that right now on ebay I sell a lot of cows and sheep, because they sell well for me and of course when you rely on art as your bread and butter, you paint what sells. Even so, I enjoy painting these animals because of the wonderful feedback I get from those who buy my work. There are many things that motivate me but one more motivation is being experimental in my art. I like to try new things and have been searching for years to find a style that expresses me most. I think it is an ongoing process to find your own style, at least for me. Perhaps it will always be an evolving pursuit. I thank ebay for allowing me the freedom to try new things and still sell my art! A gallery probably wouldn't put up with all my different styles. Ebay allows this experimentation because there are so many buyers to sell to - the whole world in fact! This past year I joined a 'brick and mortar' gallery and have found the necessity of settling down to one style to encourage recognition and a following of my art. Of course you don't have as many people look at your art in one gallery as you do on ebay so it does have natural restrictions.
What other artists and movements inform your work?
I am passionate about painting the human form and love Rembrandt, DaVinci, Mary Cassatt, and I could go on and on. Lately I have really enjoyed Gustav Klimt, his wonderful ability to portray the human form so beautifully and then explode his paintings with patterns.
What do you find stimulating right now? How does this influence your creative process?
I am fascinated with patterns and I enjoy collage, using my own artwork as the collage pieces. I am also working with clay and just bought a very tiny kiln. I haven't done much with it yet, but I am finding the 3-D aspect of it very stimulating.
Read anything good lately?
I read several books at a time. Currently I am reading one about sculpting, one about collage, and one about Gustav Klimt. I am constantly thinking about art! But I have to admit that I read regency romances, I call them my mindless books where I don't have to think about anything. I am a born romantic.
What are some of your artistic goals for the future?
Improve my sales both online and in the brick and mortar gallery. I plan to study marketing techniques and get more knowledgeable about the business end of art. I am joining another gallery this fall which will be a new stretch for me as it is located at a ski resort and I will be doing mostly landscapes. I have developed a style that has been selling well for me locally, and I am looking forward to exploring it further. I enjoy entering local competitions and will always include that as a goal.
What would you like your fellow EBSQ artists and collectors to know about you and or your work?
I would like them to know that I want my art to bring joy to people. I love getting emails that say "your art makes me happy". Regardless of what venue I sell my art in, or what price it is sold at, if it makes someone happy, that is my joy in creating art.

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