Artist Interview – Katherine Parrott – Part 1

Live the Magic
Katherine Parrott
Mixed media on canvas
IMG_1875 - Copy
Tell us about the time when you first knew that you wanted to make art and what had brought you to this dream?

I’ve been creative for as long as I can remember: and yet, one of my vivid childhood memories was standing in front of an easel when I was about 8 years old, being so frustrated because I couldn’t draw the picture that was in my head. At that moment, I decided that I couldn’t draw, and therefore I wasn’t good at art.
Consequently, I never chose art as a subject at school, but my creativity manifested
throughout my life in many different ways. First as a pianist and singer, as a cook, a
gardener, a photographer, a writer, a quilt maker and finally today, I comfortably call myself an artist.
When I hit my late twenties I realised creativity was so important in my life that I named it as one of my core values. A few years later, I was heavily pregnant with my son Conor and was writing a business plan designed to capture what I wanted to do when I returned to work after his birth. I was burnt out of the corporate world, knew that motherhood would change everything for me, and wanted to write my business plan with a clear head before I gave birth so I had it to come back to when I was ready. Part of the plan was a commitment to honouring my creativity: to finding work that allowed me to grow my creativity and that put it first.

When I wrote it, I had no idea how much my life would change in the next few years and how much I would need that plan. My painting and my work coaching and teaching others is me living out my plan.

What artists do you admire?

Recently I travelled to New York for the first time, and got to visit several wonderful galleries and museums there. It was such a privilege to stand in the presence of great works by Monet, Chagall, Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Rousseau, Renoir, Rodin and Klimt… but equally, it was amazing to stand in the presence of artists I had never heard of – incredible sculptors,furniture makers, silversmiths, painters and textile artists.

There are SO many talented creatives – past and present, and I appreciate art and creativity in many disciplines. The artists I admire the most are the ones who have committed to their craft: who have created, despite the inevitable challenges. The ones who decided – damn it, I’m going to do this, and followed the calling of their art. Letting nothing stand in their way.

Often, I think this is the greatest difference between those who ‘make it’ and those who
don’t. It’s not talent, it’s not genetics. It’s focus, and determination. It’s making a choice thatyou’re going to create.

Could you tell us about a time where you had lost your groove as an artist? What brought you back?

The end of my first marriage was a difficult time for me creatively, and working through the grief process dulled my creative mojo for a long time. I was frustrated at myself because I wanted to be creating, but at the same time, I often felt too exhausted and as if I couldn’t create. Creativity and self-esteem are inextricably linked, which makes creating when you’re feeling bad a challenge. On the flip side, if you can express your creativity, it will help you to feel better about yourself, restoring your self esteem.

As I worked through rebuilding my life, I was aware of how important creativity was for me, and as much as I could, I used my creativity to help myself heal. One of the things I did was to complete my first photography 365 project – where I consciously looked for something beautiful and joyful to photograph every day for a year. This practice changed my life, and I have completed several other 365 projects since. Among many other benefits, it totally cemented my belief in doing something creative every day, and taking one small step towards your dreams every day, no matter how small.

Tell us about the time when you sold your first piece, how did you feel?

When I sold my first piece, my overwhelming feeling was one of gratitude. Thankfulness that something I had made was going to a beautiful home, and that someone had seen the value in what I created.

What gives you the drive to continue your journey as an artist?

I know that creativity is central to who I am. And I know that when I am creating, I’m a much happier, more grounded, at peace person. Creativity does all sorts of wonderful things for me – it gives me energy and helps me appreciate the beauty that is around me every day. I’m also committed to putting beauty into the world: I want my work to leave the world a little better than I found it, and I make art because I have something to say. I put my art into the public domain because I want to spark a conversation, a thought, an action. I want to help people give voice to their own creative gifts, I want to help them have the courage and confidence to do this.

I have a very deep sense that what I’m doing now is my life purpose. After years of being too afraid to live it, I now feel it would be impossible to turn away from. I get so much joy and satisfaction from what I do. I still have many aspects of my plan that are yet to come to life, and I still don’t know HOW they will unfold. But I trust that they will, and in the meantime, it’s up to me to keep doing the work.

Have you had any formal training to study art making or design?

Despite having 3 degrees, and a lifetime commitment to learning, I have never formally
studied art, though I would love to! I’ve done lots of short workshops and courses with
teachers throughout the years – though very few in my current mixed media techniques. I love learning, and invest regularly in expanding my knowledge – whether that is as an artist or in the business aspect of being an artist with an online business. Life experience is also a huge teacher – my ideas and inspiration come largely from within, so my observations and life experiences inform everything I create.

www.katherineparrott.com

Join us for Part 2 where you will find out more about Katherine –

  • Katherine Parrott Profile Picture (1024x682) (1)the time she felt comfortable to call herself an artist
  • the meaning behind her website ‘anchor and wings’
  • her favourite piece of art and the story behind this.
  • her creative coaching
  • new developments in her journey.

Please visit Katherine’s website, I asked Katherine if I could interview her because she inspires me to continue my journey playing with paint, her artwork is so beautiful and the stories behind them are also beautiful. She also inspires me to challenge myself.

Melanie M

Make a Wish

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My latest piece, totally love it. I played with my colour choices on this one, moving away from my go to colours and challenged myself. This one really messed with me on too many occasions. Once I finally let go, embraced the process and trusted, it became what it was meant to be.

I really wanted to post this today because of the date, the 8th day of October. I am currently at a work conference for the week so have disappeared to post my Number 8.

Number 8 is my favourite number, I have written about that here

Make a wish and trust your dreams.

Melanie M

Learning and Playing

I have been using Creative Bug to learn new techniques with art journaling. The images in this post, where I took part in a series called ’10 easy things to draw with Molly Hatch’. I had loads of fun taking part. Learning how to draw is something I have been wanting to work on since I started messing about with mixed media art. I started out with Creative Bug using a free trial and quickly became addicted.

I will post some more photos of the latest workshops I have been working on.

Pixie Magic

In my appreciation of Malousu nominating my blog for a Blogger Recognition Award I am reblogging this post because I wanted to read more. I loved the characters and the mystery behind the story. Thank you Malousu I am looking forward to more posts.
Melanie M

Mondays Musings: On Holding Anger

The beautiful Rosema has nominated me for The Infinity Dreams award. In my appreciation I am going to reblog her post, On Holding Anger, from her Monday Musings, a great post which resonated with me greatly. Thank you Rosema, such an honour to be nominated by you.
Melanie M

A Reading Writer

Monday Musings

Start the week with some wise words worth pondering. – rosemawrites

Last week has been so fun as Writing 101 has been really an enjoyable class packed with awesome bloggers/classmates.

Today’s Monday Musings is inspired by our Day 9 assignment, particularly by Annie and TLizzy. These two have all the right to live with hatred but they chose the opposite direction. 

So here is my word-to-ponder for this week:

Image by JJP at https://twitter.com/bitchboy30.

From: The Five People You Meet in Heaven byMitch Albom

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

My thoughts:

I am honestly not a forgiver. I keep records of wrongs. I may say I forgive you, but I will surely not forget.

But as I grow, as I experience rejections, as I experience life’s harsh realities, I have learned that everything really happens for a reason.

Someone may have wronged you, but that is the best way to make you…

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What really!

2015-08-30 20.13.51I got hit with a ‘curve ball’ today. It was tough, it rocked me, left me feeling sad, deflated and hurt. My first thought was why did I start pursuing this dream to tell my story and at the same time making mixed media artworks, I am not worthy, it will never become anything and I am totally worthless. These are all the words I was beating myself up with, I would never speak to a friend like this. All because I made a mistake!

In my drive home from work I was trying to bring myself back to reality, I searched my brain for something that I had read in my book ‘Simple Abundance’, to help me to recover from this hurt and my need to feel worthless. (I have written about this book here in another time of need). This book is what it says it is, ‘A Day Book of Comfort and Joy’. I pick it up most days and always read a chapter that I am absolutely ready for. It is much like a soulful kiss on the cheek, that hits you right when you need it, with the exact kiss you need. This time my lesson was to find my blessing in everything – your dirty kitchen floor, your bank balance etc. I thought whatever, there is no blessing in this mess. As I read on, I discovered a little treasure that helped me believe,

‘if you find your blessing in everything then the universe will bless you’.

Wow, that was just what I needed.

I also realised that everything that is happening in this moment, is part of a much bigger picture. Don’t try and understand it, lean into it and find your blessings.

Keep dreaming, find your blessing even on your dark days and dance like you always have.

Make someone happy today, the world needs more happy.

Melanie M

What I do, When I don’t…..

Write

I like having the time to do housework, garden, bake, walk, read, play with Fern, watch movies, spend time with my family and dream. I should say yoga and meditation except that would be a big fat story. Yoga and meditation is a dream goal for me.

Most of all I love to create, at the moment I am working on a special birthday gift for someone. It is a mixed media art piece I have put together usingIMG_4827 beautiful paper I have bought from Flonz. I painted the canvas during my mixed media mantras art course with Kellie Rae Roberts. I tried to use colours I thought he would like and it turned out with a christmassy look. I like it. Then I lightened the entire canvas by rolling Titan Buff, Golden Fluid Acrylic over the top. That was a good decision, I loved the piece after that. It lightened it and gave it a more peaceful feel.

‘The Moon and Back ‘Lettering is a special saying we have when we say we love each other. It is something I use with most of my family. I like the lettering, I am at a point of wondering how I can make the lettering a more natural part of the canvas.  Stamping is fun except the ink I am using, at the moment, smudges easily, very annoying.

I am so excited about my second challenge. This is something I have been thinking about doing for awhile. I would like to interview an artist and the very artist I wish to interview is someone I admire immensely. Watch this space! Can’t wait! Can’t wait! I hope they say yes. Actually I have a list of people I would like to interview for my blog.

Hello artist friend! Hello time! Hello yoga! Hello meditation!

Melanie M

Take me to the moon

 How far would you go for someone you love? How far would you want someone else to go for you?

I chose this prompt because of my latest piece of art that I have been creating for someone special. Since my children were small  when we said ‘I love you’ we would respond ‘to the moon and back’. I also gave my daughter a beautiful book where the mum would respond to her daughters ‘I love you’, with ‘Always’.To the Moon altered

I would give up my life for my children and granddaughter, if I had to, without question, unconditional love, always and forever. They are my moon and my earth.

It’s funny really because I wouldn’t want anyone to give up their life for me. Would I expect my mum too, no.

Profound post but the prompt attracted me.

Melanie M

Coffee Chat

If we were having a coffee right now I would tell you that I am learning a lot from Blogging University. The biggest learning has been P1020142that blogging is connecting with others. and their stuff as well as sharing my stuff. I would tell you that my tribe is growing and that is truly heart warming. I would tell you that you inspire me to make more art and I will have more time when I have completed Blogging University.

If we were having a coffee right now I would tell you that I care about what you have to share and love hearing from you. I would tell you that your story matters and helps someone else make sense of their story.

If we were having a coffee right now I would tell you that I have a sore throat and when I cough my head hurts.

If we were having a coffee right now I would say thank you for being there and listening to my story.

Good Night, Sweet Dreams

Melanie M

Dear Knees

Dear Knees

You have suffered a life so that I could gain a longer one. I didn’t know when they wereknees trying to heal me that you would suffer so terribly. I don’t think I would have changed that, if I had known, saying goodbye forever wasn’t an option.

I am sorry that you are broken. It would have been a better time if I had lost that 20 kilos a few years earlier. That time was hard for me and I wasn’t thinking about how I would hurt you.

I am sorry that I didn’t wear more supportive shoes, that would keep you out of harms way. I love walking and would run when I was younger. If I had known I would have made it different for you.

I am sorry that I didn’t tell anyone about you, when I had that car accident and you smashed into the glove box so hard, you cracked it. I didn’t want anyone to find anything wrong with me because I didn’t think I was worth it.

Thank you for being there for me and now as it has become really hard for you to get me around, you just do it. I feel your reluctance to move in the morning and I thank you for keeping me going. Thank you for allowing this year to be so much easier and allowing me to walk more. Thank you for helping me keep up with Fern. Our goal is to get us both through our trip to the UK before we say goodbye.

You have served me well even when I have let you down.  I promise I will continue to massage you each day, so we can spend this time together with some blessings to get us through the day.

Love you Always and Forever

Melanie M