You Can Have It All
Mixed media on canvas
Your website is beautiful can you explain the meaning of the name ‘anchors and wings’?
Anchors and wings comes from the first mixed media portrait I did of my son Conor. It
includes a picture of him, standing at the sea’s edge on our family farm where we live. I
wrote a mantra on that painting that said: “I will give you an anchor, even as I strive to give you wings.”
Being grounded and connected in a place, in my Self, and to the Universe is hugely
important to me. This grounded connection is the anchor; I believe that we need anchors in our lives in order to be able to truly fly towards our dreams. Our wings give us the ability to achieve anything we set our minds and hearts on.
I grew up on the land in rural New Zealand, and I have a huge connection to the land we live on – it is one of my greatest anchors. Years ago, I chose to move home to our family farm so that I could raise my son with the same connection to the land – it was the best place I could think of to bring him up.
Coming home and working through my own reinvention process, was the birth of anchors and wings. I chose to create my life, exactly as I wanted it to be. I gave wings to long-held dreams – including my dream to be a full-time artist and coach who helps other people birth their own creativity.
I noticed on your website that you are also a quilter, what sort of quilts do you make?
I came to painting through quilting (and now that I’m painting full-time I’m not quilting as much, though I still love it). As a quilter I followed a progression: I started out making quilts from other people’s patterns and fabrics. Eventually I developed the skills to design my own art quilts. I began dyeing my own fabric, and then started adding my love of photography and writing into my quilts by using image transfers and printed text. Before long, I discovered acrylic paint, so began making textural, layered art quilts. My most recent art quilts have been similar to my mixed media artworks – but they are created from fabric and fulfil the technical definition of a quilt as they are multi-layered.
One of the things I love about quilts is that they are pieces of art, but they’re also functional. I still enjoy making bed quilts – there is something so nurturing and comforting about being wrapped in a quilt you have spent many hours making. And they are gifts of absolute love for family and friends.
At what point were you comfortable with calling yourself an artist?
I’ve been comfortable calling myself an artist for some years now – and I started before I became a full-time artist. I had done a lot of reading about the fear of calling myself an artist. Eventually I just decided to get past it, and called myself an artist – sometimes hesitantly, but my confidence grew the more I said it! Creating my website and printing my business cards was a big step – because I put artist, writer and photographer on them! ThenI had to own all three labels all at once! Just do it!
What is your favourite piece of art created by yourself and what is its story?
My favourite piece of art is often the one I’ve just finished! When I’m close to finishing a piece they occupy so much of my head space – sometimes it’s hard to think of anything else. Other favourite pieces are the commissions I work on for clients – these are very special. Typically people come to me who have something to celebrate or bring into their lives. This has included celebrating a new relationship, the desire for a long-awaited baby, marking a major life transition or recovering from illness and starting life anew.
I work closely with my commission clients to uncover what they want their piece of art to mean. Often it is about celebrating what is most precious to them, while looking forward to something in the future. Once I have their brief, I begin extensive research to spark my creative process, and to find the deeply personal symbols I include in their artwork. My paintings are multi-layered and often include 6-10 layers. Many of the symbols I use end up unseen in the final layer, but traces of them remain and their meaning and intention is infused throughout the piece. They become a very special part of a home and I always find it a privilege to share in my client’s dreams, lives and celebrations.
In my own art collection, the painting that started it all is called Te Whanau o nga Awe Kaka (The Red Feathered Parrot Family). This was the first significant mixed media artwork I made. It comprises four panels telling the story of my family, and it was made for an exhibition called Made In New Zealand which travelled to France and around New Zealand. I used vintage photographs of myself and my three brothers, and the Maori name of the work, and a name for each panel was given to me by a local Maori elder. This artwork speaks about our ties to the land, who we are at our core, and what binds us together. It is a deep expression of my heritage, and I love it for that.
Be Your Own Sunshine
Mixed media on wood panel
Would you like to also tells us a little bit about your Creativity coaching and VIP one day retreat?
I’d love to! I work with women to help bring their creativity to light. Whether you’re a
creative mum thinking you’ll go INSANE if you don’t get some time to yourself, or a budding creative entrepreneur wanting to make your creativity your business – I can help.
My Creativity Coaching works in one-month blocks to help you put in place the skills, habits and mindset to achieve your creative goals. You are supported to achieve and develop, and we have a huge amount of fun along the way! If you’re struggling to achieve what you’d like to, if you know you would like to grow the place of creativity in your life, or would like to get more enjoyment out of what you do, then creativity coaching is for you. I share all that I’ve learned over the years to help me make it happen and get it done, and I’ve learned a lot! This covers physical, spiritual, emotional and practical sides of creativity – I have a very holistic approach.
For people who want to kick-start their creativity, my VIP Virtual One Day Retreat is a rich and soulful day where we create a beautiful environment and dive deep into your creative dreams and projects. We decide beforehand what we want to work on during the day, and then spend a luscious virtual day together, creating, uncovering blocks, empowering you, creating action plans and more! The VIP Virtual One Day Retreat is like a day at the spa for your body, mind and soul – I love them!
I offer FREE 30 minute Explore Coaching Calls to everyone interested in my creativity
coaching so that we can discuss what you want to achieve and which the right option is for you. Don’t hesitate to book one with me.
Do you teach others art techniques?
Right now, I’m in the process of developing my own creative courses. I have always
imagined a community of like-minded souls who share their creative life experiences, swap ideas and collectively help each other live wonderful, free lives.
There are definitely creative courses coming to http://www.katherineparrott.com. Please feel free to sign up to my mailing list to stay in touch and keep up to date with what I am offering.
When you sign up you will receive my FREE 6 Steps To An Easier Life guide – these are my tried and true methods for living an easy-breezy life with less stress and more creativity. And I love giving away free tips, gifts and projects to my subscribers!
A big thank you to Katherine for taking part in the interview. It has been a wonderful experience and I feel very honoured that you took part.