Artisit Interview – Katherine Parrott – Part 2

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You Can Have It All
Private Commission
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
Katherine Parrott
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 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!

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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.

Melanie M

Artist Interview – Katherine Parrott – Part 1

Live the Magic
Katherine Parrott
Mixed media on canvas
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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.

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