Katie Van Horne
“There is a common thread I have realized about what usually takes place when I work. I leave my surrounding or studio to the place itself, the site, where the person, place or thing lives to be drawn. For abstract work I go to friends’ studios with printing presses for making hand made (printmaking) monotypes. I go to clay studios for making sculptures, or atelier type centers to do life drawing. Or travel to where portrait commission subjects live.”
“I am in the whole terrain of the portrait subject: person, eagle, hawk, horse, landscape. There is a power or force field, a gift, in these places that are familiar to the subject and sometimes altogether new to me. The essence of the being and/or the landscape beneath the surface is raw and refined, relaxed or unsettled in its element. I set up my things to draw or sculpt and attend.
Once drawing, the field little by little or quickly shifts – there is lightness of play and joking, singing sometimes, quiet – within this, the whole begins to emerge from inside. The core comes awake, within its own silence, aligning, unfiltered, at one. This beauty witnessed here moves the marks on paper or plexiglas, or placement of clay. The space around instructs this whole.”
Katie Van Horne is a celebrated painter of both her native California landscape and the human form. Katie is most known, however, for painting portraits. Her commissions range from drawings of infants and children, to doing formal sittings of heads of institutions. She has done several personal, informal and reflective compositions of her clients and their children. Katie’s talent in capturing character extends to animals as well; Katie has also done several portraits of beloved family dogs and horses.
Hundreds of Bay Area families treasure portraits and landscapes by Katie. Her commissions have also taken her to Southern California, the Northwest, Northeast, Midwest, Washington, D.C., Florida and internationally to paint. Katie currently lives in Ojai, California and is a member of The Ojai Studio Artists Association.
For most of her portraits, Katie uses the combined media of watercolor and pastel, but her love of the directness and myriad possibilities in illuminating both the figure and landscapes have led her to work in both simple, clean dry-point etchings and various dynamic abstract monotype printmaking techniques. Gesture-washes of the figure or landscape are hallmarks of her work. Sculpture is also a favorite medium, bringing new dimensions and opportunities to represent her subjects. Each discipline or practice informs and revitalizes the others, helping to keep attention fresh and to stay attuned to the subject matter at hand.