I’ve made this series to highlight women who are starting out. They have created something out of nothing, following those whispers and are moving forward with bringing their dreams to life. I believe in the power of sharing our stories, supporting and lifting each other up. There is enough for everyone to be successful, in what ever way feels right for them.
I N T R O D U C I N G
Kate Quinn is a full time artist, painting still life using oils on canvas, inspired by flora, native fauna, ceramics, textiles and fruit. Now and then, she also creates gorgeous little pet portraits! Based in inner city Brisbane, Kate lives with her husband, teenage children, two cats, and Jessie her little rescue dog, who can be found asleep at Kate’s feet every day while she paints in her colourful home studio.
A social worker by training, Kate worked for many years in domestic violence social work, trying all types of art and craft projects as an occasional hobby. She started painting with oils in her late 30’s, painting only now and then amongst a very busy life juggling work and kids, but realised one day in a bit of an ‘epiphany’ moment, that if she kept waiting for more time to magically appear to be able to paint, she would be in a retirement village before she started painting more often! So, that very day she booked into a weekly art class, started an art Instagram page, and not long after, in 2020, entered the Jumbled Art Superstar competition (Website jumbledonline.com). Kate won this competition, ‘Kate Quinn Art’ was born as a business, and she hasn’t looked back since. In 2022 she resigned from her social work job, to transition to being a full time artist.
As well as selling originals directly through her website and via various galleries and stores across Australia, Kate also runs one on one art classes from her home studio, sells archival quality prints, offers a small range of locally made linen tableware and cotton hoodies incorporating her artwork, all available on her website.
2020 also saw Kate launch another small business, Bloom Art Experiences. Kate co-created Bloom with her business partner and friend, Emily Day (Instagram @e_milydaystudio Website www.studioemilyday.com). They hold thoughtfully curated, boutique art, food and wine day-long workshops at unique and beautiful locations all over Australia. Working with local hosts where the workshops are held enables Kate and Emily to focus on creating a supportive, fun teaching environment, while the local hosts ensure everyone is well fed, watered and comfortable!
‘Seasons’ is a joint exhibition Kate and Emily are holding in July this year, see below for details.
T H E Q U E S T I O N S
1. Would you share a little about yourself and why it is so important for you to follow those creative whispers?
I have always been a fairly artistic person, and doing creative things feels like an itch I just have to scratch! (I think a lot of creative people feel like this). I did well at art in school, but put it on the backburner for many years while I studied, travelled, worked, and had a family. When I started using Instagram I was hugely inspired by painters I saw creating beautiful still life, and I decided to try to learn how. I am largely self taught, but have been to a few short courses and classes, watched lots of YouTube tutorials, and worked out a lot by trial and error. I have really found my ‘thing’ in oil painting, and never get sick of it! There have been periods in my life where I haven’t done many creative projects, and have missed it a lot, so it feels incredible now to be in my 40’s and doing something every day as a job that I absolutely love.
2. Favourite time of the day?
Definitely mornings! I am an early riser and my favourite time is around 9am, when I have exercised, had coffee, got the kids off to school, tidied up the house and am sitting down in the studio with a whole day of painting ahead of me. I have the most creative energy in the mornings and that is when I do my best work. Now and then I will paint into the evening to meet a deadline, but find it much harder to stay inspired at night.
3. Life is full of distractions, what keeps you focused?
Having a dedicated studio space at home (just a bedroom turned into a studio) is great because I can have projects on the go that don’t require packing away. I do find it hard not to be distracted by house/life/kid related admin, so sometimes I will set a timer to give myself, say, 45 minutes to do chores or run errands in the morning, then once the timer goes off I go to work in the studio, and the rest has to wait. Finding time is the greatest challenge for anyone wanting to create art, especially for mums. It helps that I LOVE painting so it doesn’t often feel like a chore to get focused on it.
4. What has surprised you?
Winning the Jumbled Art Superstar competition surprised the heck out of me! I never ever in a million years thought something like that would happen to me. It has surprised me a lot to have inadvertently created an entirely different career in my 40’s – it seems to have taken on a life of its own that I could never have imagined. It has also surprised me how many beautiful connections with other creatives I have made through Instagram, and the general art community. Now that I work on my own most of the time, it is really valuable to me having so many online and in person connections with artists.
5. One piece of advice you would like to pass on to someone starting out?
Just do it. If you wait until you have more time, or until your art is ‘good enough’, you will never ever get your work out there. So start your Instagram account, build a website, pitch your project – whatever it is, just give it a go. Almost every step I have made as an artist I have just figured out on the fly, muddled through, and I am so glad I have. So ignore the imposter syndrome, don’t compare yourself to anyone else, and just give it a red hot go.
SEASONS Art Exhibition
‘Seasons’ is a collection of paintings in oils and acrylics by Brisbane artists Emily Day and Kate Quinn held from July 11-16 2023 at the Latrobe Art Space, Paddington, QLD.
Four sections of the gallery will showcase a collection of paintings, ceramics and candles, all carefully created to represent the season using flora, fauna, fruit, and colour.
Every composition will be painted two ways – one by Emily and one by Kate – with each artist interpreting the scene with their own unique style, technique, materials and interpretation.
Joining as guest collaborator is the sensational painter and ceramicist Pia Kuykhoven (Instagram @pia.kuykhoven.artist Website www.piakuykhoven.art) who is creating a collection of stunning handmade vases and vessels to reflect the seasonal theme. Some of the vases for sale have been included in the composition of Kate and Emily’s paintings.
Two unique scents have been chosen to represent Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice, and have been used to create divinely scented candles, with artist designed labels, made in Queensland by Unwined Candle Co (Instagram @unwinedcandlecompany)
Join Emily and Kate to enjoy a free opening night on Thursday 13th July 2023.
( The ticketed art tour and artist led sketching evenings are now sold out.)
Mark your diaries, the exhibition will be marvellous!
Interview Series: Kate Quinn Art
May 25, 2023