Q + A: Kristen Lethem

CONTRAST AND A MONOCHROMATIC PALETTE ARE PARAMOUNT IN THE WORK OF ARTIST KRISTEN LETHEM.

How would you describe your work?

My paintings are monochromatic representations of the Australian landscape. I work in a limited palette to enable myself and the viewer to observe pattern and form. There is usually a distinct contrast between the vegetation and surrounding land.

When did you first fall in love with art?

I really can’t remember when as I’ve always drawn or painted! I think it was the art within nature that initially inspired me. As a child I would collect beautifully patterned bird eggs and all sorts of flowers, then combine them in little art installations.

What is your studio like?

I would describe my studio as ordered chaos. It looks a mess, but everything has its place. It is in the spare bedroom and has a sky light and window, so for most of the day I can paint using natural light. It’s not huge so painting large works can be a challenge.

Where do you find inspiration?

My inspiration comes from the landscape, both visually and emotionally. I spend a lot of time driving, walking, and clambering up to high points in order to see the view. Often when I get there I just sit, look, listen and take it all in.

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