Q + A: Kate Bender


What is a typical day in the studio like for you?

If I’m painting, I’ll start with preparing my pal- ette and mixing a wide range of colours for the area I’ll be working on. Then I start painting, stopping only for tea, lunch and to give the dogs a cuddle. I really get a good rhythm going around 3pm, and I’m always hoping the day- light holds out for me.

What materials do you use?

Oil paint is just so luscious and workable. The pigments are rich and true – there are no surprises when it dries. I’m also quite a slow painter, so the slow drying time of oil paint works for me. I can’t get the soft colour transitions I’m after with acrylics.

What is your process?

I begin by creating curvaceous sculptural forms that I illuminate with multidirectional light, thereby finding the desired balance between shadow and light, form and space. Through these processes I look for complex, ambiguous and subjective sculptural forms and spaces.

What is your subject matter?

My paintings emphasise the uncertainty between the imagined and real. They take the viewer into a world of intimate spaces that invoke a sensorial and immersive experience – a visualisation of a poetic turn of phrase; an evocation of emotion, mood and music expressed in paint and colour.

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Related Artworks

Kate Bender, Into His Fiery Heart. Oil on canvas, 84 x 152cm.
Kate Bender, Only the Wind Sings