Kat Block, A Tiara Day, mixed media collage, courtesy of the artist
A Tiara Day
October 1–November 30
My primary inspiration is nature. When I am walking around, when I see something beautiful, I photograph it, and the photos become the references for my mixed media collages. I try to capture an image that presents a path to lead the viewer into the scene, so we can walk together.
The process is very methodical. I draw out a basic, general layout of the landscape on a template. The next step is the selection of papers. I use mostly Black Ink decorative papers because the patterns remind me of the energy in the world, and they can be deconstructed to become more organic.
I work from background to foreground with the sky determining the atmosphere, the temperature, and the mood of the image. The sky, like the other elements of the piece, is composed of multiple papers with various patterns that are rearranged until they appear completely natural. Once that look is obtained, and the sky is complete, I move to the next region where everything overlaps. Areas that have been meticulously applied are covered by subsequent layers. That’s the way of the world. I use reflective surfaces to convey luminosity. If there is water in the image, I create a watercolor painting of the water with the reflection of the trees and insert that into the collage.
The beach collages are composed of torn pastel, tissue, color aid, painted watercolor, and metallic papers. My goal is to present the light burning through the sky, bouncing off of the water. I love the relationship between the clouds and the waves, and the subtle earthiness of the sand that is dredged up into the water.
About the Artist
Kat Block earned her bachelor’s degree in English literature and creative writing from Kean University. While deciding her next steps after graduation, she attended her first classes at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey. Within one year, she was already selling her artwork and never looked back. After many years of classes, she was invited to become part of the VACNJ faculty. Additionally, she took classes at the duCret School of Art, and now teaches there as well as at Monmouth County’s Arts Middle and High School and the Institute of Music for Children in Elizabeth, NJ. Beyond creating and teaching art, Kat is a published illustrator of a children’s book and has won numerous awards. Working mostly in watercolor and collage, her primary inspirations are nature and music as she constantly challenges herself to discover new and unexpected ways to communicate her vision through her artwork. Her recent awards include the NJAA Award of Merit from Cranes Mill and the NJAA Award of Excellence from Bernardsville. Currently, Kat is represented by Swain Galleries in Plainfield, NJ.