Once again, the walls of our Market Square restaurant are alive with color.
The work of Asheville artist, Kathryn Gunn is a vibrant collection of color, light and reflection that comes from an intuitive place where music and mindfulness mingle with canvas, acrylic, and curiosity.
Gunn only recently started painting – in fact, until last year, she thought that she couldn’t: “I have always been a lover of art and when I was younger I pursued a career in Art history, but never believed that I could be an artist.”
But when she salvaged the remains of a children’s tempura paint set, Gunn’s artistic interest started her on a path that would lead to art shows and juried events across the southeast even though the beginning of the journey was a very, very private affair that included only one set of eyes: her own.
“I took [the children’s’ paints] home with me. I just loved mixing colors. I would hide in my basement and paint on cardboard so I could throw them away as soon as I was finished and no one would ever look at anything I did.” And even when a friend lured her to a live model drawing event with a promise that the event had “really chill music and you get to drink wine,” Gunn only agreed to attend when she was assured that no one would actually see what she had drawn.
The event proved to be much more than a pleasant afternoon of wine and song because when her drawing turned out to actually look like the model Gunn was moved to continue to explore her artistic side. Her subsequent experiments with drawing led to more painting and more work with color and form.
Gunn’s approach remains intuitive – she adds color based on a sense of what’s missing and remains open in terms of style and subject style. “I’m not sure that I’ve found my niche, and maybe never will as I find the next style and go ‘I want to try that out!’”
But her work is certainly informed by nature – in landscapes and even in her abstract and “Flow” works, the colors might leap from the flowers and vistas of the Appalachian Mountains. But more than that, Gunn’s work reflects a peaceful beauty, one that’s attune to her creative process. When she works, Gunn is absorbed by the present, because, she says, “When I’m painting, I lose myself in the work, lose track of time, forget to eat, completely absorbed, I don’t even know that I am sore from standing for hours and hours until I am finished. There is really no separation between me and the painting.”
You can get lost in Gunn’s paintings, too at the downtown Market Square Tomato Head through October 1st. She will then hang at the West Knoxville Tomato Head from October 3rd through November 6th.