Inside the Studio

Kirsty Warman

Favorite material to work with?
I use a mixture of Matisse and Golden Acrylic paints. I enjoy in particular the fluid nature of the Golden Acrylics, and the drying time is perfect for one who has little patience for waiting. This is ironic, because my practice is all about waiting and the paint commanding a directive. Paint aside, I love a 0.01 black ink pen to doodle fine lines.

What themes do you pursue?
I would describe my paintings as abstract figurative; one cannot be without the other. Although, how can they be abstract if there is a figural presence? I move paint continuously around the canvas until something that I like appears – it could be a line or a semblance of things. Although, it doesn’t end there – I destroy and rebuild/paint. I can say without hesitation every painting has a period of doubt and questioning.

How many years as an artist?
Seriously, as a visual artist, a mere four years. I have always been creative, but it has taken many years to arrive at this place. Besides, I would have had little to say any earlier.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Be instinctual. Leave feedback at the door. Otherwise you can waste a day thinking too much.

Where is your studio?
My studio space is in a corner of my partner’s photographic studio. It’s in a lovely old building overlooking a small park.

Art school or self-taught?
Since I was small, I have always tethered on the fringes of the creative. Finally, in 2009 I decided to apply to the ART School – I can remember thinking often that first year, this is where I am meant to be.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
I certainly work better listening to music. If in silence, the noise in my head can be too much at times.

What’s around the corner from your place? 
Outside the studio, there are four art galleries, a great Cambodian restaurant, and a small park. Around the corner from home is the beach and cafes – happy days.

Where can we find you outside the studio?
The majority of the time taxiing my son to either tennis or football.

If you couldn’t be an artist, what would you do?
A travel/lifestyle writer/photographer, or a product designer.

Day job?
Visual artist.

What do you collect?
From our last move, it appears I collect recipe books – I have many. Additionally, art/interior magazines. I had to force myself, after editing the number down, to recycle magazines dating back to when we were in London in the late 90s, early 2000s.

Favorite contemporary artist?
Gerhard Richter writings on doubt and uncertainty. Cecily Brown, discussion on her paintings in regard to abstraction and figuration. Aside from that, I love her paintings. I am fascinated with the works of Francis Bacon and Philip Guston.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
Leonardo da Vinci’s Annunciation, 1472-1475, housed in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

Use anything other than paint?
I use ink, and doodle most days. My doodles run parallel to my painting practice. The illustrations are normally fast manipulations on paper, whereas my paintings are a continual contest meshing the ground and the figure until the paint falls where it is destined.

Palette knifes?
I would be lost without my palette knife. It is in constant use moving the paint around the canvas – love it!!