Feb 10, 2014


For this month our Artist Hub Exposé is all about Kate Crane!
kates fabulous and fluid art journal style is a testament to freestyle art journaling. Her beautiful layers of paint and texture draw you into her pages. Lets learn more about this master of colour and her creative process.

Introducing the amazing....
Here is her story...

Tell us a little bit about you.
Hi! My name is Kate Crane, and I’m from a rural village in the North of England UK, where I live with my husband, two children, our dog and several small animals! I am passionate about messy, colourful mixed-media art, especially art journaling, and I always have several art journals on the go. I balance my art life with my working life as a school teacher, although these days it’s more art and less school teaching. I have a small space at home which is really the box-room, which I grandly call my studio! But it is my space, and it’s wonderful to have that space to create in.

I have always been a creative type, and will have a go at anything, from knitting to dress-making to re-upholstery, to paper clay art dolls … you name it, I’ve done it! But once I discovered the wonderful on-line community of mixed media artists in around 2007, I discovered a whole new world. I began making and trading ATCs with other enthusiasts from all over the world, and I also began to take a real interest in art blogs and what everyone else was up to. There was an amazing creative world out there and it really opened my eyes.

Then I met the one and only Dyan Reaveley, owner of Art from the Heart, (UK) now a signature designer for Ranger. Dyan introduced me to art journaling and also encouraged me to work on a much bigger scale. I totally embraced art journaling with a passion. Here was an art form which had no rules, which allowed me to do whatever I wanted, and most importantly allowed me to create from the heart.

Over the years my art has changed almost beyond recognition, but without fail the one thing that links all of my art is my love of colour, and my natural inclination to go bold, bright and vibrant. I also have a tendency towards the weird and sometimes downright spooky!

What is your greatest influence and where do you find inspiration and what is your process in creating your artwork, do you have a go to thing that inspires you creatively?
Inspiration can come from anywhere. Sometimes I may be reading a book and a line just catches my eye … and then I will have to make a journal page around it to ‘capture’ the moment (such as the journal page shown “If they give you lined paper, write the other way” which came from The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.) If I don’t know where to begin, I just start painting and let myself get lost in the process. I find that my creative mind takes over and things begin to take shape. Thinking is the worst thing I can do! Thinking too much about how to start a page is almost enough to put me off doing it altogether.

I don’t have one particular way of working, it varies as the mood takes me, but here are some snippets of a page in progress.

1- I often begin with a rough layer of paint with 2 or 3 colours, painted with a thick scruffy brush (you can probably see that this is painted on recycled cardboard in my junk journal).

2- Sometimes I knock this right back with white paint on a brayer.

3- And then I added some more paint. Here I have introduced pink as a new colour, and also added the all-important black with a palette knife to ‘ground’ the other colours and provide some contrast.

 4- I used one of my own stamps (made from foam) to stamp paint in white.

5- And then I set to work with pencils, oil pastels and paint pens and add some doodled symbols and scribbles. I have recently been influenced by Dawn Sokol, and have been doodling like crazy! And it’s great and very personal to add your own marks to a page.

 6- I typed the quote on my vintage typewriter, although whether I’ll follow my own advice is yet to be seen!

7- And to finish, I added a scanned image of one of my own drawings, using some washi tape, and also stamped some bottle lids along the lower edge in black as I felt the page needed grounding in the corner.

What is your favourite piece of artwork you have created and why?

I very often find that the piece of art I am currently working on is my favourite. My skills are constantly evolving and changing, and my most recent work usually involves a newly found skill which will inevitably make me happy. Lately I have been working in a junk (or junque?) journal, which I created from scratch. I am hugely delighted to be working in something that I created myself, especially as the journal is mostly made from recycled materials. I also find it completely liberating to be working on recycled cardboard, and it has enabled me to create much more freely– something which I really aspire to.

(Images by Nancy Baumiller of CrowaboutStudioB)

I created these pages in my junk journal painting mostly with my fingers, which really helps me to really ‘connect’ with the page. They were created at speed, using mostly what happened to be on my desk in front of me, and have multiple layers of paint, pastels, and lots of doodled symbols. They totally reflect my love of colour.

This next page in one of my old favourites, created in the summer of 2011. This page grew out of a very stressful period for me; is intensely personal, and documents what was happening at the time, and has great meaning to me.
 (Images by Tumblefish Studio)

If you are currently exhibiting can you provide details of the exhibition? Do you have any links to online galleries that showcase your collection?

I don’t exhibit my art anywhere, partly because I am so very busy teaching my art and there just aren’t enough hours in the day! I have however, made four DVDs on the subject of Art Journaling for Traplet publications in the UK, and I am currently teaching on-line as part of 21 Secrets 2013 which I have been very excited about! I post all of my art to my blog, and also to Flickr where it can be conveniently viewed in one place: Flickr

Finally could you share something that inspires and evokes positivity for you?
I never fail to be totally inspired by watching the artist Mindy Lacefield at work:

Mindy paints in such a carefree and joyful way. I long to free myself of over-thinking (the killer of all creativity), and to be able to create just like this. And I’m working on it, I really am!

The funny thing is, that in my grand scheme of life, the career I had mapped out for myself, art didn’t really feature. I loved art at school but aged 18 I had to choose between art or music, and I chose music. I still love music and to be involved in music, but quite accidentally I got involved in art in a much bigger way than I ever imagined. For this reason, these quotes have particular meaning for me:

If you want to know where your heart is, look to where your mind goes when it wanders.

‘Follow your dreams. They know the way.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’ 
~Mark Twain~