by Tommy Skyrunner
TOMMY: So what’s your fill name and what’s your craft?
KAITYLYN: My name is Kaitlyn Wallace and I’m an oil painter. I’ve recently been working with mixed media
T: I saw some that work and had me intrigued instantly. How did you get into oil paintings?
K: I’ve been painting for about five years now. I started with watercolor and stayed pretty dedicated to it until my freshman year of college when I took an introductory painting course. We were required to use oil paint. It was a rough start but I’ve been using it for three years now and I really love it.
T: Watercolor seems so technical I can see your oil paintings still have some of that DNA. That’s really cool your work looks like you’ve been painting a lot longer. Would you ever use watercolor again?
K: Thank you! I think watercolor was great to start with because it taught me a lot about layering and being patient. I’ve considered it. I don’t think any artist needs to confine themselves to one medium. But, I feel like I’m just starting to get the hang of oil and I want to push myself a little more to see what else I can do with it.
T: Agree completely, you should be able to create in whatever medium you like. That makes sense though, keep elevating that. Your work invokes emotion based on your subject matter, technique, and color palette. Where do you come up with your ideas?
K: Inspiration is kinda a weird thing. It’s not that I necessarily want to reproduce things I see, rather, sometimes I have a particular feeling or idea I want to communicate. Then it’s a matter of figuring out how that could be best represented in a portrait.
T: It’s intriguing the way the ideas manifest in reality. I feel like creating what we see mentally is always exciting. So in your piece with the maiden crying, what idea were you trying to communicate?
K: It’s kind of a long story but I’ll try to condense it. I went to a Christian middle school and a Catholic high school. Unfortunately, I had some really bad experiences with being sexualized by the staff. Often accused of purposely dressing sexually when I didn’t have any intent like that. Of course that was matched with a lot of shame from teachers on how I should be presenting my body. So it’s a rebellion of those expectations - a sort of pin up Virgin Mary. I really wanted to make something theatrical and dramatic.
K: I also had visual inspiration from beauty Spock on Instagram for the makeup, who I’ve tagged in the original Instagram and Twitter post.
T: Sorry about that situation, sounds completely absurd. I’m going to check out Spock’s work I’ve never heard of her. But I definitely think you executed that beautifully. So I looking into the future a bit where would you like your art to go?
K: And to be perfectly clear - I don’t view all Christians or Catholics as not progressive. It was just my circumstances with particular individuals.
K: And going forwards, I’m currently studying to get my BFA in painting. After that, I’m planning on getting my MFA. I want to eventually teach painting at a university. I’d love to be a supporting role in the lives in young artists and teach them everything I know. I want my students to have someone rooting for them if they don’t have that support at home or their community. Of course, like any other artist, I want to share my work with as many people as possible. I want to make people feel things, communicate with them in my own what and possibly affect the way we see each other.
T: Yeah I get that. I know it’s all situational. You sound like you have a goal and clear direction. They’re our future and definitely need to be nurtured. Can’t wait to see you students learning all of that. It’s intriguing that we can communicate with each other visually to spark some form of dialogue universally.
K: Thank you! I think art is a sort of universal language. The type of art someone makes tells a lot about them.
T: It really does, window to the mind in a way. So in the beginning you were talking about venturing into mixed media. Can you tell me a little about that and how the process has been?
K: I’ve been working with resin, canvas paper, and other small items lately in my most recent projects. Using resin has definitely been interesting to work with. I’ve had to redo entire pieces because it didn’t cure properly but I actually find it really therapeutic to work with and there’s so much you can do with it. I’m going to be doing more.
T: Yeah it seems like something that takes patience to make it correctly. What’s the time difference between resin pieces and paintings?
K: It takes me a lot less time to do a resin piece. Mostly because they’re so much smaller than most of my paintings. I’m a little restricted on how much I can use and which molds I have. I’m currently using a cake pan as a mold because it was the biggest one that I could find.
T: Lol I love that you’re using that! It’s very surprising though, thought it would take longer. If you weren’t creating paintings what type of art would you create?
K: If I weren’t creating paintings I would really be interested in learning how to play a lot of instruments and writing songs.
T: What instrument first? I can see you on the guitar or like some keys.
K: I used to play piano so I think I’d revise that. I’ve always wanted to learn to play the guitar but I think I’d be better on a keyboards or something like that.
T: Glad to hear that. Oh then guitar shouldn’t be too bad. Always feel like learning to play an instrument takes so much training.
K: Hahah well I feel like any art form takes a lot of practice and discipline. I definitely admire and can appreciate how much hard work all my fellow artists put their crafts.
T: Yeah it’s like you can appreciate it because you know the work you have to put in for those results. My final question is , you can throw an gallery event anywhere with any budget. Where would you do it and why?
T: What’s the Whitney? You’ll get there soon, I already know. You’re making some great work that shows so much originality.
K: The Whitney is a museum in NY. They have some amazing stuff and a lot of political art from the 60’s-90’s. They also showcase young artists’ work. it would be the opportunity of a lifetime!