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Eclectic November Artist Spotlight: Kate Long Stevenson

Abstract expressionist painter Kate Long Stevenson was born and raised in North Carolina, and began her professional career while a student at The University of the South.

Gestural brushstrokes and a passion for color are characteristic to all of her pieces, ranging from figurative paintings to wild abstracts. A life-long lover of music, Katie relies mostly on classical compositions to guide her as she builds a painting, layering chords of color over energetic swirls of charcoal and paint. 
"It's important to me that my paintings have a subject, despite how non-subjective some can seem. With my nude paintings, the figure is the vehicle that invites you to discover the true subject: the way it was painted. The abstracts have just skipped that introduction, altogether, but they're still about something--music, tempo, motion and emotion. It all comes from a feeling, but then the challenge is not only to translate that to the canvas but to have it make sense, compositionally."


Is there anyone you credit with gifting you your artistic ability and/or teaching you your skills? Or did you just pick up a brush one day and get lucky?
My mom has been particularly instrumental in my love of art. She’s creative in her own right, and always had an abundance of art supplies available to me as a child. I painted all through grade school, but my college professor, Ed Carlos, taught me to approach it completely differently. I still hear his voice in my head from time to time.

Since it varies for each artist, we want to know what inspires you?
Music, color, other artists (de Kooning, Joan Mitchell, Sargent, Frankenthaler, Hodgekin…), my fellow artists at Redux Contemporary Art Center, a stroll through Artists and Craftsman Supply...

Do you hang your own work in your home?
I have a few paintings with which I don’t intend to part, but usually when I paint something for myself (thinking of the dimensions, color, what my mood dictates, everything…), that’s the one that a client wants! So, I’ve prioritized collecting other artists’s work over the last few years. It’s a small and eclectic collection of work, each of which I’ve been moved by and continue to enjoy.

Is there a specific artist/work that you covet?
Oooh, good question. I love to ask friends what their three dream choices of art to collect would be. Mine are "Easter Monday” by de Kooning, any piece of work by Sargent (the brushwork is more interesting to me than the subject), and “Mountains and Sea” by Frankenthaler.

If you were not an artist, what career do you think you’d have?
Either something involving writing or interior design...

Rapid fire…
Favorite city to travel to? Palm Beach
Guilty pleasure? dark chocolate
Favorite restaurant in Charleston? FIG
Saturday activity: beach, shopping, museum, festival or sofa? In summer, the beach and a book. In winter, a spa date with a friend. And the NY Times crossword on Sunday :)
Three words to describe yourself: passionate. compassionate. curious.

If you are interested in purchasing any of Kate's art please stop by Eclectic, call us at 843.388.7002 or email sidney@eclecticcharleston.com. Remember, these will only be available during the month of November and yes we will ship for an additional charge!

Eclectic is a Charleston, South Carolina based full-service boutique interior design firm in specializing in the design of residential projects including entire homes and the styling of individual rooms. We also offer virtual e-design services. Please email sidney@eclecticcharleston.com for additional information.

Eclectic is a retail shop/design studio located in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina (just over the bridge from downtown Charleston) selling an array of vintage mid-century pieces, repurposed items, new products and locally made creations with a fresh Modern meets Coastal aesthetic.

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