international painting annual 6 exhibition-in-print
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Kathryn Neale
Ballwin, Missouri

detail image


I'm a painter who primarily works in acrylics but also experiments in multi-media, collage and chalk paints on a variety of surfaces. My visual inspiration is sourced from the interior design and home decorating industries, specifically traditional floral wallpaper and textile patterns from the UK/Europe. Color is also another important aspect of my work, primarily drawing from pre-mixed palette swatches from hardware stores.

Iím interested in blurring the boundaries between the contemporary and decorative art worlds. Not only does my visual inspiration borrow directly from interior decoration but I also experiment with simple do-it-yourself (DIY) techniques, that are typically prevalent within the home decorating market, and re-contextualize them within a modern painting framework.

In the past I have also been a graphic designer. I feel that my design aesthetic is what drives my attraction to patterns, which are inherently more structured and organized than my painting process. The artist in me wants to deconstruct these patterns, break them apart and use pieces of patterns almost like an effect rather then retaining their integrity. This has been what has driven my work in graduate school where I experimented with painting on found patterned tablecloths instead of blank canvases.

In my current work, this co-relation has been more subtle then my graduate work, experimenting with pre-designed rubber rollers engraved with a pattern, that are made to paint your own wallpaper. I use the rollers in place of a paint brush. The effect is imperfect, accidental and messy.

For color, I borrow pre-made colors from the home painting industry. About half of my color palettes are pre-mixed colors from swatches in local hardware stores. Lately I have been experimenting with chalk paint, a unique decorative paint sourced from the UK. The color palette is directly inspired by the traditional and popular colors used during the past five centuries to decorate interior spaces in England and France.

My process tends to be fast and undetermined. I usually work on several pieces at once, experimenting with similar ideas and solutions within each series. I feel that abstract paintings are a cumulation of decisions made in that moment, a visual record. It tracks what you are thinking and captures that moment like a camera might a photograph. However, I envision my process very much akin to a musician who improvises, in a jazz context for example. I have ideas or an idea in mind but never plan the final outcome. Just like a musician might play within a certain key and beat, I will start with color. The painting process is in the moment and when finished it is gone and I move on. It is a daily practice and mindset, just like a musician. The only difference is that my mistakes and decisions as a painter are visually recorded. It is the process which drives a painter, I am not necessarily concerned with the final outcome.





born: 1980, Mesa, AZ



Washington University in St. Louis, MFA, 2011
Eastern Illinois University, MA, 2008
Principia College, BA, 2003


selected awards/honors

Belle Cramer Graduate Art Award, Washington University in St. Louis, 2011
The Louise Roblee McCarthy Scholar & Helen Faibish Memorial Scholarship Scholar Washington University in St. Louis, 2009-2011
Sam Fox School of Art Graduate Scholarship & Teaching Assistantship, Washington University in St. Louis, 2009-2011
Sue Bentrop Honor Award, SWOPE Exhibition, Terre Haute, IN


selected publications

#40 Creative Quarterly: The Journal of Art & Design, Brooklyn, NY p. 20 , 2015
Studio Visit Juried Exhibition, Magazine (Spring Edition 2011), The Open Studios Press, p. 140, 2011
MFA 2011 Exhibition Catalog, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Washington University in St. Louis, p.19, 2011
New American Paintings (Juried Exhibitions-In-Print), Midwest Issue #83, The Open Studios, p. 112-115, 2009


selected solo or two-person exhibits

Kathryn Neale: New Paintings, Bruno David Gallery, St. Louis, MO, 2009


selected group shows

International Juried Exhibition of Works on Paper, 12 12 Gallery, Richmond, VA, 2012
MFA Thesis Group Exhibition, Kemper Lane Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 2011
53rd Annual Delta Exhibition, Arkansas Arts Center, Townsend Wolfe Gallery, Arkansas, 2011
Recession Rejuvenations (Group Show), Bruno David Gallery, St. Louis, 2010



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