What I saw in the City: stepping outside the studio to pattern, color and glorious chaos.

Bainbridge Island is a quiet little spot–all green and blue and mostly grey, given the misty rain and fog that seems to hug us all near year round. There’s a bright lime green spot on my car…happy moss. I love the dark foresty ways of the place, with evergreens all mixed in with bronzy madronas and pine coney firs. The whitecaps, egged on by the sudden wild wind, can seem so fierce till you squint in a bit and see a flock of fat happy ducks riding the waves, up and down, like a carnival ride. I light a fire in the old beach stone fireplace and watch the fat drip drip of clear sweet scented rain splatter against the old mottled windows–it sets the mood as I paint, color, pattern, texture on frescoed bright canvases filled with birds and flowers, vines and abundance.

But sometimes I want to see more than the soft greens and blues of the island…I take a ferry, like I did today with friends, and wander into the city streets of Seattle where there is so much happening, so much going on. Soaking it all in: a huge demonstration with voices and flags and signs; skateboarders popping in up and around the curbs, the fabrics, colors, combinations of fashion on the streets, boarded up old windows, faded brick, taxis, just stuff, colorful stuff everywhere, everyone doing something, going somewhere somehow. Inspiring!

It was a fun chat on Twitter today during @abcddesigns and @jonathanlegate  #DesignTV conversation about how travel–around the block or by plane/train/ferry/bus can introduce such new impressions and ideas. I think that is so true.

This new series of paintings reflect the cities: the patterns, the colors, the secret courtyards, the gardens, the cathedrals, the outdoor markets, the fabrics, the tiles, and the passion of the places I have loved.

If you’d like to see them in person, they’re in Seattle’s old and historic cobblestoned Pioneer Square at Pacini Lubel Gallery.

Kathe Fraga - Dream Garden
Kathe Fraga - Morning Light
Kathe Fraga - When Love Blooms
Kathe Fraga - Joyful Garden

0 Responses

  1. ABC Dragoo


    These are just beautiful! I am so happy to read that our chat today inspires you to write this post.

    Now that is inspiration to me!
    Thank you.

    I’d love to post this link to our fb page, if that is okay by you?

  2. liz

    I always love seeing your art . . . and my new favorite is “love song” in your earlier post . . . it is absolutely amazing!!! xo – liz

  3. Bridget Beth Collins

    I adore your description of your surroundings, Kathe! Such lovely prose of our northwest (I am from Edmonds). And your paintings are beautiful!! I think I have seen them in Langley.

    I found your blog through twitter (I’m owletbeth 🙂

  4. quintessence

    What beautiful artwork!! I’m sorry I missed the twitter #DesignTV conversation but I also totally agree with the concept of a change of visual venue. You don’t have to go far to be inspired!

  5. Kadira

    I was looking thru my list of peeps today and thought I would take a closer look at your work Kathe. I’m so glad I did. Your work has a beatiful, dreamlike, almost oriental ( chinoisere) feel to it. Gorgeous 🙂

  6. Krys Kirkpatrick

    I found out about you from Seabolt vintage market blog….I love your work…the colors are amazing. I love the vintage feel and worn patina. Beautiful.

  7. Jayne

    I found your work through a Pinterest pin this morning and I love it. Do you have any available to buy anywhere?

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