Artist Spotlight - Kate Halpin

One of the awesome things about EasternShoreAL.com has been the opportunity to connect with some amazing people all across the Eastern Shore. This community loves the arts and we think recognizing great art and artists in our area is an important part of developing a community. We recently had the privilege of hearing all about Kate Halpin... check out our conversation and learn more about Kate's work...

Q: How did you get your start? 

I grew up in Alaska camping, fishing, and playing in the wilderness. I've been interested in plants and the natural world ever since. I also come from a family of artists. My mother and her five sisters are all quilters, knitters, swedish doll makers, and crafters of some kind and my sister is also a professional artist. I studied Botany in college, but always knew I wanted a career that was creative as well.  After five years in a lab and writing scientific papers, I decided to paint full time the subjects I was so passionate about in the first place. I paint flowers, birds, and insects using my background in botany and biology, but with a contemporary pop. I use a lot of bright, contrasting colors, while keeping my subjects accurate and detailed. 

Q: What is special about the Eastern Shore and how does it come through in your art? 

The estuaries, beaches, pine savannas, and pitcher plant bogs - there is so much that inspires me everyday.  I moved here several years ago to help manage a carnivorous plant farm. The majority of the property is a native pitcher plant bog that is full of carnivorous pitcher  plants, wild orchids, strange insects, butterflies, birds, frogs, snakes, and other mysterious things. Many of those creatures have become subjects in my paintings.

Q: Who, if any, are your biggest influences, and what attracts you most to them? 

I am always inspired by botanical and naturalist illustrators. Audubon is one of my favorites.  It is extra special to see a painting that is educational while still being beautiful. 

Q: If you could do anything in the world with your art, what would it be?

I would love for my art to encourage people to care more about our natural world. I see myself collaborating with nature preserves and wildlife rehabilitation centers to help raise money and awareness for these extraordinary resources. 

Q: Art seems like a dream not a career to some people, but a lot of times that’s not the case at all. How have you found ways to use your gift and still make strides toward a career?

I'm always learning how to do this better as a business. Persistence, a good web presence, and diligent use of social media has been key for me.

Q: Favorite coffee shop on the Eastern Shore... Go!

I love the Sweet Olive Bakery and Juice Bar in the Windmill Market in Fairhope.

 

Check out more or Kate's work on Facebook or her website!

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