Kate was born and raised in Tacoma, WA. She moved to Gothenburg, Sweden in her early twenties, lived there for nine years while studying at Gothenburg University and traveling throughout Europe. Her visits to the fabulous museums in England, France, Turkey, Greece, Portugal, Germany, and Russia instilled in her a life-long respect and love of artists and their work. Her favorite art is from the Fauvist and Impressionist periods whichis reflected in her own artistic style.
In 1976, she returned to the United States and graduated with a degree in Business and Economics from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. She began working for Xerox Corporation as a Marketing Executive in 1978, and in October 1996, while working at Xerox, she took her first watercolor class at a local community college. She fell “in love” with the medium, set up a working studio in her living room and began to paint 3 to 4 hours every day teaching herself to paint by borrowing books from her local library and taking art classes from local artists. Her unique painting style and vision comes directly from her non-traditional art education and experience.
In September of 1998 she had her first solo show and was accepted into her first art gallery. She began entering other fine art shows and juried events. She continued exhibiting in art galleries including The Clymer Museum, Freight House Art Gallery, Kimball Art Gallery, East Shore Gallery, and Evergreen Hospital. By 2006, she was able to retire from Xerox and pursue her second career as a full-time working artist.
Kate’s art process is simple. She takes her own photos and uses them to create a composition. Many different photos may be used for each piece. Her focus is always on color, pattern and movement. She does a detailed drawing in pencil and then begins to apply the watercolors. She works over the entire piece, one section at atime. After the first application of watercolor has dried, she reapplies another coat. She continues this process until she has applied 5 to 8 applications of color. By using transparent watercolors she maintains the“white of the paper”, resulting in vibrant, intense coloration. Her artistic goal is to create an art piece that reflects the marvelous colors and beauty of everyday objects. Italian pottery, flowers, dragonflies, and landscapes are all presented in a bold and graphic style with a touch of whimsy. The most common thing that people say about her colorful work is that it makes them happy.
In the past ten years, Kate has been building a thriving wholesale business by marketing reproductions of her images. She currently has wholesale customers throughout the United States and Canada. When she finishes an original, Kate always takes a digital picture so that she and her assistant, Rachael Hurst, are able to reproduce that image onto tiles, coasters, cutting boards and mouse pads using a dye sublimation process. Kate also prints her own Giclee reproductions on watercolor paper in her Gig Harbor studio. When you buy from her, you are truly supporting an American artist and a local small business.
Kate’s originals and reproductions can always be viewed and purchased on her website. If you would like to see her work in person or meet the artist, she also exhibits at 12+ fine art festivals and major garden shows throughout the year. Her work is always on display at Gallery Row Art Gallery in Gig Harbor, WA. Complete information and a current show schedule can be seen on her website. You can also follow her on Facebook Artist page at Kate Larsson Watercolors to see her most recent work and her current event schedule.