Katy Jade Dodbson At Whitehorse Gallery Bakewell Derbyshire

To mark the exclusive launch of a brand new body of work, ‘The Personification of Spring’, we chatted with Katy to find out a bit more about her creative process, and this latest collection of artwork.

Velvet Blooms By Katy Jade Dobson On Show

Most known for her use of colour with a bounty of subjects from the natural world, Katy’s paintings are a form of worship to botanics and wildlife that have been an obsession throughout her life. Each piece spills out from abstract foundations, showing another side and view of a world we know so deeply, with esoteric overtones and ethereal visions.

Katy is a self-taught artist from Yorkshire, known around the UK and internationally, with sell out collections and collectors around the world. What draws people to her sought-after original oil paintings are the surrealist scenes of animals and abundant florals blending between areas of calm and intermittent chaos. Using traditional application for her work, Katy toes the line between being a contemporary artist using old world techniques.

Katy Jade Dobson In Her Art Studio

Hi Katy! What inspired you to explore the ethereal and botanical themes in your latest collection?

I have always painted organic subjects, very rarely or never things like cars or buildings, but always animals, flowers, fruits or people. This was not a conscious choice, only something I noticed many years down the line in my painting practice. However, it makes sense to me, as one of my longest loves has been the natural world. 

I have been enshrouded by fascination over nature since I was very young, and an avid animal lover also meant that no other subjects would be as befitting as these. The other aspect to my artwork is that ethereal feeling of the backgrounds and the wispy or otherworldly way that the subjects are painted. Dream like artwork was always my favourite to look at, and so incorporating this with the subjects I love felt like a no brainer, and something I would enjoy the process of so much!

Can you describe your creative process when you’re working on a new body of work?

The creative process for a new body of work begins with the initial hook that my ideas rest on. In this case, dream like backgrounds were the factor that I leant on, and so I began the process by building up a series of colourful backgrounds, and began working into them from there, allowing the subjects to unfold along the way. This is such a fun and loose way to work, taking directions that I could not guess.

What role do you think colours play in conveying the mood or message of your artwork?

Colours have always been one of the most important parts of what I am putting across with my work. In the decade that I have been painting with oils I have become incredibly deft in my use of colour, which shades I need to use together to set the mood of the piece. This is so second nature to me now, but has taken many years to hone. Ultimately, my use of colour is to add other worldly feels to the work. The colour and the texture together can solidify this motive.

Your work often features elements of the natural world and wildlife. Would you say these hold a particular symbolism for you as an artist?

I have used natural subjects with symbolism in mind, and I have also used them for the subjects as a standalone without a particular reason. I have books of symbolism and the known folklore behind plant or animal species and am mindful that these cross cultures and can mean many different things. For example I love to paint snakes, while some think of snakes with negative connotations, some symbolism is very positive of shedding old skins and transformation.

What do you hope the viewer will take away from your latest collection?

I always hope that my artwork is seen as a little window or portal into another dreamier world. My work has always been a shrine to the natural world and anything fantastical, so my hope is that this appreciation shines through.

Do you feel your style as an artist has evolved over the years?

My artwork has evolved constantly over the years, however it stays tethered to the same feelings and intensions. However different I sometimes switch things, they seem to stay very similar and along the same vein!

If you were to speak to your younger self (as an aspiring artist), is there any advice you’d give yourself, knowing what you know now?

I would have told myself to begin much sooner, and throw myself into the deep end. I began painting with oils, as it had been a dream to learn to work with oil paints. I, however, was waiting for the right types of materials, the right books or courses that would teach me perfectly. However, when the money and opportunity for these things never arose, I decided to buy the most affordable materials, and learn as I went along. 

I learnt much quicker than most, and this self taught approach with no help offered me the ability to refine my style from incredibly early on. If you learn classically, you have a lot to unlearn in order to find your style. Therefore, I would say to just jump straight in, feet first, and do not be disheartened by the terrible paintings you will initially do as it is all part of the learning process.

View Katy’s Paintings Here