Sheffield Based Artist Katherine Rhodes
Sheffield Based Artist Katherine Rhodes.
Another talented and locally based artist, who was happy to spare some time for a quick chat with Volta Creative, here’s what Katherine had to say when we asked her how she came to do what she does and why.
Volta: How would you describe what you do?
Katherine: I am a printmaker and painter making representational landscape art inspired by adventure and exploration of the outdoor environment. I depict the wild places found within our landscapes, including mountains, crags, moorland, water and sea. I endeavour to capture something of the experience and the journey.
Volta: Who or what inspired you to do what you do?
Katherine: My family have always been very encouraging of me making art, even if they think I am a bit odd with it sometimes too. They take me on lots of adventures in to rugged and wild or wet places, walking, scrambling, and they all climb (even though I don’t). We have been sailing and canoeing, and I love swimming and surfing. Many of my pictures are inspired by places or activities that we have done, but not exclusively, as I am also interested in amazing places and adventures of others too.
Volta: Were you self-taught or have you had formal training?
Katherine: I am largely self-taught, and I have supplemented this with the occasional evening class and by going on practical skills short art courses. I have also taken part in drawing from the life figure sessions on a fairly regular basis for many years. The life drawing is excellent for practising observational drawing skills.
From mid-September this year, I will be undertaking a Foundation Diploma in Art & Design, undertaking this formal art training, with a view to taking it further depending on how I find this goes.
Volta: What did you do before you did what you do now?
Katherine: I was a dentist working in General Dental Practice and in Community and Special Care. Much of the dental care I provided was for older adults, including the very elderly. I practised as a dentist for 32 years. For the latter part I worked part-time, while I developed my art practice. I came off the General Dentists Register at the end of 2019.
Volta: How did your current style develop and how do you see it developing in the future?
Katherine: I have always made representational artwork. Previously I painted in watercolour, acrylic and then oils. Much later I tried printmaking. My painting experience strongly influences my printmaking, and my prints often appear to be more like a painting than a print as I use knowledge and techniques influenced by my painting to create the print image. My current style and the linocuts that people recognise as my work, has really developed since being introduced to Printmaking in 2012, through an evening class at Chesterfield College. I learnt some basic techniques there, including linocut, which I use regularly now and have since developed with this more.
I wish to continue developing my printmaking and I am exploring other print media such as collagraph and woodcut. I wish to develop my painting further, too. I am sure rock and rugged outdoor environments will continue to feature, as well as other outdoor adventure themes, as these are places and things I love.
Volta: If you’re not originally from Sheffield, why did you decide to settle here?
Katherine: I came here to complete a Masters Degree in Restorative Dentistry at Sheffield University Dental Hospital. My husband was very keen to move to Sheffield as he is a keen climber and was working in Outdoor Education in the Peak District.
Several of our friends were already living here, and the rocks and crags, with easy access the Peak District were all part of the attraction of Sheffield.
Volta: What influence has living in Sheffield had on your creativity and how you approach your work?
Katherine: The Peak District landscape near to Sheffield features a lot in my work. There are some stunning rocks and crags nearby, which gives me lots of inspiration. Sheffield has an active and friendly artist community, and I am part of a local Walkley group of artists. These things have allowed me opportunity to meet with and learn from other artists, stimulated by their experiences, challenges and inputs. It is definitely better to share ideas and meet other artists, even collaborate, rather than always working in isolation.
Volta: Have you ever made a mistake while creating a piece that you learned a lesson from?
Katherine: I make mistakes all the time. But also, I think when creating a piece there may be an effect or result that arises that is a bit different from how I had hoped or expected it to look, and I just work with it. I don’t think these variations should be considered a mistake, although some might think that, as it is just part of the process.
Volta: Can you remember the first piece of work you ever sold?
Katherine: Yes I can. It was a watercolour painting. Somebody suggested that I take part in the Great Sheffield Art Show and gave me an application form, and one of my paintings exhibited there sold.
Volta: What piece of your own work gives you the most satisfaction and why?
Katherine: I made a painting when staying by one of our favourite beaches, painting en plein air over a couple of days during a holiday. I enjoyed the time there and the time painting. I feel it succeeds in capturing the landscape and the wet sand on the beach as the tide goes out, and it constantly reminds me of my time at that wonderful place.
Volta: What is your favourite thing about Sheffield?
Katherine: The proximity and accessibility of the outdoors and countryside outside of the city, coupled with the luxury of much variety of culture, theatre and art within Sheffield. Much of all this I can walk to, or it is a relatively short journey to get to.
Volta: What advice would you give an aspiring fellow creative who was wanting to break through to the next level?
Katherine: Keep learning and experimenting with your art. Get feedback on your work and reflect on this. Think about whether what you are doing is what you want or wish to progress towards? Make time to make art and make time to learn, experiment, and reflect.
Sheffield Based Artist Katherine Rhodes
Want to find out a little more about Katherine and her work, here are links to her Website and Social Media accounts – enjoy!