She is a wisdom walker.
A dear soul whom I can only imagine has the sweetest of spirit. One time I saw a photo Stacy De La Rosa took of Katie and I thought to myself I want to know her. Isn’t it funny how images can do that? Translate the soul for us! I shortly after saw some of Katie Kendrick’s beautiful journal pages and paintings, which I gasped over. I think she is wonderful and am delighted that I was able to speak with her and co-create this Interview today!
Katie Kendrick: Who am I, now that’s the question I ponder every day. When I follow my passion I learn more about who I am, what makes my heart beat faster and my enthusiasm do somersaults. I love to create and make things. I am a mixed artist, I live for color and line; texture makes me giddy with joy. Nature is my muse. I feel grateful every day to live on 7 acres with my husband and our pets in valley surrounded by forests with a river running through. We raised our two daughters here and now our 6 grandchildren come to walk/run the same trails and swim in the river. I have a deep affinity for trees, plants, stones, and water. I am drawn to simple honest beauty. I love all aspects of gardening and growing plants from the worms and other soil creatures to the bees and butterflies. I enjoy cooking, especially with fresh homegrown produce. I teach workshops both nationally and internationally on painting, visual journaling, and connecting to our creativity.
Lets start with why do you create? What do you create?
I create because I’m alive and full of questions: “what would happen if I did this?”, or “I can imagine these things in relationship to one another, I want to see ..” It’s like a call and response, the universe calls out to me, and I respond by creating something. That “something” changes constantly, informed by the reality of my life in the present moment. When fresh tomatoes are hanging plump and juicy in the garden, I’ll get an urge to make salsa. When I walk through the woods and find mosses lying on the trail, special stones on the beach, a piece of driftwood with teeth marks of our local beaver on the edges, the urge could come as wanting to create a faery house or playground to honor the nature spirits and faeries that live in our woods. The drive to create is strong and curious and moving about like a spark, lighting on one thing then another.
What would you say are the major inspirations for what you create?
When I am painting or create any kind of visual artwork, I am continually inspired by the nature all around me. Taking a walk in the woods, gathering stones along the river, sitting next to our huge grandmother cedar, all of these activities empty and fill me – empty me of the small “me” and put me into the vibrant stream of universal flow where all ideas and inspiration come from. My paintings don’t look like the woods and river where I spend so much of my time, but the time there allows me to go deep within myself and co-create with those higher influences – those influences that make every activity juicy and satisfying. My imagery doesn’t feel of this world, even to me, and yet it feels familiar and like “home” at the same time.
That is the reason I paint, it is a light as I make my way home – to the place that resonates deep within me, the one that is total and complete mystery yet feels deeply familiar.
Surrounding myself with other creatives is another magical way of keeping myself inspired and passionate about painting and the creative process. That is one of the reasons love teaching workshop is the group field we create together, the energy and inspiration exceeds the sum total of what we all bring because it’s easier to tap into the creative field when you have the momentum of others with the same intention.
Holding life’s questions keeps me inspired. The big ones that are always changing, I don’t know the answer to them but hold them close to my heart as I move through the day…
what does it look like to create with my whole heart?
What do I have to say today?
How do I express being in a body with a soul? What is my soul’s purpose?
You asked: Are you ready to take an artful journey?
This got me thinking, although I am sure you meant it literally for an art retreat, are you ready to take an artful journey?
Which is to ask what is your artful journey? What does it look like, feel like? Is it just in painting that you are artful or is it in the way you eat a mango? Describe your artful journey as you move through life!
Whatever I encounter on my journey, my goal and intention is to be present whole-heartedly. When I paint I want to be with the process – a question that I might hold would be “how does it feel to be one with the painting process”? I can put my attention on my fingers holding the brush, the roughness of the paper, the intensity of the color – there are so many paths to take, it’s up to me where to put my focus. From that place everything is unfolding and new, I am constantly surprised and delighted by the twists and turns of the process and the mystery of where it will end up. I feel that same way when I grow seedlings and nurture them, I don’t know exactly what each needs specificially but I show up whole-heartedly and ask, observe and learn.
Everything is a co-creation, a question and response.
Tell me how you rise up in fullness?
By saying YES every morning when I wake up, to all that the day will bring me, to decide yes before I know anything about the day. I say yes and trust I will have exactly what I need to meet every situation, to learn. Sometimes the yes is so loud that it shakes the roof. Other times, it is a quieter version. The important thing for me is that I say yes with my whole heart. As I learn and grow, my heart grows bigger and my capacity for fullness grows in proportion to my YES.
What supports your authentic self? Your true expression of yourself?
Following my passion is the truest support I can give my authentic self, for it is the only way I can know what it is that gives me joy. When I follow those urges, the ones that feel juicy and remarkable and exciting and scary, that is where I learn about who I am. When I can offer who I am to you, to the world, I am offering the truest gift I can offer, the only gift that the world needs. I practice living from that place, old habits die hard so it is a daily practice.
Tell me about the love you give to yourself, to the world?
I would answer this question in much the same way. The greatest love I can give the world, or myself is to be aware of the desire and passion that weaves through my body and my life, moment to moment, the movement that is my intuition. I’m learning to say yes only to what is in alignment with my intuitive knowing, and being brave enough to say no to the people and things that aren’t part of that vision.
Lastly, tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
I want to adventure, see the far-off corners of the world and the most intimate corners of my compost pile – to experience everthing to the fullest for as long as I have a body. I want to paint big, teach more abroad, paint a mural and do more collaborations with other artists. I want to be a bee priestess and love deeper than I can even imagine.
Katie has some amazing workshops coming up a 5 day workshop at Pacific NW Art School May 11 – 15, 2015, then a Workshop in San Miguel de Allende Mexico October 9 – 17, 2015
Have you seen Katie Kendrick’s book? Layered Impressions: A poetic approach to mixed media painting. You can buy it HERE.
You can sign up for her mailing list here (right side bar) to recieve notifications of upcoming workshops.