Moremen Moloney Contemporary co-owner Susan Moremen says it’s mere coincidence that her Butchertown gallery is showcasing work by Louisiana artist Kathryn Keller, while the Speed Art Museum hosts “Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art,” but Moremen is a firm believer in serendipity.
“I wish I could say that I had planned it that way,” she jokes.
Keller is an established artist who works in oil and watercolors and often paints images influenced by her Southern surroundings.
She was born in Arkansas but now resides in both New Orleans and Alexandria, La. Her exhibitition, titled “A Sense of Place,” features 20 paintings of people and places that inspire her art.
Moremen says, as a viewer, it’s easy to be drawn into Keller’s paintings, and you can truly witness an artist who paints from her soul.
“The people, the land, the light and shadows all belong to her, and she generously shares them with us,” says Moremen.
In Keller’s artist statement, she explains why she loves painting anything that inspires her — whether that’s the intricate architecture of a pine tree or the smooth curves of the human body. She says:
I love the smell of oil paint, the array of thick gobs of color waiting to be plunged into, the visceral application of paint. I scrape, wipe, smear and glaze. Often I have to lose the image in order to find it again. I focus on shape and color relationships. If I manage to capture the poignancy of a gesture or of the expression in the eyes, I am happy.
Keller says she paints just about every day, and when she travels, she tends to stick to watercolor because it’s easier to transport than oils. And this, as one may suspect, creates a different kind of experience and feeling to her art — watercolors have a different tone and are less serious, she says.
“Water won’t be pushed around,” explains Keller. “It will have…