There is a specific theme in Katherine Carney’s artwork: nautical.
This can be attributed to her youth, which was spent growing up in coastal towns.
“Growing up in coastal towns where my dad was a marine biologist piqued my interest in marine life,” Carney said. “We were always frequenting aquariums and the 'labs' where my dad worked, so this, with my interest in art, is how I ended up falling in love with coastal life and imagery.”
Over the years, Carney has collected seashells and used them as models for her artwork.
In a few of her recent classes at Raye of Light in Annapolis, Carney taught her students how to paint buoys using a palette knife.
“The palette knife class is a lot about technique, and the students absolutely love it,” Carney said.
Future classes will feature marshes and a series of pineapples. The class sizes are small, holding only six people, which Carney described as being “perfect because it’s almost one-on-one.”
Carney limits herself to nautical paintings, but she finds inspiration everywhere.
“Seriously speaking, I can't imagine a time when I won't have a subject that I'd like to paint,” Carney said. “I've always been extremely aware of the color and composition in the world around me, so I am constantly inspired by my surroundings.”
Carney said she uses painting as a form of expression.
“Painting allows me to creatively express how I feel about my favorite subjects,” Carney said. “I've also become friends with the shop and gallery owners that sell my art, and I have met many wonderful people who buy art.”
A prime example is when Carney met Dawn Wilson, owner of Side Street Framers & Gift Gallery. One of Carney’s friends brought a painting she’d made in Carney’s class to be framed at Side Street Framers, and Wilson thought Carney would be a perfect fit.
“The minute I walked into Side Street Framers, I was captivated,” Carney said. “The gallery section was beautifully curated with a wide variety of art in different styles, as well as full of beautiful and unique artisan gifts. Dawn is one of those people that you meet and, right away, love her kind nature. She goes out of her way to promote her artists.”
Carney primarily paints with heavy body acrylics on canvas.
“Acrylics are a fabulous option now for those artists who don't like the lengthy drying time that oils demand,” Carney said. “They also come in a variety of thickness and can be used with gel mediums to achieve wonderful impasto art, and the heavy body acrylics are perfect for palette knife application.”
As for her canvas choices, Carney said she uses both high and low profile canvases, though her buyers generally prefer the float frames, meaning she uses more high-profile ones.
Other than Side Street Framers, Carney’s work is available on her Etsy shop, katherinecarneyshop, as well as many stores in Annapolis.
To reserve one of Carney’s classes, visit www.rayeoflightstudio.com.