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KATRINA

Katrina Atkinson BA Hons Dual professional Mixed Media Artist & Teacher runs the Art House Art School Cheddar, facilitating groups and workshops in a multitude of media for both Adults & Children. 

She runs weekly Art classes for both children (www.artxtra.club) and Adults.

Katrina left school and attended Somerset College of Art & Technology from 1988 to 1990 studying BTEC Nat Dip in Design, Fashion an excellent foundation in the arts; covering, Art History, Life Drawing, Illustration, presentation boards, textiles, as well as pattern cutting and sewing. Once graduating knowing fine art was her calling, Katrina continued working within the arts through many guises including working in Schools, as well as Arts & Craft facilitation in Nursing homes. Alongside this she continued her art practice; attending life drawing classes, ceramics and sculpture courses to further her knowledge. She also took on commissions such as murals and pet paintings. In 1995 Katrina returned to education and began a part-time Art Foundation course at Weston College, after which she spent over a year at UWE studying ceramics, returning to Weston College to continue  Fine Art Integrated Art & Design. In order to complete her degree Katrina attended  Plymouth University (Exeter).

Since then Katrina has been a practicing Artist entering group exhibitions and solo shows, she continues to research her subject and has worked as a visiting Artist in schools, homes for adults with learning disabilities and both nursing and residential homes. In 2015 Katrina began to teach classes from The Art House and in 2017 became full time in her Art School. In 2018 Katrina Graduated in her Teacher Training (BTEC Dip Level 5) in order to give the best possible service to all her students.  

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'Hen House' 2022

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When Katrina was a very little girl the family kept chickens. Katrina had a favourite! One day she wanted to take the chicken with her for a walk around the garden so she thought she would put the chicken in a bucket to carry her around. Unfortunately, the chicken didn’t want to be in a bucket and she flew out of the bucket, several times the chicken jumped out! This last time Katrina held the chicken in the bucket by placing the handle over its head to keep it in. The chicken jumped out! leaving her head behind and as chickens are known to do, ran around the garden headless. 

This was obviously very distressing for Katrina, maybe it explains Katrina’s obsession with putting a chicken back together? 

 

Fortunately later, when Katrina was five years old, she had her own brown speckled hen, she named her ‘Speckles’. As many little girls do Katrina attended ballet classes, part of her exam was to mime her favourite animal. From her observation of her chicken she became Speckles scratching and pecking through the undergrowth of the garden carefully, almost mechanically. taking step by step, quizzically spying for worms. Katrina passed her exam with ‘flying colours’.

 

For whatever reason chickens are a wonderful source of inspiration: There are so many breeds, Bantams, Marans, Road-Island-Reds, Silkies, Plymouth Rock, Polish and so on. They also come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and temperaments: curious, quizzical, soft, friendly, silky smooth as well as boisterous, ferociously aggressive, with attitude, even quite scary; but can also give a calming and gentle feeling. This is what inspires the theme of chickens, an endless source of creativity and expression. 

Fabrics become part of the inspiration, Katrina initially chooses her chicken, selects her fabrics to which she equally responds, the imagination kicks in and the alchemy happens. 

 

‘Hen House’ is Katrina’s latest Art Exhibition at her own studio in the village of Cheddar where she is showcasing her latest Collages, Paintings and Lino Prints as well as greetings cards celebrating chickens.

 

Katrina runs a series of exciting ‘Fabric Chicken Workshops’ due to popular demand, many results can be found shared on her Art House FB page. She will release another series of workshop dates so don’t miss out sign up now! 

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'CHEDDAR GORGEUS' 2021

Katrina has chosen to launch a brand new body of exciting Art works for SAW 2021. Never before inspired to create landscapes, feeling nothing could be added to the perfection of nature.

 

2020 Lockdown hit, the busy life Katrina was used to came to a halt; after the initial shock she would go out for her daily exercise, immersing herself in nature and absorbing the wonderful local environment particularly the peace and wonderment of The Cheddar Gorge. The dynamic and splendour of the craggy rocks, contrasting with the fluidity of the curvy road. With a new perspective Katrina was inspired to experiment; In response she began to explore possibilities of how to portray the reverence that the rocks deserve, in their ever changing splendour. Harsh and scraggy, textures of the mendips stone and the reflections of colours from the sun bouncing around the walls of the gaping chasm with splashes of foliage and grasses. 

 

Reaching for the nearest medium she became excited by the vibrancy, as well as the detailed subtlety and the fluidity that could be achieved with watercolours. Chinese brushes, bamboo reed pens and sticks are her favourite tools. Working mainly wet on wet ‘using the accident’ allowing the paint to run and splash reflecting nature and opening the door of possibilities; revealing emerging surprises. Katrina’s aim was to push the work from the representational towards abstraction evoking the feeling and aura of The Cheddar Gorge culminating in a range of exciting, bold artworks.