Olympia, Wash., artist Lisa Telling Kattenbraker's work provides an original, vibrant, breath of fresh air in the broad range of painting available at the Utah Arts Festival. ---
Her painting has the appearance of youthful joviality. It's a type called "batik," with a method that is extraordinarily involved and has a symbolic complexity that is deeply personal.
Kattenbraker is attracted to “art that has the most energy, power and raw emotion,” she said. This she evokes through subjects that have a folk-art style, a folk-art graphic quality, folk-art color, folk-art narratives, folk-art spirit, even folk-art simplicity. Yet the simplicity ends where the method begins.
Kattenbraker begins each work with cotton fabric. Upon this she applies fiber-reactive dye in the lightest shade of the image. Applied to that is a layer of hot wax to seal the color. On top of that the next darker shade of fiber-reactive dye is applied and another layer of hot wax. In a manner similar to silkscreen printing, the color is applied layer by layer, sealed with the hot wax until the crisp and bright final composition results.
The method may be an arduous one but it is what Kattenbraker describes as “meditative.” Although her imagery has universal appeal and may be pleasing to a broad audience, to the artist the intricate fabric of symbolism represents an intricate fabric of life that she is able to process and reengage with in a way that is personal yet creative and fantastically expressive.
While you are at the Utah Arts Festival, an encounter with the art of Lisa Telling Kattenbraker at booth #104 is one not to miss. It is the kind of painting you are not likely to see again, from a unique and delightfully charming artist who is only too happy to share her art and her experience with you.