artist of the week: kate powell


When I decided to do this 'artist of the week' feature at the beginning of the month, I forgot that I'd be on placement for the last two weeks of it. I think I may just have to pretend that November only has three weeks. I've finally found time to write this post, though, amidst travelling and tiredness and whatnot. I hope that it's actually understandable and I'm not completely incoherent. Let us begin.

Kate Powell's talent is astonishing for someone who is still just eighteen (though I would find her talent astonishing if she were fifty-eight). I love her work in that it is extremely realistic, but not to the extent that it's hyperrealism. You can still see that it has been drawn, rather than thinking it is a photograph. Although I think hyperrealism is pretty cool, I sometimes feel as though it takes away from appreciating art for having its flaws. Her drawings are done using a mechanical pencil, I believe, which is what makes them so very detailed. The way she is able to understand light and its importance is what makes these pieces so gorgeous. It really shows when you look at her drawings of eyes - the page could easily be covered in water, the gloss is so realistic.

She was lucky enough to meet Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman and share her artwork with them, and they both quite rightly gave her huge praise. If I were them I would be proud to have been drawn so beautifully, if that's not an odd thing to say (I think my hopes of not being incoherent have been dashed).
Though she originally began with pencil drawing, and I would say the majority of her work is still mostly done this way, more recently I have seen her branch out and begin to use coloured pencils, acrylic paints and various other media. I love that she's not afraid to try using different media: it's very difficult to steer away from something when you know you're good at using it. Being brave is something which every artist should be, but that very few actually are. I feel as though Kate is beginning to become a brave artist, and it proves that she's deserving of a place in the art world.

As someone who loves portraiture, I am envious of her abilities. I have learnt a lot from reading about her drawing process, and I love how she promotes art as something that anyone can do as long as they persevere. It's really lovely to hear someone be so positive about something which many people can find a challenge. I think that she serves as a real inspiration to those who struggle to motivate themselves or feel as though they aren't good enough. Her message is that you've just got to keep up the practice, and you'll get there. You can see in her work just how much she has grown as an artist, and that's all down to her persevering and trying out new things - she certainly practices what she preaches!
Someone as talented as Kate deserves every success, and I only hope she achieves her dream of staking her claim in the world as an artist who is not just 'amazing' because she is producing such beautiful work at a relatively young age, but because it truly is beautiful no matter how old she is.

All images copyright Kate Powell

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