Welcome Kit Porter! After eyeing Kit's work for a while we couldn't be happier to add her to our roster of southern artists. And it is no surprise that her Well + Wonder collection is stunning! Kit is not only a painter but a passionate environmentalist and the coupling of her work and passion is inspiring. Kit’s work explores the environmental issue of marine debris, her paintings evoke both the serene feeling of the coastal environment, juxtaposed with a slight discomfort in the way it is treated. When describing her process Kit mentioned that "the elements in my paintings are drawn directly from the coastal environment. Every individual shape is a fragment of debris I have personally removed. The white background represents this process of removal, leaving simply the colors and shapes alone for the viewer to experience." Kit received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from the University of the South in 2005. In addition to her own art practice, she has held positions in various sectors of the fine art world, both locally and internationally. Kit currently lives and works in Houston, Texas. We recently snuck inside Kit's Houston studio and had a lot of fun asking her our rapid-fire Pardon Me questions; learn a little bit more in Kit’s answers below!
What is currently on your nightstand?
A cardboard box full of miscellaneous items to donate. It always ends up on my bedstand because I like to toss clothes into it when I am folding laundry. I am constantly cleaning out cabinets and drawers and sending things back out into the world to live a new life somewhere new.
Who is your biggest influence as an artist and why?
I honestly cannot choose just one! I have so many influences: Van Gogh (texture), Richard Diebenkorn (perspective), Georg Karl Pfahler (bold shapes), Helen Frankenthaler (color), Tony Cragg (materials); the list goes on and on and on!
Tell us about your childhood. What is the most memorable moment as a young person?
In 1989, we had a White Christmas. Growing up in southeastern North Carolina, this did not happen often, and regardless of the other events that transpired, this Christmas was already knocking it out of the park. On the 23rd of December, during the snow storm, our dog gave birth to a litter of 10 puppies. Snow for days outside and puppy cuddles for days inside? Come on! I think our parents put away all gifts that year. We were in heaven.
If you could only have one supply in your art studio, what would it be and why?
Drawing shapes, creating light and dark tones, jotting notes…give me a pencil.
What is your favorite room in your house? Describe it.
Aside from my studio, which is detached from our house, I would have to say the front living room is my favorite space. It has big windows letting lots of natural light pour into our home. It is where we spend a lot of time, and it is where I hang my favorite pieces of art. The gallery wall in my living room includes work by some of my favorite artists, pieces picked up on travels and I absolutely treasure that collection.
If you were a lipstick color would you be red, pink, or clear and why?
I rarely wear lipstick!
I can never get on a plane without….
A pen. I LOVE filling out the crossword puzzles in the airplane magazines! Also, I am an incessant note-taker.
How did you get into the world of art?
I knew from a young age that I wanted to be an artist. I was quite honestly a straight C student, but when it came to Art and Art History it was different…I craved to learn about art and to create my own. Since graduating from University where I received a BA in painting, I have had the pleasure of working in various sectors of the art world. From an apprenticeship with a textile artist in Santa Fe to directing a contemporary art gallery in Charleston, from working in development for a large art museum to volunteering with various arts organizations both locally and abroad; my work has been varied. Throughout my life, both personally and professionally, visual art has remained at the core. I couldn’t imagine working in any other industry.
What do you do to relax?
Hot, hot, HOT shower!
When do you get the biggest surge of inspiration?
I am a bit of a beach bum. My work is influenced by the beauty and destruction of the coastal environment, so the beach is definitely my biggest source of inspiration. Unfortunately, it is also a major source of frustration. Litter and pollution is an enormous problem, and our marine environment is suffering. Each time I go to the beach I do my part to pick up as much debris as I can and bring it home to recycle it.
Prediction for the Color of 2019?
I am guessing a rich, warm clay tone…somewhere between rust and cider.
What is your idea of a date night? Dinner and a movie or dancing all night?
Definitely dancing! I actually prefer not to go out to dinner on date night. In a house with three boys, I feel like I am ALWAYS feeding someone. On my night out I definitely look forward to doing something active. I am almost always the first one on the dance floor.
One piece of advice for buying original art?
Forget about home trends! Like a broken record, if you love it, buy it.