Wednesday, October 31, 2012

2012 Artists Series Featuring the renowned Kathe Fraga

Introducing internationally acclaimed  artist Kathe Fraga. The first time I saw her works of art I was stunned ; simply mesmerized! 
I hope you will enjoy our conversation and her paintings.

 The influence of time spent by the artist living in the beautiful old cities of South America, Denmark, England, and France can be clearly felt.

A Rustle of Feathers-A Whisper of Love

  1)     Kathe your genre of art is so unique; can you tell us about how you create these gorgeous works?

 I love the look of old frescoed walls and murals--I spent many growing up years in Europe and South America and am influenced by the "beauty of decay"-layers and layers of paint and colors, faded imagery, patterns from the past--the soft, lovely worn look of generations. I look to recreate this in my work. I fresco my panels and canvases, then paint botanicals, patterns, animals, layer on more color, scrape and reveal, repaint, add more color until it feels like the story is complete. The work is very textured.

A Song of Celebration

 2)    Are you a self taught artist or have you taken studies/ classes? When you first remember creating art?

 I come from a long line of women in love with color. My great-grandmother was a knitter, crocheter, quilter, lace-maker, as was my grandmother. I have always painted, drawn and created, papering my bedroom walls with new work as I grew up and my mother encouraged me. (I still have my childhood dented little green tin box that still holds all my old colored pencils.) So there has never been a time that I can remember not wanting/needing to make art. As a gallerist for many years--my husband and I owned and managed Gallery Fraga here on Bainbridge Island, I had the exquisite opportunity, on a monthly basis as we opened new shows, to meet and get to know a huge variety of artists/art--visit studios, chat with collectors. It was a wonderful experience.

Love Poems II Sweet Mystery

 3)    Where do you obtain your inspiration? Images, nature, your mind?

 Inspiration is everywhere--I'm drawn to vintage textiles, old mansions, worn books, gilded frames, azulejo tiles, Blue Willow china beach shards, 1920 Chinese Deco rugs, pink roses, anything chinoiserie, Pierre Bonnard, Gustav Klimt...I could go on and on!


4)    Who are other artists that you admire or consider mentors?

 I have such a deep admiration and respect for anyone who creates: dancers, singers, writers, artists--this is the work that propels my work. When I see and experience how artists continue to overcome challenges, take risks, push! That keeps anyone going.

In a Paris Courtyard

 5)    Do you have exhibits in the near future or are you showing in certain galleries?

 What is the general price range of your art and what range of sizes?

My next show will be here on Bainbridge Island in February 2013 at Roby King Gallery ( am working on this new collection right now in my studio--always nice to show in your hometown 

In August 2013, you'll see new work at my solo show at Museo Gallery on Whidbey Island, Washington ( I continue to have work at Kaller Fine Arts in NY and DC ( and a WaterWorks Gallery in Friday Harbor, Washington ( 

The new Kathe Fraga Home collection will be introduced in 2013 with silk pillows based on my paintings. 

I also have the KF Greeting Card Collection available via my website ( Prints of my work are available through Grand Image ( and Artaissance ( Notebooks, wrapping paper and cards are available through Ecojot (, and Graphique de France ( sells a wedding card created from one of my paintings. 

For original paintings, I love 24 x 36" and price them (retail) at $2000. 36 x 48" paintings are $3500.

Green Silk and Honey

Under the Chinese Lantern

6)    Finally I always ask what words of wisdom or advice you would impart to an artist of any age.

My best piece of advice for painters: get busy. And enjoy it!

Midnight and Green Silk

 Kathe thank you so much for this enlightening interview; sharing your thoughts and journey as an artist!

To my devoted readers, I hope you will click on the links provided. and comment on your favorite painting !

Art by Karena

Images and some text courtesy of Kathe 

Thank you so much to Vicki of French Essence for the lovely vintage French Lace Trim  and to Lisa of Peridot Sky's for a lovely bracelet designed by Linz Gutz!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

2012 Artists Series Featuring Amy Persechini

Introducing Mosaic Artist Amy Persechini

I hope you will enjoy the following discussion and beautiful images of Amy's Mosaic Frames. She has found a perfect niche. Her unique Mosaic Frames are so special for Wedding, Shower, New Baby, Birthday, or Anniversary Gifts. Also an exciting gift for yourself to frame a favorite family photo!

1)          Amy, when did you become interested in art? Did you study in school or are you self-taught?

For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed art as a Fine Craft. I have a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration but my favorite things to make are crafty things: I like to quilt, cross-stitch, rubber stamp cards, make holiday d├ęcor, and Halloween costumes for my kids when they were young, decorate fancy birthday cakes, make jewelry, etc. I always have some kind of creative project going.

2)         You work in mosaics, which fascinates me. When did you gravitate to that genre?

I have always been attracted to mosaic art. Perhaps this love started back when I was a little girl. I spent my summers in Mexico. I remember my mom taking me to a neighborhood park that had large sculptures, covered in mosaic tiles. I always loved going there. I was able to climb those sculptures. Perhaps if I went back now I would find those sculptures quite small, I don’t know, but when I was little, they seemed like enormous, magical, Dr. Seuss-like shapes that I really loved! Mexico in general has mosaic art everywhere and I imagine that had an influence on me, too, as I spent so much time there growing up. I first started to mosaic shortly after moving to Overland Park. A lot of dishes broke in the move here from Rochester, NY and I thought I just had to do something with those broken dishes. I noticed a shop here in town that one could go to and learn to mosaic. I had never seen a place like that before. I went, took a lesson, and was hooked! This was back in 2002.

3)         Your mosaics are different than many I have seen. Would you tell us about that? What special tools are required?

 I really like using a mix of dishes and small tiles when I make my picture frames, something I have become somewhat of a specialist in as I have made so many! I like the idea of using chipped or broken plates, recycling of a sort. I also like mixing patterns and colors. Mosaic to me is sort of like quilting with dishes. My tools are very simple: a tile nipper and liquid nails and a file to smooth rough and sharp edges.


4)         It does take a special artist to work in intricate design, such as mosaics and jewelry. Do you find it challenging to have the patterns of color; shapes and all sizes come together?

I have gotten more meticulous with my frames over the years, really trying hard to fit the pieces together as tightly as I can. I have seen beautiful mosaics that are done in a whole different style. I feel like anything goes and anything is pretty attractive when it comes to mosaic art. I really don’t find it hard, just time consuming. And I also find mosaic work to be my therapy.


5)         Your special commissions are also very memorable. How did you emerge in that area?

My frame business has come about mostly by word of mouth. I started making frames as gifts and then people who I gave them to, started ordering them. I have had them in several shops from time to time but mostly I just sell them to people who ask. I don’t have a website so my business is pretty small at this time. 


6)         Who if any artists have influenced your work in mosaics. Have you had mentors along the way?

I don’t think I have been influenced by any specific mosaic artists but rather by the people I met over the years when I would go and work at the two mosaic shops that were in town for a while. Sadly, both have closed now. But the creativity I saw from other people’s work was amazing and inspiring.

7)         What words of wisdom or advice would you give a new or emerging artist?

If it is something you love to do, just do it, make your art.  It is an art form  that pays for itself with a little profit and that makes it worthwhile to me. I think for a person that is really driven to make art their career it can be done with passion and persistence, and knowing the right people to help you get your work out there and exposed would probably be really helpful too!

8)         If I wanted to order a frame from you, what should I know?

I would be very happy to make a custom frame for you. I can put special words on the frame to personalize it for a wedding or new baby, a birthday, a sentiment. Or, I can just mosaic the frame with no words. 

I sometimes have customers that would like me to use their own plates that have special meaning to them, maybe grandma’s dishes or the plates they grew up using, etc. I like to have an idea of colors, maybe 3. I use that as a guide. I need to know orientation, vertical or horizontal, if using words. I need the customer’s trust in my own creative ability to create something beautiful. I have no idea what the end result will be, my designs are not preplanned. I gather up the dishes and start cutting and putting together! 

I most often make a 5 x 7 frame and charge $50.00. I can make other sizes, of course, and the price would change accordingly. In most cases I can get a frame made within 2 weeks. I can be reached at

my phone number: 913-649-8981. My email:

Thank you so much to Amy; I know that she would love to hear your comments. and of course take any special orders from you.

Thank you to all of my readers who continue to support the arts through my site and other charitable contributions. There is no fine, well rounded society without the arts available in every form!

Art by Karena

Look for another Fine Art Feature coming up shortly!

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