Kim Baker: An artist fascinated by Nature and the Still Life Tradition

How did you come to art, or how did art come to you ?

From a very young age I wanted to find a way to express myself in a way that interested me. This for me meant music and art. I am trained as a violinist and was a member of the Welsh Youth Orchestra as well as playing solo violin at concerts and competitions. This evolved as I got older into other ways of expressing myself and I found painting satisfied that desire from then till present day.

1055_685099a0988d937a06b72c33c7605463Painting by Kim Baker, Floral Still Life 17, 2017, Oil on canvas, 110 x 80 cm

What is your art about ?

My work is based on nature and nature morte as a motif. I combine this with abstract expressionism and the materiality of paint using the motifs of flora, forests and fauna whilst retaining a gestural and layering technique. Often I will paint over an existing painting which can give the works a sense of history and depth. Influences include Dutch 17th Century floral still lifes, the baroque painting of Murillo, the chiaroscuro of Caravaggio and American abstract expressionism of the 1950s especially De Kooning.

“ Kim Baker’s striking oil paintings take inspiration from the memento mori tradition as it evolved in seventeenth century Dutch still lifes. Her canvases thus feature flowers, birds and insects, the traditional motifs of these earlier works, while retaining a spontaneous technique characteristic of more recent times. Baker often reworks her canvases repeatedly, painting one image on top of another until the finished work tells an additional story; that of its own genensis. “

Nature Morte. Contemporary artists reinvigorate the Still Life tradition.
Michael Petry
Thames and Hudson.

When working on a new project, what are the first steps you take ?

Research. Taking photos whilst out and about, internet searches, downloading images that inspire me, looking at older work of mine to see what and if there will be a continuation/development in the new work. Deciding on the scale and format. Making frames, stretching canvases. Making sure I am stocked up on materials such as paint, medium and canvases.

1055_20d0588d11812bc4ebc18f6a3f4b784ePainting by Kim Baker, Birds, 2016, Oil on canvas, 150 x 120 cm

What have been the highlights of your artistic career ?

I have had many highlights in my career to date working with galleries and Art Fairs and Exhibitions, which have resulted in many sales of my work both in the UK and Internationally. Particular highlights have been the 8 Painting commission for the Four Seasons Hotel, St Petersburg, Russia and the 3 large paintings I completed for the American Bar at the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland and many private commissions in the UK, Europe, Australia and America. I have written and have works in the magazine Arty An Encyclopedia of Red. Finally my work is included in the book Nature Morte, Contemporary artists reinvigorate the Still Life tradition by Michael Petry published by Thames and Hudson.

Which different techniques would you like to experiment with ?

Tempera is something I haven’t tried yet but is something I would like to experiment with.

1055_62700753b42dec178bf4fd25d9b65348Painting by Kim Baker, Still life 12, 2017, Oil on canvas, 150 x 120 cm

What does the inside of your studio look like ?

Organised chaos which works for me. Paintings on floor and walls, bits of drawings, collages and images printed from the internet all over the floor. Splats and splashes of paint over almost everything. I have just had a studio clear out and clean up which is something I need to do quite often as it helps me to look and think at the work I have just done in a quieter space more clearly. So my studio alternates between chaos and calm.

1055_773a2d80c2b7fefd509f9406bbc56890Painting by Kim Baker, Still life 5, 2015, Oil on canvas, 55 x 45 cm

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