Kim Fonder, a talented artist we are proud to represent at Anne Neilson Fine Art, talks to us below about her artistic process and inspirations. Known for using a wide range of organic materials, her artwork reflects a deep infatuation with texture and touch. She describes her aesthetic in three words, “modern, primitive, and luxe.” Inspired by nature and a love for the outdoors, her paintings provide, “an opportunity to ground and create a calm and tranquil environment.” Keep reading the interview below to learn more about Kim and her fascinating artwork!
Hometown: Corvallis, Oregon
Currently Living: Tulsa, Oklahoma
How long have you known you wanted to be an artist?
I can’t really remember a time in my life when this wasn’t the case, from a very small age.
When did you start your career as an artist?
Formally, I began with photography in the early 90’s. I worked with a collaborative group that had a mutual darkroom and we curated and produced small exhibitions. We also met as a salon and critiqued each other’s work. Out of these critiques and some of the remarks that my fellow artists provided, I began to experiment with paintings. The experimentation was familiar, but sharing the paintings, that was very unfamiliar. This group of artists that I respected provided inspiration and feedback that ultimately gave me the confidence to show my work in regional shows and eventually exhibit my own work.
Favorite piece you’ve painted?
I love the Tilt series paintings. They are about perception and altering perception. The Tilt paintings are always a mental game. The very small shift of a work of art being just the right amount of perceptual shift to cause the viewer to question it. That is a dance with the painting that I have learned to enjoy as a puzzle to solve. The Tilt paintings are a physical representation of opening your mind to a perceptual shift.
Kim Fonder, Mare Blue Della Sardegna, 80 x 60, part of the Tilt Series
Who inspires you personally?
I KNOW this is a bit cliché perhaps but there has never been one time that I have ever mentioned Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk to someone that my eyes have not filled with tears. That talk, especially the part where she talks about the bull fighter, and how people in the audience say Ole, Ole, Ole, which means there it is a glimpse of GOD… Woah, wow, I honestly have tears in my eyes.
Describe your artistic process
Very physical. I love to work large so there is lots of physical movement to creating the work.
How much preparation goes into a painting?
The idea is the birth of the painting. If you think about that part of it, the idea is really it. It can take years. The idea is cognition and practice married. Sometimes it feels instantaneous; sometimes it’s a birth.
What challenges do you think exist in the world of fine art?
Lack of passion and overthinking.
Random fact about you?
I love to bake bread. I especially love making cinnamon brioche. The only reason I can sort of tease out from my obsession to make bread is this, bread is a miracle and so is art. When you begin to knead the dough it is a mass of uncontrollable ingredients, a cacophony of butter, flour, yeast. Only my hands, working in a rhythm, relentless, but relaxed change the dough. What begins as a mess, with time, attention, and a relaxed confidence creates this amazingly wonderful creation.
Favorite location to paint?
I paint outdoors, in my living room, in a garage, in cold weather, in hot weather. It has not mattered where, the painting takes over and I don’t notice the surroundings.
What do you want your audience to know about your work?
I want the work to be the backdrop for their life. I want my paintings to highlight THEIR space and THEIR activities. I want the paintings to create MORE of what their life is.
Name one goal for your career you’d like to achieve in the next 5 years?
I want to keep expanding and growing. I want to continue to create paintings that compel and are engaging to me and then consequentially to all of the people who are the audience for the work.