Meet the Artist - Katherine Castle
It’s been 10 wonderful years of collaboration between Maxwell & Williams and Australian wildlife artist Katherine Castle.
Katherine has travelled from here to there and everywhere in between, taking in the beauty of Australian flora and fauna which she captures so fondly in her work. Not just inspired by our backyard, Castle’s collaborative ranges have spanned from birds of Australia to our favourite pets and animals of the world.
Her work has been produced onto mugs, placemats, coasters, plates and more recently a ranges of cotton tea towels.
To celebrate this 10-year anniversary, Katherine’s new range is a revitalised version of her first collection with Maxwell & Williams, Birds of Australia.
We caught up with Katherine to hear more about her journey and her collaboration with the brand over the years.
How did you get into art?
Like many children, I drew a lot as a child. The difference with me is that I never stopped! My grandmother was a major influence on me, she was a painter herself. She took the time to take me to galleries and encouraged my work as a child and young adult, and my passion really grew from there.
When did your passion become a full-time job?
I worked in photography and graphic design in the advertising industry initially, but it was never a fulfilling career for me. After having my kids, I painted part time for several years, it was lovely to be able to pursue my passion while I was raising them. As they grew older, I was able to start painting full time.
How would you describe your artistic style?
I love to take inspiration from real life and then put my own interpretation on it, so I’d say my artistic style is realism. I don’t like to copy perfectly! I use my artistic license and add atmosphere and interest to produce the final piece.
How did you develop this unique style?
I developed my unique style over many, many years of practice! I’ve always been drawn to realism, so I spent time experimenting with different styles and techniques to see what would give me the best result. I started working with water colours and colour pencil, then moving into oils. Now I do a bit of both.
Describe the process of collaborating with Maxwell & Williams. What did this involve?
On the surface, it may sound mundane: receiving briefs, sending off ideas, reviews, tweaking compositions… However, what makes the difference is the creativity, enthusiasm and engagement of the people you work with.
What has been the best part of collaborating with Maxwell & Williams?
After all these years, it is still wonderfully exciting to see my work released on mugs, plates, placemats and tea towels. I am very grateful to Maxwell & Williams for this ongoing journey, and for supporting me for more than 10 years.
The first time I saw one of my products in a shopping centre I just couldn’t believe it. I’ve seen products everywhere – even in the middle of outback Australia. The feeling doesn’t change, even after such a long time. I’m just as excited about this new collection as I was for my first.
Where have you drawn inspiration from for your collections with Maxwell & Williams?
I’ve spent the past two years travelling to remote locations around Australia and painting while on the move. My most recent collection was inspired by these travels, the places, the colours, the spaces, the birds and the vast landscapes that have captivated me.
How do you go about conceptualising and producing your art? Do you have a particular process and/or technique?
Like many other artists, my artistic process isn’t very rigorous. It’s more like jumping into a great big beautiful soup of technical stuff, inspiring perceptions, “requirements,” and a cloud of colours and feathers.
What is your favourite piece from the collaboration?
My favourite piece from my new collection is the Splendid Fairy-wrens. I had the pleasure of spending six weeks with the birds you see in the paintings and knew them individually. They each had very distinct personalities!