Love and Whimsy plays on the synergy of paint and water
Kate Vikstrom, a self-described “lifelong watercolor artist, as well as a graphic designer, jazz singer, traveler, and mother of three who are now adults,” is exhibiting her paintings in a collection called Love and Whimsy through Sept. 29 at the Rhinebeck Savings Bank in Wappingers, just north of Beacon.
Vikstrom recalls her beginnings in her chosen medium as “making art with a Playtime watercolor set and big sheets of newsprint from the Minneapolis want-ads!” Vikstrom (also part of The Paper’s graphic design team) relocated to Beacon this year after living for nearly two decades in the rainforest of southeast Alaska and four years on the Puget Sound in Washington state. Several years ago, she spent three idyllic months living in Paris, where she explored the works of the Impressionists and their cafes, every day.
Vikstrom feels her work reflects these locations, ascribing it to “where people feel a spiritual synergy with great bodies of water; I am experiencing this connection in a new way here in the Hudson River Valley.”
Vikstrom chooses to work primarily in watercolor because of the element of surprise. “The artist must be willing to let go of control, taking a back seat to the movement and caprice of paint in water,” she says. She adds: “Occasionally someone asks, ‘When are you going to paint something real?’ Well, at times I do paint something they would call real — a bare winter tree, a yellow rose. But I would have to say there is one specific place I am always attempting to show you. That is the place where water and sky seem to have no hard edges; where earth, water and air intermingle. The mists that move within that space allow the painting to evoke emotion and touch upon the mystical. This is a metaphor for all of life, in which there are no clear boundaries between friend and stranger, heaven and earth, love and poetry.”
Visit KateVikstrom.com to view her work and hear her music, which includes a CD release entitled Grown-Up Lullabies. Fred LaMotte, saxophonist / pennywhistle player on the CD, described the collection as “torch singing with the sweetness of a May thrush.”
The Rhinebeck Savings Bank is located at 1476 Route 9D in Wappingers and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.