Kim Hassold: An Artist's Big, Colorful Life

"My studio is in the thriving art district of the Village of West Greenville. There’s always lots of creativity going on around here. I would love to show you around and give you a behind the scenes look at my artistic process. I am a Southerner through and through. I grew up in the Lowcountry and now live in Greenville, South Carolina — my family still thinks I’ve moved up North! My husband, Rob, and I have four children and two grandchildren who are, of course, perfect. I have enjoyed a long and fantastic career in fashion and journalism and am currently editor of TALK Greenville magazine."

- Kim Hassold

 STA:  Kim, your paintings have so much rich texture.  What variety of mediums do you use in your mixed media?

 KH:  A lot of artists are loyal to one medium, but I like them all for different reasons. Many of my paintings are mixed media, painting my own paper so I can get exactly the colors I want.  I’m always on the hunt for texture so a lot of times I start with gesso straight on canvas and then use combs, old credit cards, the wrong end of a brush to make designs before I even start. Then acrylic paints and then sometimes hand painted paper that I’ve done in my palette.

STA:   What kinds of paint do you use and how do you make your colors?

KH:  I use very structured acrylic paints. I’ve been using the same ones for a while so I mix them to get exactly the shades I need.

STA:  How long does the average piece take you to create?

KH:  I always work on 4 to 5 paintings at the same time so I almost never do a painting from start to finish. My goal when I start painting is to make the worst one into the best by the time I finish and then do the same thing the next day.

STA:   What is your process for coming up with pattern?

KH:  I start with a quick drawing in one color of paint with a big brush. Then I add other colors, blocking in the whole painting. What happens after that is an intuitive mix of what I will add.  For the papers I use, I paint a solid color, then use all kinds of things to make a pattern on the paper. I keep them by color in separate containers, so that if I’m working, for instance, with reds I can see all of my choices.

 STA:   How does your Southern heritage inspire your art?

KH:  Everything I do is inspired by being southern, I think. I want to live a big, colorful life full of all kinds of family and fun and experience and movement. I think that shows in my work.

STA:  How do you choose your colors and create your own style?

KH:  My work is very colorful and happy. I want to show a lot of movement and brush strokes; the direction and size of them is an important part of that. My style is impressionistic. I never wanted to draw an exact replica, more my interpretation of what’s going on in the painting.

STA:  Where would you ideally like to see your work find a home?

KH:  My work is at home anywhere. I do large pieces as well as smaller ones. I like to think that each one is a fun surprise in a home, just something that would be an unexpected shot of pleasure. I think that’s something color can do.

STA:  Who is the subject of your art?

KH:  I paint all kinds of subjects from figures to landscapes to florals. I hope that no matter what I paint, it will be recognizable as my work. To me that is every artist’s goal, to have a style that is not like anyone else’s.

STA:  What is your favorite thing to create?

KH:  I love to paint and do it every chance I get. I also love a little cooking and last year made strawberry preserves for the first time. I felt very Aunt Bee. A good room redo is a thrill, and of course, there’s the excitement of deciding what huge earrings to wear every day.

STA:  How do you come up with the clever titles for your art?

KH:  I am fond of song titles, things that people actually say, and things that make me laugh.

You can see Kim's collection of botanical bouquets and a selection of portrait and landscape work in her Artist Collection page.  


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