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Island artists open studios to community

Two Island artists, June Shatken and Katherine Hammond, will open their studios to the public on Saturday, December 15, from 1 to 4 p.m. They invite art lovers to visit their studios where their art will be on exhibit and for sale. 

Katherine Hammond is located at 2 Peppermill Lane and June Shatken is at 11 Strawberry Lane. Their work can be viewed at katherine-hammond.com and juneshatken.com. The Reporter chatted with both women about their creative processes. 

6 Qs with June Shatken

1. Can the public view your work at any particular location?

I’ve most recently (this past weekend) had my work at the Clark Arts Center at Perlman Music Campus and in October, some of my pieces were in a group exhibit at the library.  

My art can always be viewed on my website, juneshatken.com.

2. Do you specialize in one specific type of art? What is your preferred medium?

I’ve worked in all mediums from oil, acrylic, pastel, watercolor and collage. I actually love to mix and layer mediums and enjoy the experimentation. Recently I’ve been playing with pouring watercolors. When that layer is dry, I often add pastel or collage.  

3. Where is the most interesting place you’ve seen your art displayed? Where would you most like to see it?

I enjoy hanging my art at the Clark Arts Center since it’s such a beautiful space. My dream is to see an arts center on Shelter Island where artists of all kinds, e.g. visual artists, sculptors, potters, poets, writers, photographers can gather, exhibit and teach and share. That’s where I’d like to see my art hang one day!

4. What inspires your art? Why be an artist on Shelter Island?

I’m inspired by nature, the process of using the different mediums, and in my collages, it’s often a word or a phrase that inspires me.

I believe that Shelter Island is home to an abundance of creative people — I felt it when I first came here in 2007 and I still feel it. The natural beauty and the people are two of Shelter Island’s unique qualities that attracted me to make the Island my permanent home.   

5. What is your biggest challenge as an artist? What is your greatest joy as an artist?

Fortunately I do not have to support myself as an artist so that frees me creatively. Keeping the process fresh and new is sometimes a challenge, but that keeps me experimenting and learning from other artists. 

My greatest joy is actually the process of making art. Of course, if the end result is pleasing to me that’s a bonus. I love sharing my art with others and if a piece of my art can bring beauty and joy into someone else’s life and home, that is truly a plus.

6. Who is your favorite artist?

I have a few favorites who have inspired me and my art: Wolf Kahn, Jeanne Carbonetti, Donald Holden, and some from the past, Monet, Seurat and Van Gogh.

Ms. Hammond’s ‘December Morning.’

Katherine Hammond shared these thoughts on her alternate universe:

What can we discover about ourselves if we approach the canvas without any preconceived ideas? What if we do not reference anything from the past or future, but rather stay in the moment, focus inward and ignore internal dialogue? The process and the result would delight and surprise the artist. It would translate onto the canvas as pure joy.

In the conscious mind which is the quiet mind, absent of thought, we do not need confirmation, affirmation or direction. The paint flows and the ideas materialize magically. For me it feels as though someone is guiding my brush. There is no struggle or difficulty. There is no right or wrong. A puzzle starts to appear and the mind has clarity and is stress free. The finished painting becomes an abstract personality that mirrors me.

When viewing the artwork it looks back at you and regards you in a very personal way. Once you connect with the painting it keeps changing. It can sit on the wall in any direction and it will have a different meaning for you. 

My artwork is a doorway to an alternate universe. Here you are encouraged to participate. I sign the painting in the direction that pleases me the most. My canvas turns continuously while I work. The work evolves while I paint and continues to evolve after completion by the viewer’s experience. My paintings are a journey for both the artist and the viewer.