Studio Visit Book Vol. 1


Kaetlyn Able on How New Places Can Transform Your Creative Expression

Welcome to the Arts to Hearts Podcast! In this episode, Charuka Arora chats with special guest Kaetlyn Able. In the episode, Kaetlyn shares her unique perspective on How New Places Can Transform Your Creative Expression.

Join us for an inspiring conversation with Kaetlyn, a talented artist who draws and paints wildlife, as she shares her journey from Boston to Montana and the impact it has had on her art. Discover how her love for animals, nature, and Montana’s history inspire her creative process and learn about the challenges and joys of living in a rural community.

In this episode, we dive deep into Kaetlyn’s artistic evolution, exploring her use of different mediums and materials, her connection to nature, and the inspiration she draws from her surroundings. We also discuss the balance between being a mother and an artist, the importance of patience, and the benefits of living in a vibrant arts community.

Kaetlyn offers valuable insights into the meditative process of excavating something through traumatic experiences and the symbolism of impermanence in her artwork. With stories of dinosaur fossils, indigenous tribes, and self-imposed expectations, this episode is a must-listen for artists, nature enthusiasts, and anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the creative process.

Don’t miss out on Kaetlyn’s upcoming shows and where to find her work, as well as her advice for aspiring artists. Tune in now for an intimate look into the life and art of Kaetlyn, a remarkable artist with a unique connection to the natural world.

Watch & Listen to this podcast Episode.

About Kaetlyn Able

Hello! I’m a fine artist originally from a little suburb outside of Boston, Massachusetts. For many years I exhibited my work in numerous solo and group shows throughout the Northeast (under my maiden name, Kaetlyn Wilcox), and taught painting, drawing, and illustration classes to children, adults, and college students, before taking some time off to focus on my growing family. In 2011 we relocated to my husband’s native Montana, where I fell head over heels CRAZY in love with the Mountains! Today I work out of my little home studio in Bozeman while my two little boys are sleeping or playing nearby. I hold an MFA from the School of Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and a BA in studio art from Wellesley College.

Kaetlyn Able

Key Highlights from the Episode

Montana, a state located in the northwestern region of the United States, is known for its vast wilderness, rugged landscapes, and diverse wildlife. For Kaetlyn Able, a portrait artist who specializes in drawing and painting wildlife, Montana has been a source of inspiration and a place where she has found a deep connection to nature and community. In this thought leadership article, we will explore the themes of art, nature, community, and the challenges of balancing work and family life through the lens of Kaetlyn’s experiences and insights.

Art and Wildlife

Kaetlyn’s work is a celebration of the beauty and diversity of wildlife in Montana. Her portraits capture the essence of each animal, from the intricate patterns on a bird’s feathers to the majestic antlers of a deer. For Kaetlyn, art is not just a way of capturing the physical appearance of animals, but also a way of expressing their personalities and emotions.

She says, “I think of even though they’re not non-human animals I think of them as people.”

Kaetlyn’s interest in wildlife and nature has been a part of her work for a long time. She says, “Nature has always been for a very long time even before living here has been something I was really interested in and so then when we moved here instead of having to find like pictures on the internet of the animals that I wanted to draw I could just like go see them. Um here. So I feel like my connection to the wilderness has deepened a lot like my real-life connection.”

Nature and Montana

Montana’s natural beauty and diverse wildlife have been a major source of inspiration for Kaetlyn’s work. She says,

“I live in Montana which is in the North American Rocky Mountains and so they’re all around here like those animals that I’m drawing are in the woods here, in the forests, and in the mountains. Um all around me.”

For Kaetlyn, Montana is not just a place to live, but a place to connect with nature and find inspiration for her art.

Montana’s wilderness and open spaces have also had a profound impact on Kaetlyn’s way of life. She says, “I love the pace here. It’s a great place for our family to the kids can run around outside all day. So it works for us.” Montana’s slower pace of life and emphasis on outdoor activities have allowed Kaetlyn and her family to connect with nature and each other in a way that would not be possible in a more urban environment.

Community and Art

While Montana’s natural beauty and wildlife have been a major source of inspiration for Kaetlyn’s work, it is the sense of community that has made Montana feel at home. Kaetlyn says, “We came down to like a bigger. It’s considered a city in Montana but it’s still very small, especially in India.” Despite its small size, Montana’s art community has been welcoming and supportive of Kaetlyn’s work.

Kaetlyn has also been involved in community art projects, such as painting murals and participating in art shows. These projects have allowed her to connect with other artists and members of the community who share her passion for art and nature.

For Kaetlyn, art is not just a solitary pursuit, but a way to connect with others and build a sense of community.

Balancing Work and Family Life

Kaetlyn’s move to Montana has also brought new challenges in balancing work and family life. As a mother of two, including a two-month-old baby, Kaetlyn has had to adjust to a new routine while still pursuing her passion for art. She says, “Regular routine will be a new way but also having a baby two months prior also having a baby in itself is like I don’t think you can prepare as much like after being a second time mother now you must know but I’m sure at the first time it wasn’t that easy.”

Kaetlyn’s work schedule has also been impacted by the change in routine. She says, “Um, and I feel like I’m you know I’m 44 now I feel like I’m getting I’m finally kind of getting a little better and we even were talking as a family the other day that um this time like that my kids just finished the school year so they’re on like a three-month break before they go back in the fall and um, every year I’m like a basket case around this time just because it’s a change.”

The Connection Between Art and Life

Kaetlyn’s experiences have taught her that art and life are deeply intertwined. Her work is not just a reflection of the natural world, but also a reflection of her own experiences and emotions. She says, “The process is very meditative and it takes a really long time. Um, because I use tiny tattoo needles to create. Um these forms and when you’re working on it. It feels like you’re slowly illuminating the form and it um. And kind of uncovering it and revealing it and so that felt like really true to how I was thinking about the world after sort of going through this experience.”

Through her art, Kaetlyn is able to connect with the natural world and with others who share her passion for art and nature. Her work serves as a powerful reminder of the beauty and diversity of the natural world and the importance of preserving it for future generations.

The Importance of Patience

When asked what advice she would give to others, Kaetlyn’s response was simple but powerful:

“Patience.” She explains, “Think of it as a marathon and not a sprint. It takes a long time to build a body of work and to figure out what you’re trying to say with that work.”

Kaetlyn’s journey as an artist has been shaped by her deep connection to nature and community, as well as the challenges of balancing work and family life. Her experiences serve as a reminder that art is not just a solitary pursuit, but a way to connect with others and build a sense of community. Through her work, Kaetlyn celebrates the beauty and diversity of the natural world and inspires others to do the same.

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