Arts on the Square Spotlight: Meet Artist Katie Novak

Tuesday, June 23, 2015
We’ve been a fan of Katie Novak’s work since she lived right here in Scranton. Now residing in Philadelphia, we’re thrilled she is bringing her artwork & handmade products back to Scranton for Arts on the Square.

Have you always been an artist?
I have loved making art since the day I got my first box of crayons! I graduated from Marywood University in '06 with a BFA in Illustration. Shortly after graduating I played a role in the rebirth of Scranton’s Test Pattern Art Gallery. I was a studio assistant for a minimalist painter where I learned the invaluable lesson of how to properly stretch a canvas -and I’ve stretched a lot of canvases since then!  I worked at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for a few years and now I am working at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.  My preferred mediums are acrylic paint, water colors, and wood. For a while I was painting on large scale canvases but currently I have done a complete 180 and really enjoy working on tiny canvases. I like to experiment with different textures and layers and recently have been painting and carving on pieces of wood. I also make custom frames for each of my paintings!

We’ve loved your paintings since you resided here in Scranton. What currently inspires your work?
My surroundings are my biggest influence. A lot of times I don't know what I am painting until I start painting. When I step back from my work and look at the last few paintings I made collectively, they are usually connected with where I am - literally. I am currently obsessed with painting buildings and houses which makes sense because I live in a city. Everywhere I go I am surrounded by buildings and row homes. Whether I am looking at them or not they are everywhere! And it shows in my most recent work. I am obsessed with rectangles!

I see that you designed a line of greeting cards.  Was that your first foray into product design?
Actually, I started with handmade wood planters! When I decided to start selling my work at craft fairs I wanted to have an array of handmade items available. It was really important to me that I was making as much as possible with my own hands. So I dabbled in handmade, hand painted greeting cards. I am having a lot of fun with them!

What will you be showing at Arts on the Square?
I will have my custom framed paintings, wood planters (with plants!), and greeting cards.

Where can our readers find your work?
I am new to craft fairs but I will be at a few more coming up, the next one I have lined up is Arts on the Square (of course!) I will also be at The Philly Mart in Manayunk section of Philadelphia. I have an Etsy. And I update my website and blog frequently with new work and projects I am working on.

Find Katie Novak Art online:

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