Religious mythologies, Jungian archetypes, and fairytales are all important influences for Coloradoan Katie Hoffman’s otherworldly oil paintings. Her paintings begin intuitively, with a non-objective exploration of color and texture. But, as she continues to paint, hauntingly mysterious forms come to life in her art.
As Gene Davis of the Denver Daily News said, “If Smashing Pumpkin’s ‘Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness’ [music album] could dream at night, its visions would probably look a lot like Katie’s paintings.”
I couldn’t agree more!
For example. . . the “eyes” have it in Truncible Spoons. Three sets of amber eyes—varying slightly in color and revealing an unnerving amount of wisdom and cleverness—stare deeply into our own.
I can’t help but thing that the term “windows to the soul” has never been clearer. The owl’s eyes are alert and unyielding, as they search diligently for prey and safe refuge. The cat’s eyes are coy and lighthearted, as it waits to attack its owner by way of a friendly pounce. And the young woman’s eyes are confident and knowing—the future is hers if she rises up to take it.
The warmth of these three figures is perfectly represented by mocha and tawny tones. But, surrounding the owl’s silhouette, cooler shadows prevail, like those found during a wintry evening when streetlamps light up the sidewalk so one can see the gently falling snowflakes. . . and it lends a wonderful contrast to the central figures.
In Katie’s next painting, entitled This is the Dog That Worried, I feel that it’s a tribute to how quickly worrisome thoughts are capable of changing a peaceful demeanor to frustrated discontent.
One minute, you may find yourself at peace, and the next you’re drowning in the negative thoughts or anger. The entire process of that metamorphasis is perfectly displayed in this textured, emotional painting.
Lastly, Queen Mab appears to be a lavish painting featuring a queen adorned in purple flowers that compliment her ruby red lipstick. . . but her darker nature is also seen in the hidden skulls and menacing weasel-like figure watching her every move.
Even the light streaming from distant blue skies is instantly shrouded by smoke or dust, obscurring the space around Queen Mab, blurring our ability to see the bigger picture of her existence—is she good, or evil? Or both?
If you think these three paintings are out of this world, be sure to check out the rest of Katie’s archived and available artworks at her website. I guarantee you’ll find yourself in a wildly fascinating universe that’s well-worth exploring!
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