Kim Curtis comes to painting from a rich background in theatrical costume design.
For thirteen years, Ms. Curtis designed and constructed costumes for theaters throughout the San Francisco Bay Area including a six-year stint at the San Francisco Opera.
Ms. Curtis holds a degree from UC Berkeley in History of Art as well as in Painting from California College of the Arts. She now paints full-time in her studio in Urbana, IL
I take my cues from nature. We are constantly surrounded by a visual abstraction which, because our minds are so quick to understand it, we rarely appreciate. I am inspired by the natural world’s movement through time; its colors, its layers, its residues, its variables. I feel compelled not to duplicate it, but to imitate it.
The medium of oil paint is its own element in my work; my paintings are as much abstract formal structures as they are “landscapes”. Taoists say that to apply a name to something leads to forgetting what it is. Through the re-focusing of my sources and in solving the problems of painting, I re-see these things I’d similarly named and neglected
Kim Curtis moved to Illinois following from a career in costume design, a second degree in painting, and a landscape of ocean and mountains. For thirteen years, Ms. Curtis designed and constructed costumes for theaters throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including a six-year stint as Master Craftsperson for the San Francisco Opera Costume Shop. At the Opera, Curtis constructed the armor, jewelry headdresses and masks for some of the world’s most renowned singers and designers. She then returned to the California College of the Arts where she further developed the style she had honed through years of costume sketching. Ms. Curtis holds a degree from UC Berkeley in History of Art as well as in Painting from California College of the Arts. Both her costume work and her study of art have brought her to work extensively abroad, mainly in Italy and Germany. She now paints full-time in her studio in rural Urbana, where her work reflects the effect of this very different place on a Painter exploring the switch from figure to landscape, vertical to horizontal and urban to agricultural.