What happens when you’re in total lockdown and can’t see your family and friends for... more
Artist Kate Hursthouse on the inspiration behind her Resene Whale Tail
31 Mar 2022
Kate Hursthouse is an Auckland artist creating vibrant, abstract art from her backyard studio in Te Atatu Peninsula. She’s particularly passionate about helping women find their inner joy and calm through colour and creativity. Recently, she created a spectacular piece with Resene paints as part of Whale Tales, a public art trail showcasing whale tail sculptures around Auckland.
Kate’s tale is brought to life with Resene Irresistible, Resene Colour Me Pink, Resene Cupid, Resene Pink Lace, Resene Kingfisher Daisy, Resene Perfume, Resene Jimmy Dean, Resene Goldmine metallic and Resene Gold Dust metallic. She used Resene FX Paint Effects Medium to get a watercolour-style effect.
“My design ‘A Splash of Colour’ is an abstract interpretation of the bubbles produced by whales when they are communicating and playing in the water, like small children – young and carefree. The bright colours and patterns give an essence of the fun that whales seem to have when breaching, spinning and flicking their flukes,” Kate says.
Kate adds that she wrote down different characteristics she saw in whales, then chose one she loved the most that also tied into her style of work. The tail was delivered to her home to paint, and it was so big it couldn’t squeeze around the side of her house to her studio. A makeshift space was set up in the garage. “I was working quite quickly as it was also heading into winter, so it was getting pretty cold in the garage!”
Kate took her concept for the tail into Resene and chose the colours Resene Irresistible, Resene Colour Me Pink, Resene Cupid, Resene Pink Lace, Resene Kingfisher Daisy, Resene Perfume, Resene Jimmy Dean, Resene . “I also used Resene FX Paint Effects medium to get a more watercolour effect.”
Kate’s tail in a Resene ColorShop window. It makes a bold statement in Resene Irresistible, Resene Colour Me Pink, Resene Cupid, Resene Pink Lace, Resene Kingfisher Daisy, Resene Perfume, Resene Jimmy Dean, Resene Goldmine metallic and Resene Gold Dust metallic.
Kate hasn’t always painted in her garden studio. Her career path has been winding. “I lived in the art department at high school, but the whole ‘an arts degree won’t make you any money’ idea was strong, and I ended up going to architecture school as it was considered a more ‘practical’ option.”
She worked as an architect for three years before gaining the courage to leave a career she wasn’t enjoying. “I went on to study graphic design and illustration and worked in corporate graphic design before taking the leap into freelance.”
Kate is a single mum to an energetic three-year-old son. “I really treasure and make the most of my working hours when he is at childcare. I spend my working hours in my studio in my backyard, it is my absolute happy place.” She works in layers, so is often waiting for things to dry. This way she can jump back and forth between creating and admin work.
She’s run her own creative business since 2014, and originally had a strong focus on calligraphy and hand lettering. Artworks incorporating her calligraphy and typography skills have been commissioned and gifted to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Māori King Kiingi Tūheitia. “One was a custom piece written in calligraphy, and the other included some custom typographic elements embellished in gold.”
Over the years she’s delved into commercial illustrations, contemporary art, children’s book illustrations and hand-painted murals. “It took motherhood, and the disruption of a global pandemic, to give me the courage to pursue the career I’ve dreamt of since the days spent in my high school art department. For the last two years I’ve been creating vibrant abstract artworks that are full of joy.”
Painting is her happy place - it brings a great sense of calm to her. “It’s been like that since I lived in the art department in high school, yet somehow it has taken me 18 years to actually fully embrace it.”
Find Whale Tales:
Until 18 April 2022 a trail of stunning whale tail sculptures, designed by artists and children, sponsored by business and organisations are animating Tāmaki Makaurau. They bring to life themes of protecting and restoring the mauri of our Ocean. Inspired by the Bryde’s Whale, the 80 Big Broos (large tail sculptures) and 80 Pēpi (mini tail sculptures) dot Auckland’s streets, parks, and open spaces to provide residents and visitors a fresh opportunity to explore the City of Sails. Resene is proud to bring colour to the event with a rainbow of Resene colours used to paint the tails.
Find out more about Kate: katehursthouse.com.
Published: 31 Mar 2022