Abstract artist Kate Long Stevenson lives and works in Charleston, SC. What Kate does so well is represent women. Her paintings seem to capture the core of who the specific woman is, but they also offer universal appeal. Any woman can look at one of Kate's paintings and see their own reflection. That's something I've really come to respect and try to emulate. Someone once wrote a comment on this blog saying they love the way I represent women, which is about the highest compliment I can get. When I was younger, I felt like I was the type of person who was not going to have a lot of women friends, but the older I get the more I love seeing all the beauty and goodness in the women around me. There is something artful and unique in every woman that deserves to be celebrated, and Kate tapped into that and carved a place for herself as someone who can visually represent the essence of what it is to be a woman.
Bonus points: she's Jimmy's cousin! Since we’ve had family gatherings at her parents' house, we’ve seen many of her paintings. It's been fun to track her career from high school and see how her style had changed and emerged into the artist she is today. She is on top of her game right now, just killing it in the art world and also as an amazing mom to her two sons. I feel so lucky to be "related" to Kate and able to just watch her be. She is incredibly kind, smart, interested and invested in others, and one of the most welcoming people you'll ever meet. That being said, please join me in welcoming Kate to TPL. :)
Name: Kate Long Stevenson
My day: Seldom do I lumber out of bed without having hit the snooze button three times, so the mornings are always a bit of a hustle. My two sons are in preschool, so the scurry of getting them fed, dressed and out the door with myself in a semi-presentable state is a little crazy. Luckily, there’s a Charleston Power Yoga studio minutes from my house, so I try to get to a class three mornings a week after drop off and get centered. I’m fortunate to have several opportunities to paint throughout the week, and have had a studio at Redux Contemporary Art Center for six years. I love the dynamic and the people. It’s fabulous to have a community of creativity, and to maintain an open dialogue with other artists and patrons on a daily basis is pretty unique. On the way home I invariably have to pick up one random ingredient from the grocery store I forgot to buy, and run home to fix a dinner my sons are sure to boycott. Bath, stories, and bedtime snuggles and giggles follow in no particular order. By 8pm the house is quiet and I start to decompress and watch all of the DVR’d shows I’ve recorded. I’m a big fan of too many…
1. If you could choose one celebrity and raid their closet, who would you choose?
I love pretty much everything Olivia Palermo wears. She balances a great mix of classic and fashion forward pieces, but never looks trendy.
2. Who is your favorite Southern artist?
I am a huge fan of Selena Beaudry’s work. Her “piles” are on my collection wish list, and I’m the lucky owner of one of her tracings.
3. Describe your prefect night out.
A perfect night out requires two components: my dear friends and fabulous cuisine. I’m so fortunate that neither is hard to come by in Charleston. I’ve long been obsessed with FIG, and their sister restaurant, The Ordinary, is also dynamite. Lucca boasts incredible Italian fare, and Husk’s burger can’t be beat. (TPL trivia, Sara Crosby also loves Husk!) The Belmont and Zero George are great for cocktails and small bites, and Cypress still has the best espresso martini I’ve tasted. And the icing on the cake to any fun night is a dance party. Period.
4. Where is your favorite local place to shop for clothes?
I love Hampden! The store is stocked with on-trend staples by A.L.C, Thakoon, Kenzo and Rag and Bone to name a few.
5. What did you want to be when you were young?
When I was a child, I wanted to be anything in the arts. A ballerina, violinist, artist, Oscar-winning actress, writer…
6. What books made a difference to you?
I don’t read enough, but when I do, I absolutely savor a good book. Recently, I read “Siddhartha” and adored it, as well as “Still Alice” (incredible and insightful), “Beautiful Ruins” (lovely and beautifully written) and, for a fun beach read, “Crazy Rich Asians.” My all time favorites are “To Kill a Mockingbird”, “Bel Canto”, “The Time Traveler’s Wife” , “Dancer” (about Rudolph Nuryev) and “Coming Home”.
7. What is your favorite thing to cook?
Also, Gwyneth Paltrow’s “It’s All Good” is is my go-to cookbook. The recipes I’ve tried are delicious and don’t tip the scales.
8. What was the best purchase you made last year?
Last year I made more of an effort to collect art, and added several pieces to my very small collection. The mediums range from photography to lithography, to works on paper in graphite or ink. No paintings, ironically, but each spoke to me in such a way and I continue to enjoy them daily.
9. Where is your favorite place to buy things for your personal home?
Biggs Powell has gorgeous furnishings and lighting in his well-edited King Street store ; Antiques of South Windermere is a treasure trove and mash up of high and low from so many eras; Elizabeth Stuart Design in Mt. Pleasant always has one-of-a-kind finds and fun gifts; I’m really excited about Sarah Hamlin Hastings’s launch of Fritz Porter, a design emporium offering high quality, bespoke pieces from many Charleston vendors, housed in the iconic and restored Cigar Factory.
10. What is your main goal for 2015?
Truly, to stay happy and healthy and to be a good mom to my precious sons. Work-wise, to make more of a mark, whatever that may be…
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