Monday, August 31, 2009

Katrina Doran from Dallas, Texas

At Doran Studio in Dallas, Katrina and Denny Doran (pictured above) produce works of art in a variety of media. Katrina, will be the focus of today's entry. Her professional background includes working as an interior decorator, a gourmet cook, a costume designer and performer for special-event production companies. Katrina now focuses her time and attention on mosaic art and sculpture. She teaches mosaic classes and workshops at the Creative Arts Center of Dallas, TX, at the Visual Expressions Creative Arts Studio in Cedar Hill, TX and at other spots in the metro-Dallas area. She is a member of the Society of American Mosaic Artists, the Texas Sculpture Association, and is a Board Member for the Texas Visual Arts Association.
She names Sonia King as her mentor and teacher and is inspired by Sonia's work which she describes as being, " like maps to landscapes both familiar and unknown. Beautiful creations using natural materials." (More than one of us would agree with this assessment.)

After many years and several careers I had the inkling to try mosaics again. In my own studio with a few books for advice, I attempted to reinvent the wheel of shards. Luckily, I had promised myself, earlier that year, to work with people who were skilled and knowledgeable about what I was willing to take on. So, I signed up for a mosaic workshop with Sonia King at the Creative Arts Center of Dallas and never looked back.

Avian Table

In her artist statement, Katrina writes:

"I am interested in creating curious objects that seem magical, that seem as if they are from another time and place, or might have been something you once dreamed. I gather many types of materials: rusted metal from the street, rocks, glass, dishes, toys, beads, mirror, marble, minerals, fossils, shells, smalti, gold and copper glass tiles, tempered glass, bottles, paints, powders and inks. I want to select what for me are seemingly incongruous things and assemble them into something new and memorably beautiful."

When Katrina was in high school, she created her first mosaic, a depiction of an owl in flight that was constructed of marble and granite. She experienced the same fear that many of us felt when we grouted our first pieces...that she had ruined it. She states:
"My dad says he still has it somewhere in the deep recesses of his garage, but we’ve yet to locate it. I’d love to see it after so many years and see what a bit of acid wash could do to bring it back to life!"

Among her different styles of mosaic is a series of assemblage and memoryware:

Katrina is currently one of three mosaic instructors at the Creative Arts Center of Dallas and the only mosaic instructor for
Visual Expressions Creative Arts School
in Cedar Hill, TX. She says she is fond of the following quote and uses it as a place to stand for her own life and as inspiration for her students.

“Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be, brilliant, or just talented, or fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God within us.

It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson

Lotus Fountain

"My work as a mosaic artist allows me to explore my own self-expression. What has been most useful to me as an individual is to work solo, exploring materials and techniques and then working with various communities to create something larger than what I can accomplish on my own. The interplay between knowing myself alone and knowing myself through others is the richest form of play I could ever imagine."


For example, in 2008, Katrina enrolled a group of mosaic artists into creating a group of pink flamingo sculptures for the State Fair of Texas. She designed and carved each sculpture herself while the participating artists added their own artistic interpretation in mosaic to each one. Rebecca Collins filmed a YouTube video of the project, which is where I initially found her

(Please click HERE if you are unable to see the video above.)

The group's mosaics are featured in the latest promotional video for the State Fair of Texas.

Katrina adds:

"...whether I am creating work to please myself or to explore a technique or idea, I love sharing the creative process with others. This includes teaching, creating large community based projects, individual commissions, and mosaic fine art pieces shown through gallery settings."

Aiyana Eternal Blossom

Katrina is interested in the use of symbols throughout history and through cultures. She writes, "... My undergraduate degree is in psychology and I find myself drawn to the study of what we make things mean and how the symbols of meaning are then interpreted through art. We, as human beings, often have it that we are alone, that the thoughts we have are unique. How is it then that the symbol for an eye is used in cultures all over the world as a talisman for protection? Who had the original idea? Who said it offered protection? The eye symbol is used on the Seal for the United States of America, it is found in Africa, Greece, Turkey, India, Tibet, and in the Christian, Muslim, Hindu, and even Voodoo religions. "

Doran Studio is a work in progress.

"We consider the entire space a place for honoring what creates. The exterior is slowly being covered in mosaic as a community-making project. We look forward to setting up a schedule for our latest project: 110 Cole Street - where people from various communitites come together to create mosaic patches representing places of inspiration from all over the world. These mosaic patches will be attached to the front of Doran Studio and will become a symbol of what's possible when we all honor creative self expression."

Katrina is currently working on a series of images related to the Tree of Life. Not only does she find this image appealing to her eye, she is once again interested in the use of this symbol through history, culture and religion.

"The materials I use and am fond of are varied. Smalti, marble, natural stones, fossils, hand-made ceramics, pebbles, glass, rusty metal are all materials with unique characteristics. I truly enjoy bringing them together. Perhaps mosaics are my way of demonstrating how we, as human beings, are all related, how we all fit together to create a rich and fascinating world."

Please visit the Doran Studio web site HERE.


Annie Thomas-Burke said...

Love her honesty in her words
and in her art.
Williamson is a favorite inspirational person in my world
as well.
Bravo on another well written and informative article Stacy!

Rebecca Collins said...

Great post about a very talented artist. Katrina's enthusiasm for art and life is contagious. This seasoned artist has the excitement in her of a 5 year old with a new box of crayons. She maintains that crazy upbeat energy no matter how hard she is working. I count myself lucky to be one of her students. She teaches us all a lot more than just mosaics.

Sonia said...

Great article, Stacy, and thank you for the kind words, Katrina!

Stacy Alexander