Kate Long Stevenson…Four Favorite Artists, Spotlight 3


Kate Long Stevenson

Charleston, South Carolina

What is your training?

I've loved art all my life and always took classes growing up, then majored in painting at the University of the South (Sewanee).  

 What inspires you and your art?

personally:  my son

artistically: music (the basis of each painting, so much so that some are literal interpretations and thus named for the composer), color, and Willem de Kooning.  


What is your favorite installation of your work or piece? 

My first show was during my freshman year at Sewanee and was an installation of really large, minimalist portraits of the Romanov family. The pieces were on masonite and too heavy to mount, so they were suspended from chains.  The effect was rather haunting.  

 How has the south influenced your work?

I don't know if it's the South or intrinsic Southernness, if anything.  A friend observed that my paintings are really angry in application, but then often have these polite and feminine colors, which I suppose is Southern.  

What is your favorite restaurant in Charleston?

Hands down,  FIG.  The menu changes nightly based on what's local and in-season, and the food is always amazing.  

What is your favorite cocktail?

Prosecco with a raspberry.  

How do you balance young children and work?

Truthfully, I think it's balancing the two that keeps ME balanced!  It surprised me that having my son made me much more focused and productive in the studio with relatively very little time spent there.  I'm lucky to be with him most days, but, as with anything that's even slightly limited, both studio and mother-son time are more valuable to me.  

Dream trip?

I studied abroad in Italy and am dying to go there again with my husband.  

Dream commission?

Any time a client asks me to just paint what I love is pretty dreamy.  It used to be an intimidating task, though now I find that I really let go of the reigns and produce better work.  

"Three" by Kate Long Stevenson, 40" x 60"

Your favorite hostess gift?

An orchid or small floral arrangement to tuck in anywhere is fabulous, and, though really basic, I love the flour sack kitchen towels at Williams Sonoma. 

Who is your style icon?

Grace Kelly always looked fabulous and classic, and I'd happily raid the closets of Blake Lively and Olivia Palermo.  

Your favorite up and coming artist?

He's far more established than up-and-coming, but I think Josh Podoll's work is fantastic. 

What is your most treasured possession?

Photographs of my son, my wedding and engagement rings, a necklace that belonged to my best friend, Neil…

Woman in Orange and Pink by Kate Long Stevenson…a favorite of mine