Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is chock-full of artists and today marks the first weekly artist feature on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you!
If there is one thing we love just as much as Seattle and local artists; it's the Seahawks. So when a reader wrote in telling us to check out Kurt Foerster's work - we knew we had found our next artist of the week. If the image above and text below don't convince, just take a stroll through the gallery.
How long have you been painting?
I've been painting for 25 years now - I started in early high school, thanks to a truly inspiring art teacher. I graduated from The Art institute of Seattle with a graphic design/illustration degree but found out early on that I did not enjoy sitting in front of a computer all day. I am in an artistic line of work that is very hands on, and I to paint in my spare time.
Do you work with other mediums?
I have worked with oils, acrylics, airbrush, rubber block transfers, ink, and pencil. I think I'm forgetting a dozen or so too....
Can you tell me about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
It starts with the right image. I create 4 to 7 layer stencils from a photo, and each color is hand cut with an X-Acto knife so this can take anywhere from 6-12 hours for a single painting. All my stencil paintings are painted with spray paint, but some of the details are done with brush work. Each painting uses every aspect of my previous mediums [mentioned above], and incorporate different design elements that I have learned along the way.
Tell me about where your inspiration for your art come from?
My wife inspires me every day with her hard work, and she pushes me to be great. I have been a Seattle sports fan my entire life, loyal even in the worst of years. A couple years back I knew I needed to get back to painting after a long break. I thought my love for Seattle sports and my art would be a great marriage. I drive a lot in Seattle, so the street art on 2nd Ave or the pillars in the CD under I-5 are amazing! Almost every street corner in Seattle has some form of art; Marshawn Lynch in SoDo on a freeway beam, Jackie Robinson street art on an adjacent beam. I try to capture each player's personality in each piece. Since I have the stencil, each piece can be duplicated, but each is still an original with different touches. It's a joy knowing many people can enjoy different paintings with the same image.
Do you have a specific “beat” you like best – nature, food, profiles etc?
Right now its local sports, although in the past I have done a lot of oil city and nature scenes. I really think the edginess of spray paint and the rawness of sports go well together.
Do you have one piece of art that means more to you, or is extremely special to you?
I had a 200-page illustration book and 200-page concept book that I put together to graduate art school. I handpicked drawings from my two years of school, cut out and pasted them in as part of my portfolio. I was foolish enough to leave them in my car one evening. My car was stolen that night - and when it was found, my books were gone. I think about those books all the time....
What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
Other than my family constantly pushing me to use my talents more...Traveling has played a big role in my art. I traveled all over Europe, and up and down the U.S. through Baja seeing art from the present to the past, meeting artists that I think about to this day.
What is next for you? Anything you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about?
More Seahawks players!
Lastly, how do you take your coffee?
Americano, with room.