Tallahassee based artist Kaitlyn Dressel makes abstract paintings comprised of rough scribbles, conversation, and large flooded pools of pigment. The compulsive energy of her work wavers between freedom and constraint, acceptance and critique. She works primarily on encompassing large canvases in which she studies the intimate depth of human interaction and conversation, mining what happens when the body interprets language, feelings, and emotions. She works on several pieces at once, careful to allow each painting time to settle before making the next decision. The negative space in her work is equally as important as the chaotic mess of marks created from her body. It’s knowing when to stop and when to be content with each layer and phase throughout a painting.
Human perception is a growing focus in my life and work because my mission is to create a visceral longing to the power of connection, to be in community with one another. In my paintings my hope is to move and comfort our space and to share conversation. Every mark I make is a reaction to the previous, as are my conversations. There’s a rhythm. Through this I am slowly learning that my past does not define what is to come. An exploration of how a mark can evolve through a series of unexpected layers and transitions in each brush stroke. Watching these marks stray from the destined route brings a foreign sense of comfort as I lose control of what I originally had planned. This path always provides a new beauty as the elements of nature take over and create something far more unique than I could have interpreted.
My Day to Day
My typical day involves me waking up at 6am, making coffee, and snuggling with my little Frenchie named Louie. I get dressed and I’m out the door by 7:15am to make it to the school where I teach art until 3pm. I immediately go home to take Louie for a walk around the neighborhood. That’s when I take time to clear my mind and set my intention before I allow myself to touch paint. Once I’m back home, I’ll change into comfortable clothes – or honestly some days I stay in my dress knowing full well I need to touch paint more than I need a clean dress. I always play music and have a book close by. I never quit know what I need that day or where I am going to start but something takes over and I go into auto pilot. The best days are when I forget to notice how long I’ve been painting or when I fail to notice that the music has been off and yet I’m wrapped so deeply into each painting that even silence drowns out the noise. Each painting has a story, a deep conversation of a journal entry for the day. It’s hard for me to know when to stop. Sometimes it’s obvious when my paint is telling me to let it be. Each day is different as far as how long I paint, if I workout, and if I find myself needing to read, meet a friend for conversation, or simply to just lay down and do nothing. I’m learning to imitate my paintings and let go of my fear of not having control on everything.
FSU, College of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art, Major
FSU College of Fine Arts, Photography & Painting Concentration
FSU, Education (PTO) Minor
Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris, French Minor
Kaitlyn Dressel lives and works in Tallahassee. She received her degree from the College of Fine Arts at Florida State University (FSU) and Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris. The artist’s work has been shown throughout Tallahassee in the SOHO Art Gallery including exhibits at The Plant and FSU’s College of Fine Arts. She currently has residency at the SOHO Art Gallery located in RRSP.
Her work is held in the private collections of:
Loli & the Bean
Lucy & Leo’s
Rail Road Square Art Park.