Wild with color: Local artist expands business, craft in area

Samantha Hill

With streaks of paint and a newly minted space, artist Katie Potter, or, as she is known, K. Potter, is beginning to get her footing in the area as she expands her ideas and business.

Potter, 29, recently moved into a space on 105 W. Lewis St. behind the Park County Senior Center because she said that she was beginning to outgrow her space near Montana Cup on Park Street.

“I was sharing the space with another artist and our businesses were kind of moving in a different direction,” Potter said.

Potter began her interest in art when she was very young, but said her passion for painting has waxed and waned through the years because she always believed she wasn’t very good at it.

After experimenting with different types of paint about five years ago, she realized she enjoyed oil paints, which she said can be difficult for some.

With the combination of broad brush strokes and lots of color, she transforms canvases into works of art that she has displayed across the county at different venues.

The subject of many of Potter’s paintings are that of animals in motion: a horse riding in a rodeo, a hawk catching a fish, or a bighorn sheep in the middle of a meal.

One of her focuses last year was the juxtaposition of animals and people. Her piece, “Meditations of a Lone Wolf,” was inspired from Potter talking with some friends one evening and discussing what it means to be a lone wolf. In the painting, a naked woman meditates next to a wolf.

Similar discussions of how people coexist with animals are part of her artwork.

Her latest pieces she currently has prominently displayed in her gallery are part of a project of creating small and affordable art.

She has been working on the project for a long time but she said it was challenging to make the time spent on it worth the cost of the painting as well as honing her skills to match how small the paintings are. However, she ispleased a wide variety of people can have access to her art.

“It is really great to be able to own your own original piece of artwork,” Potter said.

During her transition into a larger space, she has been continually incorporating “paint parties” into her business model.

These parties consist of a small canvas, paints and a group of people interested in developing their skills.

“I started doing it at Neptune’s a couple years ago while I was working there and it just became more and more popular,” Potter said.

She attends private parties as well as functions held at nonprofits, such as the Park County Senior Center.

K. Potter gallery will open to the public in May just in time for the Art Walk in downtown Livingston.