Artist Spotlight: Virginia Katz

After the Rain
Watercolor on Facial Tissue, Suspended on Butterfly Specimen Needles
Tissue Dimensions, 8 x 8.5 inches, 2022
Photo credit: Gene Ogami

What inspires me?
The landscape is a space that provides extraordinary human experience.  It is where I turn to find solace, beauty, adventure, truth, and sustainability.  I also believe the landscape holds a fascination for humanity in general.  People have always been nomadic, experiencing landscape from place to place, transforming our reach from a local point of reference to a global perspective, whether it be in real time or virtual.  Landscape sums up life.  It is the source of everything, and it is intrinsic within us; our access to it constant.  None of us can ever live apart from it – not even for a moment.  These ideas on landscape regularly guide my art practice – an unlimited wellspring of possibility.

Who would I like to collaborate with?
I have always found the landscape to have tremendous allure, rich with processes that captivate and challenge my thinking about life, how we come to know it, and how we find our place in it.  I have attempted to deconstruct natural processes by interacting directly through collaborations with the landscape itself, which has been my approach to artmaking throughout.  I have found that, by collaborating directly with nature, I have been able to find new ways of experiencing and thinking about the space around us, as well as contributing new aesthetics and visual vocabularies to painting and drawing.

The Nature of Things
Artist made acrylic paint facsimiles on wire
62 X 39 x 5 inches, 2022-2023
Photo credit: Gene Ogami

How has personal experience influenced your creativity?
Life is an accumulation of subjective experiences.  It is how we experience the world, the vehicle for acquiring knowledge, and it equips us with the ability to survive.  Each of these is instrumental in influencing how we live our lives.  In my work, personal experience is THE contributing factor to forming ideas which in large part is dependent on various forms of observation.

If you had a chance to live during a different artistic movement other than now, which one would you choose and why?
This is a particularly interesting prompt.  It begs the question of whether living at a certain time in history would make me a different person and a different artist than I am now.  I guess I could never know the answer to that.  I could only speculate and say that fitting into a particular art movement would have the same relevance to me in another time as it does now; that relevance is none.  I make my work based on what is important to me regardless of my relation to current trends.  If I made my work for anyone else or for the market, then it really would not be my work, only underpinned by weak and false motivations.

Watercolor on Facial Tissue, Suspended on Butterfly Specimen Needles
Tissue Dimensions, 8, 8.5 inches, 2022
Photo credit: Gene Ogami

What does a day in your art practice look like?
It depends on what is going on.  I would say most days start out with a long walk, coffee, and reading.  Then, if I am developing new work, I head to the studio in the morning, break for lunch then back to the studio until about five.  Sometimes I listen to the news or podcasts or music when I work.  Sometimes silence is the best thing.  I often work negotiating weather conditions.  In the summer I try to get an earlier start and end by three because of the heat.  In winter I must make adjustments because of the way I work using paint as a sculptural medium, cold, wet conditions will take much longer for the paint to dry.  I will use electric heaters in the paint drying process or I will set up a mini studio setting at home to facilitate drying.  When I have or am preparing for an exhibition, things shift a bit and my work transfers to the computer with writing, getting, and organizing photographic images, sending materials, framing, shipping, etc.  I also try to get out on Saturdays to see art in LA whether it be in Museums or visiting other exhibitions.

If you could change anything about the artworld, what would it be?
I think if I could change one thing about the artworld, it would be to loosen its close ties to the art market.

Intaglio Monoprint on Paper
66 x 36 inches, 2020
Photo credit: Gene Ogami

Artist Image
Photo credit: Dylan Logas


  1. A good interview and I admire your constant search for varied depictions of the whole subject area. The tender tissue pieces are surprising!

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