My nature narrative paintings are inspired by the romance of vintage Chinoiserie, layered with pattern, botanicals, color and hidden motifs. We live in a 110-year-old Island home built with barnacled beach rock and weathered grey shingles. The old fir floorboards of our home, milled from the surrounding trees, remind me on a daily basis of the love and gentle patina of time—the sound and scent of the forest. With their decay and rebirth, they send their message to my art as I explore how the fresh beauty of the “new” evolves, over time, into something far more interesting and dramatic. Worn surfaces and distressed textures combine to create a sense of something soft and lovely and familiar; but yet, I feel the need to add a bold swath of color to add the modern and unexpected. It’s a resting place for the eye, a welcome peaceful voice as something reinvented emerges: gentle old meets dynamic new.
Kathe Fraga’s frescoed paintings, inspired by the romance of vintage French wallpapers and Chinoiserie with a modern twist, have been shown nationally and globally. The Bainbridge Island Museum of Art and Chief Curator Greg Robinson showcased Kathe’s work in the Beacon Gallery as part of its “Revering Nature” show. Cle De Peau Beaute (Shiseido, Tokyo), introduced Kathe’s paintings, in collaboration with renowned Creative Director and Makeup Artist, Lucia Pieroni, as part of their limited edition Holiday Collection, “Nuit De Chine,” introduced at Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, as well as in Europe and Asia. Luxe Magazine, a national publication, named Kathe as one of its 2015 “StyleMakers.” Vie Magazine, Happinez Magazine (Germany), Maison Francaise, Better Homes and Gardens, Vogue and L’Officiel (Malaysia) have also published Kathe’s paintings. Kathe recently collaborated with Bainbridge Island’s Fletcher Bay Winery to create a special label, based on her work, to introduce its new, “Tara Rouge” red wine. Kathe’s new silk scarf collection, based on her colorful work is available exclusively at Museo Gallery.