I found Kim via Instagram. Her feed, @kimblack_art is a transcendent mix of art and life, splashed in peony pink hues, and a vibrance as if kissed by the sun.
Give Kim a canvas, and she’ll go hard, laying colour upon colour to form beautiful, soulful paintings, each one showcasing bits of her personality.
I was fortunate enough to spend a morning with Kim in her gorgeous home in Fish Hoek on the Cape Peninsula. She lives and works in one of the most beautifully decorated and homely spaces I have ever seen.
She shares her home with her husband of 25 years, Brendanand 3 children, Adam (23), Isabella(20) and Olivia (16)and the cutest little Pomeranians, Pablo and Miró.
Kim is one of those beautiful souls that instantly make you feel at home, also making you feel like you have known her for ages, she carries the same vibrancy and warmth as her artworks.
Be inspired by Kim’s beautiful art and life below!
Tell us a little about your background – what path led you to becoming an artist, and to creating the style of work you are currently making?
I always loved art as a child and although I studied graphic design , I always came back to painting . I love the interiors of homes and so naturally I began to paint for my own home ( I could only afford my own artwork then) .
We have moved quite a bit in our lives as a family and I have always been able to take my skill with me . I love painting flowers and interiors as they instantly make a space more colourful and full of life.
How would you describe your work?
I’d say I’m a modern impressionist . My style is loose and “alive” - I don’t like anything too rigid.
Can you give us a little insight into your process? What materials do you use? Is each work pre-planned or created very intuitively? Do you work on multiple canvases or artworks at one time?
I work almost every day in my studio and have a few works in progress at the same time -it keeps it fresh for me and also because I work in oils, I need drying time in between . I love doing commissions for clients as they are very individual and often the clients send me pics of their home and I get to see pictures of their spaces and where the painting is going to hang .
What does a typical day at work involve for you?
A typical day for me is coffee first , then fruit for breakfast. After I’ve seen my youngest daughter off to school , I change into my paint clothes ( old pajama's full of paint ) and then put some music on (always music) or sometimes I listen to podcasts too .
I usually upload an image to Instagram and Facebook to keep current and then I start with either a commission which is due first or I experiment a bit on paper with some ideas that I have for future paintings. In between commission work, I feel free experimenting on my own new work as it’s important to keep learning.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get inspiration from literally everywhere!!!
I love going to new places in Cape Town...There is SO much inspiration around our Mother City.
Colour is probably the main element of inspiration for me as I adore seeing new unusual colours sitting together, giving a new feeling and emotional response to them.
I adore flowers and painting them, especially Peonies (my absolute favourite) give me such pleasure! The freedom of their curves and natural organic shapes and fullness inspire a free impressionistic style on my canvases . And the colours are plentiful -that’s the thing about nature - the more you look, the more you see!
I am always taking photos of things that inspire me and I have a friend and cousin who are florists and are always giving me beautiful images to paint.
Does your personal style relate back to your artwork in any way?
My personal style definitely relates back to my artwork. As I said, I adore colour - it instantly lifts your mood, so I have lots of colour in my wardrobe and because I love nature and organic shapes, I also enjoy wearing pattern too.
My home is an eclectic mix of different items I’ve collected over the years, and I believe different textures and layering of colour are just as important in my home as they are in my paintings.
Above all though, I want everyone that I interact with to feel at ease, to feel welcomed, and to feel inspired.
What's your best tip for balancing work and personal life?
My best tip for balancing work and personal life is to be very organised! Plan ahead and give yourself some flexibility if other things crop up unexpectedly. Because my studio is in my home, work is always there, so I have to be strict on myself and finish off and close the door and have good quality time with my family.
What’s one thing you really want to do, but have never done?
One thing I really want to do but have never done yet, is go to Tuscany!! But watch this space...It’s going to happen one of these days!
Advice you’d give to your younger self?
Advice to my younger self would be to NOT let fear stand in the way of pursuing opportunities. And although it’s important to be inspired and motivated to move forward comparison can rob you of joy!
Just focus on your own uniqueness, the world is big enough to accommodate YOU and what you bring to the table.
Three things every home should have?
- Original artwork for sure!!! It doesn’t have to be by anyone famous , but it’s value lies in that a real person put their hand and talents to that piece and there is such authenticity in that.
- Cushions!! You can never have too many (and don’t listen to what men say about that!) They add colour and softness to a home.
- Scented candles - there’s something so special about watching a candle glow and the beautiful fragrance it brings to the room after a busy day.
Your most prized possession?
My most prized possession is my wedding ring. It’s a constant reminder of the family I now have and how my husband and children are my ultimate “home “.