New works from Kate Taylor at the Martha’s Vineyard Bank in Chilmark

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Time stands still when Kate Taylor paints.

That’s how the artist, 73, described her process ahead of her show at the Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank in Chilmark. Through her oil-on-canvas works, Taylor captures the dreamy Vineyard landscapes that stop so many of us in our tracks. Her paintings will be on view through July 26, with an opening reception on Friday, July 14, from 5:30 to 7 pm. The show, her second solo stint at the Chilmark bank, will exhibit about a dozen works painted over the past year.

Taylor has lived on the Island full-time since 1969, and comes from a family of artists and musicians. Also known for her music and songwriting (“Sister Kate,” “Beautiful Road,” “Why Wait!”), it wasn’t until 2011 that she first picked up a paintbrush, at the encouragement of a family friend.

“I didn’t have any idea it would be something I would enjoy,” Taylor told the Times. “I ended up being really drawn to it.”

Taylor prefers to paint in plein air, and then takes her work back home to finish it. Her colorful canvases capture mundane Vineyard moments that are simultaneously breathtaking: the stop sign at the end of an up-Island road; the light hitting a farmhouse at the top of a hill; the pinks and purples that reflect off Menemsha waters after the sun sets.

“My mom always told me to paint what you love,” Taylor said. “So that’s pretty much what I do.”

Taylor tries to recreate scenes she “has great affinity for,” but admits it’s a daunting task.

“The audacity to try to recreate the beauty we have around here? I appreciate trying,” Taylor said.

When she works, Taylor said, she often taps into the advice of her mother and grandmother, both artists she admires.

“My mother also encouraged me to think about color,” Taylor said. “Here we are.”

Taylor finds time to paint whenever she can, and when she does, “time just melts away.” Her painting process is one she “falls into,” she said.

In addition to music and painting, Taylor also makes shell art. She said all three art forms — though very different from one another — stem from the same source of creativity.

“It’s a different set of muscles, but the creation of art — whether it’s music or painting or making things out of shell — the inspirations come from the same place,” Taylor said.

Taylor likened seeing her paintings in other people’s homes to hearing her music on the radio for the first time.

“It gives it a whole other perspective to see it in someone else’s environment,” Taylor said. “It’s like when you make a record or a song, and you turn on the radio and it’s on the radio. It’s a thrill.”

For more information on Kate Taylor’s paintings, visit katetaylor.com/painting. The show takes place at the Martha’s Vineyard Bank at 517 South St. in Chilmark through July 26, with an opening reception on July 14 from 5:30 to 7 pm.

 

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