The Art Shop: Katy Daniels

The Art Shop is a new series highlighting the community of emerging artists represented at
The Untamed Square, a Female Online Art Collective as well as independent female artists that we love!

Welcome Katy Daniels to The Art Shop!
If you had told me two years ago that in the midst of a crazy pandemic I would not only launch my business but also connect with an amazing art collective start-up, I would not have believed you for a moment!

Katy, her husband, and their two girls currently call Fernandina Beach, FL home.
A textile artist who has been both educator and artist, founded The Untamed Square while the Air Force stationed their family in Guam.

Asking about her passion for art, interiors and current favorite piece of work, I was reminded of the true love for creating and community that Katy has developed within The Untamed Square and beyond – so grab a glass of sweet tea and let’s settle in with Katy Daniels.

Bee: “Let’s start with what inspires you, Katy.
How do you translate inspiration into a painting the way you do?

Katy: “Honestly, so many things! Nature is and has been my first inspiration.
Surprisingly I am not a green thumb but I adore flowers and fresh botanicals. The science behind nature, the way things grow, form, and arrange themselves to be a beautiful flower or natural bouquet fascinates me. Trying to recreate that in my Aestivation series is the basis of my obsession with nature. 
Other creatives inspire me. This community of creative people doing, seeing, and making inspires me on my worst days. When I lack motivation or inspiration I draw my energy from them. See what they do, how they create and learn. I am a lifelong learner, so I always try to pull information constantly to learn more about others, myself, creating and so on.

Bee: “Let us in on your creative process, what intentionality do you bring to the easel?”

Katy: “After I have a concept I first sketch. I allow myself time to deepen my understanding of whatever piece I am working on through sketching. Once I find my favorite composition I move it to my final medium. 
I am a textile artist so creating textures and patterns are very important in everything I do. I am currently working with sculpture paint. A heavy body paint medium with more substance to hold its form. I love paint piping, so I work on my final piece using piping and a pallet knife in innovative ways. I have learned my technique from cake decorating. I love baking and decorating, but after my husband was diagnosed with diabetes a year ago I stopped making so many sweets.  I transferred my piping and icing décor obsession into sculpture painting. I love the idea that these “yummy” textural beautiful things can be something that won’t be forgotten.” 

If you haven’t yet seen these beautiful confections, you’re missing out! They’re mouthwateringly good and can be found on Katy’s artist site. At first glance, I wondered what made Katy delve into these unique pieces, but after hearing it was a way to transfer her skills from her husband’s diabetes diagnosis – it all made sense! Katy is a lady of many talents, from sewing and costuming to cake decorating, she does it all!

Bee: “Inside your own home, how would you describe your interior design style?”

Katy: “As a military spouse, I move a lot. Like a lot. So, due to the occupational hazard of constantly moving, I would say my style is a blend of transitional and minimalist. I love the clean lines and simplicity of minimalism. I also love the eclectic combinations transitional styles offer.”

Bee: What would you say is your current favorite work of art that you’ve painted?
And tell us the story behind it please.”

Katy: “There are two pieces that come to mind. 
The first is “Asteaviation I” a mixed media 24 X 24 custom framed piece that was the beginning of my series. I worked with clay and paint, and wood. I learned so much about the different mediums.
But I made so many memories with my family. As I worked with the clay, I gave some to my little girls too, and we worked together. That was the first time they really saw me as an artist. As a woman doing something she loved. Reflecting back on those moments of making that piece, I can’t help but be happy to remember getting messy with them. Watching them create, and them watching (and copying) me. 

The Second is an untitled piece, still a work in progress, of my husband lacing up his boots. I love taking photos, but don’t normally use them as references, I rather like using actual physical things to reference. Anyways, I was looking through my photos one day and saw a few my daughter took of a normal morning we all had. Everyone is getting ready for work, school, and eating breakfast. This oddly cropped photo of my husband lacing his shoes spoke to me. I loved the colors and lighting but I loved the symbolism. This little moment where he was about to leave for work has so much meaning in how our life and family function. It happened to be the day we found out he would be deployed for a year. So, this simple image became this symbol of military life for me. As a way to process what our life is, this constant stop and go, never knowing until it happens, I began painting this image. I have this habit when I am creating for someone, that I think about them. Needless to say I have channeled a lot of thoughts, love, and emotions into this one little 9 X 12 painting of my husband randomly lacing up his boots.

As a military spouse myself, I can say that meeting Katy when I did was truly a “God-thing”. We have been able to support and encourage one another, diving deep into our creative businesses when life gets heavy and share the burden when the military decides you’re moving. Thank you so much Katy (and co-founder Jan Daniels) for inviting me into your dream for The Untamed Square. I’m continually inspired by you and the talented artists we work alongside.

Don’t forget to check out Katy’s work at The Untamed Square, and just in time for holiday season – a limited time Pop-Up Print Shop is happening now over at The Untamed Square.


Brittany “Bee” Zimmerman

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