Katrina Meyner – “A Landlocked Islander”

Katrina Meyner is a Trinidadian painter. She is scheduled to have her first exhibition in Botswana at Sanitas Tea Garden on the 5th of December. The exhibition will be entitled “A Landlocked Islander” in reference to her Caribbean origins.

Meyner described her inspiration to paint as arising from a young age, influenced by Trinidad and Tobago’s rich and diverse culture. She went on to become a teacher after art school. The colors of the Caribbean have influenced her, and she describes color as being a major part of her work.

Speaking of her process, Meyner mentions that she generally starts with her own photographs to guide her painting. She advises to artists not to use other people’s photographs and to train their eyes and brain to capture the initial moment. After sketching she likes to add a watercolor wash, even though I use acrylics. She then adds the details and values and emphasizes the colors.

Doing close up of objects is one of her favorite themes, although she paints a bit of everything. She enjoys blending vivid Caribbean colors with Botswana’s wide and open landscapes and the blue skies. Commenting on Botswana’s art scene, Meyner says that Botswana’s art scene seems to be a bit more focused on certain topics and is a bit smaller than that of Trinidad and Tobago.

Meyner says “I am also new to the Art scene here and would like to learn and see more, so it is a bit hard to compare. Although I have been here two years, having a baby and Covid-19, has kept me indoors a bit more than usual.”

Meyner was a secondary school teacher for 15 years and in that period taught in India for 2 years. She says that teaching constantly exposes artists to new impressions, different techniques, media, approaches and point of views adding, “Over the years, I would from time to time, change my style to try different experiments. Many times, you become a student yourself, while being a teacher.”

Meyner says that like most industries, Covid-19 has had an impact on art with fewer events and thus less exposure for artists. Meyner acknowledges the introduction of the virtual art exhibition popularized in the time of Lockdowns. Speaking on the business side of art Meyner say, “Generally, artists have to be creative and find a way to show their work to the public. It does become a bit more challenging for sales. Unfortunately, Covid-19 has impacted on all walks of life and we all have to slowly adjust.”

Meyner’s art is constantly evolving and she says about her art “I have to admit I am not always consistent and probably most artists will agree. It is very difficult to produce pieces that reach a certain standard every time, but you will see as time goes on. Consistency for me is the drive to evolve. My advice to upcoming artists would be, to not to think that your style or technique has completely evolved yet, keep experimenting.”

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