Quack, Quack! An Interview with Kim Abraham
The Visual Artist Talks All Things Duck & Her Book Some Days Some Times
By Bridney C.
New London-based visual artist, illustrator, and author, Kim Abraham works with mostly acrylic, pastel, and painting on collaged textures. She is attracted to bright colors and enjoys blending colors that “vibrate” in her work.
She enjoys painting animals and flowers, noting that they draw her attention more than anything else. Her painting, Love Peace Pax Amor features sea otters and was derived from a deep feeling of love and appreciation for her friends and family at the beginning of the pandemic. She photographed the painting in stages as she made it, so she could explain the creative process to herself.
"I was really trying to stay positive and I photographed the painting in stages as I made it so that I could explain my process to myself."
She photographed the painting in stages as she made it, so she could explain the creative process to herself.
Her book, Some Days Some Times, written and illustrated by her, was recently showcased at Hygienic Art for their Art=Gift 2021 show. Kim says she has always wanted to write and publish her books. She has written poetry and done some illustrations for personal and therapeutic use.
“I have written some children’s books previously that never made it to being finished.” Some Days Some Times began as a project to keep herself busy during the COVID-19 quarantine of 2020. She headed into her studio every morning to make a painting of a place she traveled to or never been to, centered around a duck.
Her first duck painting was created in 2002. The duck painting came from a book, Straight Man, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Richard Russo. She brought the duck painting to a book signing where the author commented, “this is unusual.”
She says she is not necessarily in love with ducks, she just loves that duck. According to Kim, the duck displays a certain attitude and solitary nature. The book was inspired by places she would love to travel to or places she’s visited where the duck takes the journey.
“The duck could be anyone, and it has no race, gender, class, or material possessions. It has freedom,” says Kim.
Raised in Old Lyme, Connecticut - at age 4, Kim realized that she wanted to be an artist and noticed she possessed inner creativity. She loved to draw, paint, and make puppets and installations.
Her mother was not on board with the idea because it would not make enough profit as a career. “So I told her that I would become a poet instead,” says Kim. Her grandfather was trained as an artist in Italy, and came to the United States to work as a stonecutter, and encouraged her artistic side.
Kim excelled in school and was encouraged towards academics instead of art. She kept her art talent hidden and became a preschool teacher. Kim facilitated and organized arts and crafts projects for the children every day.
She used to also redecorate her home by recovering furniture and painting walls inside the family home. One of the first painting fascinations she discovered was painting pictures of room interiors.
She took her first formal art class with Professor Martha Wakeman while obtaining her Master’s Degree in Education at Connecticut College. The class was designed to teach future teachers about different mediums, drawing, painting, to name a few.
Citing the course as one of the best things she has ever done, Kim attended her first Salon des Independants show at the El ‘N’ Gee while the Hygienic building was under construction. Attending the exhibition motivated her into creating art and expressing her inner talent.
“I was so amazed at all of the people putting up their art, and really putting themselves out there, regardless of how fabulous or talented they were,” says Kim noting that she previously thought to be deemed a visual artist, you must receive training from a school or mentor.
In 2009, Kim was allowed to reside and work at the Hygienic, realizing that she could focus on selling and making art. Citing the experience as a miracle, she thrived as both a human being and artist - noting the highlight was participating in art exhibitions and community shows.
“I would say that I am mostly self-taught, but I have had a lot of help from local artists. Friends have helped me look at art to understand what I like about it,” says Kim. She also notes that people have pointed out strengths and weaknesses in her work - something she is grateful for.
Kim Abraham is currently working on a show for late Spring of 2022 into the early Summer. As of yet, there is no theme or collaborators, but she will expect the show to fall under the category of places she would like to visit.
For commissions, contact Kim Abraham via Facebook.