My name is Kathryn Field and my business is Field Fine Art.
How did you get to Sandwich, NH?
Sandwich became my home full time in 1999 when my late husband Philip Simmons and I moved here from Chicago. His family had a home here since 1961 and I first visited Sandwich in 1984. We were both teaching at Lake Forest College in Illinois and Rich Benton, Phil’s childhood friend, built our home on land next door to Phil’s parent’s home on Taylor Road in 1992. We called ourselves contemporary nomads and moved back and forth from Chicago as our academic calendar allowed, until 1999 when we moved here permanently with our two children, Aaron and Amelia.
I taught as an adjunct faculty member at Plymouth State University for a number of years and spent 11 years teaching art at Holderness School. Leo Dwyer, my creative partner, husband and best friend moved from Sunapee a few years after we started dating. We married after a long courtship and many of you know him as one of our selectmen for 5 years. We are both active members of our community and think living in Sandwich is the best place in the world to call home.
I have been immersed in artmaking since childhood and started teaching at the University level after graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I have always been interested in teaching all levels of art. In graduate school I got my start teaching children’s art classes. Throughout my career as a professor I continued to produce my own sculpture works and eventually moved into painting.
Tell us about your business. What do you make, do, or offer as a service?
I started my business Field Fine Art in 2015. It is a professional teaching studio and practicing art space. The business functions on three levels. First, as a teaching studio. I want to provide a space for people to explore their creativity and learn new skills. Second, as a showroom/gallery space where I meet with clients to show them the range of my sculpture or painting works—models of completed commissions and works in process.
And third, it is where I do my work. When not teaching or meeting with clients, I am a full-time practicing artist, painting and creating sculpture. My work is represented by Patricia Ladd Carega Gallery in Sandwich.
Teaching people and guiding them to see the possibility of integrating creativity with their lives is the most thrilling and satisfying aspect of the job. Having students return year after year and sharing in their enjoyment of working in the studio space and sharing ideas with others is most gratifying. Students range in age from 4 to 93 and every age brings a new and different perspective to the art process.
The final drawings were done with paper and pencil, then photographed and worked on in Adobe illustrator, turning the drawings into a vector format which then go to the fabricator. Once the pieces are laser cut I work in the shop with the fabricator on shaping and bending the pieces until it is finished. This part of the process is also a collaboration of several people, that’s what makes it so gratifying.
The three paintings below were created for an exhibition titled Sandwiched in Seasons, exhibited last summer at Patricia Ladd Carega Gallery in Sandwich. The inspiration for each of these paintings were from daily walks I take in our town and an exploration of the seasons. I always have my camera on my walks and there is an endless source of imagery in our own backyards.The scale of my paintings range from small intimate landscapes to large 3ft. x 6ft. canvases.
As an artist the hardest aspect of running a small business is marketing and selling the work. That is a necessary and important aspect of the job but one I do not relish. Making art takes one set of skills and I am passionate about that aspect of the business, but marketing takes a skill that challenges me. That is why I am most grateful to the SBG and Janina Lamb for creating this opportunity for members like me to introduce ourselves to a larger community.
What has happened to your business in this last Covid year?
All classes in the studio were cancelled during Covid. I did some online teaching using zoom but primarily taught private classes to one student at a time wearing masks in a large open classroom space. I had been teaching art to the inmates at the Belknap County Department of Corrections and that had to be put on hold during Covid. The sculpture production was impacted by the cost of materials increasing and not always being available. But happily, my group classes will resume this July in the studio and at the Sandwich Home Industries where I also teach.
Now that Covid is behind us, I look forward to holding classes in the studio year-round. I am offering three new classes this summer—Material Madness, Making Cards, and Open Studio Practice—in addition to the range of painting and drawing classes that I have offered in the past. My flower and vegetable gardens will be in full bloom providing great inspiration for painting and drawing outside.
I welcome commissions large and small, for gardens, homes, and parks. I am really excited to see the newest sculpture commission placed in Betsy’s Park in Holderness. Betsy’s Park will be a great gathering place for people to enjoy the beauty of our area, throughout the seasons.
I enjoy working with others to enrich our community especially in the area of the visual arts and education. I serve on the board of the Yeomans’ Fund for the Arts and The Sandwich Home Industries. Both organizations strive to bring creative educational opportunities to our community. I am a hiker, avid gardener, and enjoy being outdoors as much as possible.