Katie Bjorling: Florals and More

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Even as a little girl, I was always trying to sneak outside,” Bjorling says. In her ideal universe, everyone would devote their time and attention to the outdoors and no leaf or tree or tiny flower would go unnoticed or unloved. Like many other artists before her, Bjorling draws deeply from nature and allows it to be her guiding force in each creation she puts forth. In this way, it’s as if the world is painting itself through her—all she has to do is pick up her brush.

Bjorling’s work ranges from detailed, picturesque images of doors to intricate doodles to lovely snapshots of flora and fauna. Throughout it all, there is a sense of the stillness and pure, radiating peace that comes from spending time outdoors. Bjorling is able to represent this both in bursting colors and in softer, muted palates. When asked about her artistic process, she gives a simple yet thorough response: “Nature inspires me, and it always has.”

In addition to painting and drawing, Bjorling also dabbles in digital photography. The gallery on her website features a collection of vibrant snaps collected from her travels and extensive time spent hiking, skiing and playing in the water. Through this medium, Bjorling expresses the burst of fresh air in one’s lungs after reaching the peak of a hike and the resounding peacefulness of a Utah sunset. It’s a bit more straightforward than some of her art pieces, but equally as captivating.

Katie Bjorling
Katie Bjorling, Untitled (sego lilies). Watercolor and ink.

As a young person, Bjorling was interested in creativity, but she didn’t quite have an outlet that captured her. She says, “I didn’t get really serious and start to really love art until I was required to take an art class in high school and realized that it was something I was good at and loved doing.” After that, Bjorling continued on in private lessons and eventually chose Art and Visual Communications as her degree, which she is currently finishing at Utah Valley University. On a typical school day, she spends 10-plus hours on art—whether it’s brainstorming, physically creating or participating in critiques. “I’m doing art constantly,” Bjorling says.

Though quite painterly, Bjorling has a handful of mediums in her repertoire and doesn’t favor one over the other. Rather, she allows for all channels to be open and is then able to create freely depending on her mood. In addition to watercolor, she also enjoys pen and ink, abstract and even photography. If Bjorling were a tree, she would have a cluster of beautiful branches all reaching out for more light and inspiration. She views herself as an artist with room to grow, though she’s not concerned with which direction. For her, the joy is in stepping outside and being able to translate the grace and magnitude of this infinite Earth into a piece that others can absorb.

Bjorling will participate in the Craft Lake City DIY Festival for the first time this year and is excited, if not a bit nervous, to put herself out there. As a fairly new artist in the professional realm, she is looking forward to gaining confidence and hopefully attracting interested art enthusiasts at the festival. “Being in art school, you learn to feed off of other artists and help each other grow by seeing each other’s work,” she says. “I think it will be a cool experience to see what other people are doing to draw inspiration from, as well as to unify together as a group of local artists.” You can expect a visual representation of Bjorling’s range of talents at her booth, though she’s most excited about sharing her recent floral paintings, which are summery vignettes of bright colors that often include a bit of lettering as well.

Among the hundreds of other artists that will be participating at the DIY Fest this year, Bjorling brings a uniquely fresh perspective and is looking to gain confidence, make new friends and be a part of a thriving community. “Becoming one with nature is my big thing, but I also care about appreciating what’s around you,” she says. “I hope that if someone looks at my art, they feel a sense of happiness.” As she continues to surround herself with trees, lakes, mountains and flowers, Bjorling radiates a sense of calmness and happy-go-luckiness that makes her art approachable and genuine. She’s not sure where exactly she wants to end up in her art career, but for now, she’s content to let the path create itself as she goes along.

You can admire Bjorling’s art via her website, katierowley25.wix.com/utahartist, or come visit her in person at the year’s Craft Lake City DIY Festival, Aug. 12–14 at the Gallivan Center.