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Meet Katrina Madsen Berg

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katrina Madsen Berg.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I have always loved creating and designing… from a young age, I thought I’d be an architect and received a degree in landscape architecture. My husband and I live in a modern but quirky concrete home. We have five children: 4 boys (including twins) and one daughter. Our life is busy and full. As a family, we saved up for a year so we could spend a month together with this Spring in Southwest of France. We had a blast learning and playing together, and I brought back new work I painted while we were there.

I’ve endured some really hard things: a rare bone disease where I wore “Forrest Gump” leg braces & spent most of my childhood in & out of doctor’s offices & hospitals for reconstructive surgeries. I was sexually abused as a kid & later sexually assaulted in college. I know too well that life is rarely easy and jolly, but savoring the sweet moments gives us the strength we need to find peace, growth, and fulfillment along our journey. Painting has lifted me through hard times and has given me the chance to do the same for others.

Please tell us about your art.
My candy-colored oil paintings are a celebration of those sweet moments in between the hard and unsavory. Thick strokes with my brush & palette knife sparkle like pieces of stained glass. Unlike most artists, I want my artwork to be touched. The thick yummy paint can make the experience so much more personal. With five kiddos in and out of my studio, each piece has been carefully varnished & made as durable as possible. I paint only on wood…I achieve the most shine and color intensity that way.

As a landscape designer and planner, my job was to create outdoor rooms & connect larger spaces and places. As an artist, my desire is to bring the “outside in” by painting the natural world around me: the views from our windows, the deer, flowers & birds in our yard and neighboring fields. I love mixing all my favorite things…a floral still life with birds, bees & butterflies perched on their stems & branches.

As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
Success can be so personal. For me, it became a choice. I learned quickly that I couldn’t do “all the things.” Instead, I had to carefully choose what was most important for me as an artist to pursue amidst my desires as a wife, mother & friend. I had to learn to “give up” so many things to achieve my desired success: teaching my kids to do so many things for themselves so I could have more time to paint (doing their own laundry, being ok when they choose to cook pasta or chicken nuggets on their dinner night…being ok with an imperfectly clean home as they learn). I also had to “give up” doing everything at 100% in my business practice (my kids tagging & packaging products in the studio and gessoing my boards, letting my kids do my IG & email videos and photos, as well as hiring a studio manager to run my marketing, website, edit my podcast, etc.)

Letting much of my life and business operate at 85% has allowed me to do just a few things at 100% (time to paint, serve my people & collectors better, and make better connections with them). Small, deliberate choices and acceptance of the less-than-perfect has become my key to success.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work? is the best place to see my work. There you can sign up for my email list, where I send out exhibition info and release new work & products. You’ll find original paintings (including my latest French Series) to purchase, as well as my “candy-colored box subscription.” Every other month, beautiful products printed with my original artwork appear at your door (silk skirts, leggings, purses, clutch, linens, prints, notecards, aprons, etc.). Each box ($40) is curated with the season in mind and full of yummy candy-colored goodness.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition, please let us know here.

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