Artistic dreams

Katie Gamble pursues her passion with oils, murals

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By Caroline Russell
For Blount Today

For all those who have wondered what it would be like to follow a dream, Katie Gamble is an example. The Maryville High
School graduate did more than wonder. She worked her dream and is making it happen.

The Maryville resident graduated from Western Carolina University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. After working with her parents at a local car lot, she got her business license in 2000 and opened Lady of the Earth Studios, a fine arts studio located behind her home in Maryville.

Gamble specializes in murals, original oil paintings and also does commission work. Although the artist says she loves all forms of art, oil paintings are her passion with mural work being her side-job. One of her more popular murals, "The History of the Little River," is in a very public venue, painted on the back side of Amburn’s Market on Church Street in downtown Maryville.

For large murals, such as the one on Amburn’s Market, Gamble creates a grid and then free-hands shapes into each square on the grid to make sure that every detail is to scale. She mixes her colors on site to compensate for changing light. "My work is very classic impressionism with a contemporary feel," Gamble says.

With eight generations of her family residing in this mountain region, Gamble’s heritage is very important to her, and she specializes in the landscapes of the mountain.

"I want people to recognize me as a regional artist," Gamble says. "My paintings are my legacy."

Although Gamble loves oil painting, commissioned work puts food on the table. Gamble visits where her work will be to get a feel for the space and the client. She then goes over different concepts with the client, signs a business contract to protect herself and the client, and begins work. Commissioned work, depending on the size and the detail of the piece, usually takes a few weeks to complete. Gamble has painted everything from children’s bedrooms to doctors’ offices.

Gamble is a member of the Art and Culture Alliance in Knoxville and also a charter member of Fine Arts Blount. As a member of these organizations, Gamble has the opportunity to show her work at different galleries across the city. Currently, her work is being shown at Three Flights Up Gallery located in downtown Knoxville on Gay Street. Her art is also on display at the World Grotto studio in Market Square and Shady Grove Gallery in Dandridge.

Her clients are located all across the Southeast, from Florida to Georgia and South Carolina. Most of her business comes from her website and from word-of-mouth from other clients.

Gamble says she has overcome all of the stereotyping that comes with being an artist. Through passion and intensity she is living her dream. "Being told that you can’t do something is a great incentive to get out there and do it," says Gamble.

To see more of Gamble’s work, visit www. lady-of-the-earth.com, or call 865-740-1169.

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