Saturday, June 6, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 14

Santa Maria Sun / Art

The following article was posted on December 5th, 2018, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 19, Issue 40 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 19, Issue 40

Flying Goat Winery hosts Katie Marie solo show

By Rebecca Rose

Patrons of Flying Goat Cellars tasting room in Lompoc might spot a familiar name behind the new artwork that's currently featured on the walls.

Katie Marie, artist and surfer, works part time in the winery, which is known as a forum for local artists to display their artwork. Marie's work will be highlighted in a solo show at Flying Goat Cellars (owned by Kate Griffith and Norman Yost) running through Dec. 31.  

It's another wave in the career of Marie, who has allowed her artistic path to be as fluid and free as the ocean waters she spends much of her time in.

"I always was just fascinated by color and design and pretty things when I was young," she said. "I wanted to know how to make them."

Marie's mother recognized her daughter's and talent and potential and encouraged the young girl to pursue art. She bought her supplies, books, and anything that helped her along the way. Marie grew up in Utah, an environment that wasn't always conducive to the budding spirit of a young artist. 

"Growing up I was always a bit of a black sheep in Utah," she said. "My family isn't really a religious family, ... so I kind of always felt like I didn't fit in."

Katie Marie’s artwork incorporates many elements of her love of the ocean and surfing. She said learning to surf and becoming part of a thriving community of surfers helped her find her voice as an artist.

When she started painting nudes, for example, she said people around her were shocked and thought something was wrong. She knew she didn't want to spend her life in Utah. She was infatuated with the ocean, despite never having seen it in person, and California's sprawling beaches and coastlines called to her.

She moved to Lompoc after high school in 2009 and hasn't moved since. Like most young artists, her work took a back seat while she tried to forge a life and career. 

"Some of the things I wanted to do required some space for me," she said. "And I just didn't have it. So things got put in boxes, and it got put on hold for a few years."

A few years later, after a divorce, she thought it was time to revisit. Living her life the way she had been, she explained, wasn't making her happy. She decided to use her artwork as a motivational tool and began to pull her supplies out of the boxes.

But it wasn't just art that was a transformative aspect of Marie's life. Surfing played a major role not just in her daily life but also in her artwork. She started surfing with a few friends from work, a day she describes as comically catastrophic.

"At first I was kind of afraid of the ocean," she said. "But then I tried it and I was addicted. I didn't really 'surf,' the first time. No one does. I got thrashed around."

To anyone else it probably looked miserable. But Marie was determined to master the sport. The next day she bought a wetsuit and promised herself she would get good at it.

A community forum led her to the Salt Water Divas, a network of women from all walks of life bound by their passion for surfing. Marie said surfing quickly became an inspiration for her art.

Flying Goat Cellars features the artwork of Katie Marie, a surfer and artist who works at the winery. Marie’s artwork features her unique interpretations of nature such as the ocean and surrounding vistas.

"With painting being so fluid and water being so fluid, that's how I made that connection," she explained. "With surfing, you're under water a lot. There are different colors and the light is coming through ... there's all this chaos happening."

The convergence of the fear of being trapped underwater with the overwhelming beauty of the scene is what makes so much of Marie's artwork distinct. She has a firm grasp on color and light, while being able to capture the chaos of spinning into the abyss of an infinite ocean. 

"It can be calm and pretty and shimmery and blue," she said. "But other times it is black and frightening. The power of the ocean is a humbling thing. You have to respect it."

Her preferred medium at the moment is acrylic, and she tends to approach each piece with a simple idea, such as a color palette or a shape she wants to create. Marie said her pieces never turn out the way she initially envisions them because she prefers to let her work take a more organic path.

"You have to lose that sense of control that people tend to want to hold on to," she said. "With the fluid art, you really don't have control as much as you think you do. That's what makes it so relaxing."

As a local and emerging artist, Marie said she's thankful for non-conventional arenas such as wineries for giving space to her and others like her. 

"I love that wineries want to take on local artists and put on exhibits," she said. "It feels like more of a community, where people help each other and promote each other. I think it's fantastic." 

Arts and Lifestyle Writer Rebecca Rose is washed up. Contact her at

Weekly Poll
What do you think about Aera Energy canceling its project in Cat Canyon?

It's a victory for the environment!
It's a loss of a lot of potential jobs that are needed in North County.
I'm all for renewable energy, but we still need oil and gas.
The county should never approve another oil and gas project.

| Poll Results

My 805 Tix - Tickets to upcoming events