Oct 25

Fall into Inspiration! Scarecrows, Sunflowers, Pumpkins, oh my!

My family and I went to a local pumpkin patch with some friends this past weekend.  It was wonderful and full of so much inspiration that I wanted to share it all with you!

In Southern California we typically don’t get a lot of rain this time of year, but on this particular day the rain gods smiled on us and the skies were dark with clouds and there was a cool crisp wind blowing.  The scarecrows in “Scarecrow Alley” were marvelous. Most were done by local groups ranging in age (children to adult).  A few were SO creepy my friend and I swore they were going to come to life and jump out at us.  It is always fun to see how creative people can be, especially when it comes to ephemeral art.  Enjoy!

I wish you a Happy Fall & a Spooky Halloween!

Oct 06

Every day should be a Pumpkin Day!

I have wonderful friends and they all know that I absolutely LOVE pumpkins!  It’s a good thing that my birthday falls in the Fall.  When my “big day” rolls around the special treats I receive all seem to revolve around pumpkins, Autumn, and Halloween ~  and I couldn’t be happier about that.  Above is a special coffee cake (really more like an unbelievably rich and delicious regular cake, but since this celebration took place in the morning we justified it by calling it a ‘coffee cake’).  This masterpiece was lovingly made by my friend Mary.  It had two layers – lemon spice on the top and pumpkin spice on the bottom, with yummy frosting in between and all around. It was incredible!  I wanted to share this photo with you because it not only brightened my birthday breakfast, but  it has inspired me to create some more pumpkin art.  Maybe a pumpkin cake?  We’ll see.  I’ll keep you posted.

This image reminds me, however, that everyone has a crazy little obsession about something.  For me it’s pumpkins. I love their color(s), the many varieties you can buy – from Ghost, to Sugar, to warty, to smooth, and their varied shapes and sizes.  In every way the pumpkin is the most perfect vegetable in my book (next to the most perfect fruit – the apple, but that’s another blog post).  My love for searching out fun pumpkin, Fall, and Halloween things to buy in the stores is what originally started my interest in Art Licensing and being an artist who creates art for products.  I didn’t know at the time what Art Licensing was, that came later, but I knew that I could create images for products that would be attractive to buyers like me who shared the same love for this special time of year.  Of course I don’t only create pumpkin and Fall themed art, but what that one obsession did was allow me to find my way into the Art Licensing world.  All from a simple little pumpkin. :0)

As a special Pumpkin-time and October gift to you I’m including my ever-popular-with-my-family “Pumpkin Fondue” recipe.  It is usually the meal I serve on October 1st and was inspired by my friend Hillary, who fixed it many Halloween moons ago.  I hope you enjoy it.  I also hope you have some fun buying a few, or maybe 35, pumpkins in the next few weeks!   Happy Fall!


1 small pumpkin (about 10″ or 4 lb), hollowed, cleaned, and coated on the inside with canola oil

1 T – butter

2 T – flour

2 cloves garlic minced

8 oz. baby swiss cheese shredded

2 oz. mozzarella cheese shredded

1 pint half & half or milk (the half & half is richer but you can go lite with reg. milk)

1/2 cup white wine (optional)

1 t – kosher salt

1/2  t – ground pepper

1/2 t – nutmeg

French or Sourdough Bread, cubed – for dipping

In a medium pot melt  1 T of butter and add 2 T of flour to make a roux.  Add garlic, and then milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir well.  Cook on medium heat, slowly adding handfuls of cheese.  When everything is melted  stir in wine (if you want) and cook for a few minutes longer.  *If you find that you need more liquid just add a little milk until it is a smooth but thick fondue consistency. Pour melted fondue inside prepared pumpkin. Put pumpkin lid back on top and wrap the entire pumpkin in aluminum foil.  Place on a rimmed tray and put in oven.  Bake at 350 for about 1 hour, or as long as you want until you’re ready to eat (if you go past 1 1/2 hours turn down the oven to 250 degrees).  I like to bake it longer to get the smokey pumpkin flavor in the fondue.

When you’re ready to serve, unwrap the pumpkin and place it on a pretty plate and put in the center of your table.  It will stay hot for the course of the meal (no candles required).  Put out bowls of the cubed bread and enjoy!

* You can vary the cheeses if you want.  I have been known to use gruyere cheese only, which is REALLY good.   I just recommend you stick to the white cheeses because they seem to go best with the pumpkin.

Sep 20

Plumeria Post!

Finding inspiration is easy when you’re in Hawaii.  I love plumerias and this photo I took has made its way into many pieces of my work.  My collection “Nohea’s Plumeria” is named after my sister in law, Nohealani, who loves plumerias as much as I do -maybe even more.  I painted the original plumeria images to be used for her wedding and it has grown to become one of my favorite floral collections.  Whenever I find myself feeling a little overwhelmed by the world I pull this photo up  and remind myself how sweet the smell of these flowers are.  I hope they bring a little fragrance to your day as well. :0)

Sep 20

“Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder”

Welcome to Kate Pitner Designs and my first ever blog post!  I decided to kick off my blogging experience with this picture I took.  I love how this image boldly reflects the phrase  ‘beauty and the beast’ and the idea that beauty is found in the eye of the beholder.  This garden “ornament” can be considered as beautiful as any other planter box, it’s just the perspective you see it from.  As an artist I have to remind myself of this daily.

I have been working in art for many years, most recently in art licensing. It is both an exciting and difficult world to be in, but so far the perks outweigh the perils (which is good). As an artist I need to always be aware of what is going on in the world of art – both past and present, watch for future trends, and be open to change.  Sometimes, however, it is tempting to conform to what has already been done, and what is ‘working’ now.  That way of thinking can become a trap that weighs at an artist’s core because when you conform to what you think the world wants it often leaves you feeling late to the party and not dressed appropriately.  That is why I love this photo – it  reminds me that I need to keep creating art from my heart and from my own perspective.  It also reminds me not to judge other works of art if my viewpoint is different than that of the artist.  Art is expression in its most beautiful sense.  It is a universal language that I feel blessed to be able to communicate in.

So, as I venture into this new world of blogging, “cheers to you” and “cheers to me”!  Here’s to success and artful beginnings, and maybe even seeing the beauty in a potty filled with flowers! :0)

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