Katherine Nelson Artist Blog

New and Upcoming Projects, Exhibitions, Creative Process, Inspiration

Cakeway to the West with STL 250 Celebrating St. Louis' 250th Birthday

In January 2014 I responded to a "Call for Art" by the Regional Arts Commission to submit designs for STL250's Cakeway to the West, a public art celebration of St. Louis's 250th Birthday. The RAC committee selected four of my cake designs for the city celebration which are located at different landmarks.  These designs were inspired by my first impressions as a new resident artist of St. Louis.  All of the cake designs are painted onto a four foot fiberglass cake form.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. © 2014 Katherine Nelson Art. 

All four of Katherine Nelson's Cakes ready for delivery from the "Cake Shop" studio space in downtown St. Louis, MO

Landscape Cake

 My "Landscape Cake" began as a black and white line and texture drawing which I first fashioned into a 3D maquette in order to scale and compose the line design so that the drawing wraps around the model. I designed this cake to be most like my charcoal drawings in keeping with the flowing landscape lines I frequently draw in charcoal.  The cake has agricultural patterns which move over undulating hills typical of the outskirts of St. Louis. The  confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers are represented on the base of my cake.  The arch is on the horizon line, seen from the countryside, as  if a traveler approached the city from the outskirts. The spiral on the top of tier  and the wavy swirl pattern on the second tier represent our tornadoes. Landscape Cake is located at Pere Marquette Lodge, at Pere Marquette State Park.

Raven Cake

Raven Cake is inspired by the behavioral antics of ravens and the textures found in the city. The top tier depicts the inhabitants of our urban parks.  I have frequently drawn ravens in charcoal and continue to be fascinated with their profiles. I enjoy the bold impact of black and white with a touch of color in the design. I selected a Tiffany blue which I consider to be a color associated with celebrating life's monumental moments.  The Raven Cake is located at Jefferson Barracks State Historic Site South of St. Louis, Missouri.  The photo below taken at the "Cakeshop" workspace in downtown St. Louis depicts both Raven and Landscape cakes which are similar in color. A link to Jefferson Barracks State Historic Site is posted at the bottom of the page.

Lady Bug Cake

Lady Bug Cake is a very whimsical cake inspired by the smallest of creatures found in our city and my many visits to the Missouri Botanical Garden. The plant varieties, colors, and forms at the garden have inspired my drawings. Lady Bug Cake celebrates the joy of discovering a lady bug!   Lady Bug is sitting on a white spotted mushroom, which I admit, was inspired by it's reverse, which is a red mushroom with white spots.  I used a lot of black paint in my designs as the key color element to tie together the entire design and make a strong visual statement. Lady Bug Cake is located at the City of East St. Louis Municipal Building and the Offices of City of East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks.

Cardinal Cake     

Cardinal Cake is inspired by the spirit of  St. Louis and cultural sports icon's influence. The "Cardinal Culture" is obvious throughout the entire city of St. Louis!  Cardinals, baseball, team spirit, and of course, the abundant cardinal birds I watch at my feeder inspired me to paint The Cardinal Cake © 2014. It is a "statement piece" about this city.  When I moved to St. Louis my first impressions of the city were influenced by the Cardinals team and their fan's spirit which makes an enormous impact on the St. Louis culture.  Photo credit: William Greenblatt/UPI.

Artist Katherine Nelson leans against "Cardinal Cake" at Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri, USA  Photo: William Greenblatt/UPI.