Surrounded by artistic inspiration from a very early age, Kate Salenfriend learned most of her technical skills from her great-grandfather, Stewart Robertson, the registered California portrait painter, who began teaching her while she was still just a toddler. Growing up in the agricultural San Joaquin Valley, Salenfriend developed a deep and lasting connection to the land around her, along with a sensitivity to the time of day, season, and atmosphere. The resulting alchemy from her experiences of the California landscape, her solid connection to the environment around her, and her own artistic point of view, gave rise to her first professional work, the now highly-collected series of Cypress trees, “Order from Chaos.”
Kate Salenfriend's works have been exhibited widely throughout the Napa Valley, including the collections of Francis Ford Coppola Winery (formerly Chateau Souverain), Darioush, Skipstone Ranch, Bouchaine Vineyards, the Getty Family Trust, and can be found in the public and private corridors of Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA, as well as being widely collected throughout the United States.
Completely at home in the Napa Valley, where art and nature abound, Salenfriend’s interpretation of the natural world is complementary to the natural beauty surrounding her. During a trip to Italy, Salenfriend found inspiration in the timeless beauty of the crumbling reliefs of Pompeii, which now inform the sculptural texture and layers of oil paint in each of her works. Salenfriend evokes the glimmering artworks of Austrian symbolist, Gustav Klimt, through the impeccable layers of gold, copper, and silver colored leafing she uses to create her stunning landscapes. The interaction between ambient light and the delicate metal leaf mimic nature’s transitional seasonality, the emotions that confront us when taking in these scenes, and a perpetual sense of motion and progression.