Share Post

I was thinking today that I’ve never properly introduced myself, so, it’s probably about time!

For those that don’t know me, I’m Kat Gruber. I’m an Abstract Expressionist Artist who lives in South Australia.

My middle name is Maile Lau Lii, it comes from my mother’s side of the family which is from Hawaii, and means “little leaf of the Maile tree’. It’s a fond reminder of my heritage, which sadly, I know little about, but I am grateful to have spent two years there before returning to start high school in Australia.

Art has gotten me in trouble; my first commission in Year 5 was to draw pictures of teachers which were then used as dartboards by a fellow student.

Of course, I have also been told off numerous times for drawing in class. I maintain to this day that it helps me to concentrate, and I still do it from time to time if I have to listen to someone speak for an extended period of time – but I’m more subtle about it these days!

For many years I drew mostly in a cartoon style – which makes sense if you saw how many comic books I owned. I loved them all, from Archie and Veronica, to Donald Duck, Bugs Bunny, Jughead, Buster, Beano, Footrot Flats, Garfield, Casper, and Mad Magazine. I wasn’t into Spiderman, Batman or Phantom. They were so serious and – I preferred more lighthearted content, extra points if it was funny.

I started painting in 2004 or 5 because I started getting aura migraines that affected my vision. It frightened me that one day I might lose my vision, and that thought pushed me to start painting. I had always seen myself as an artist, but due to conditioning, and a desire to be sensible and stable, never really acted on it in the way I wanted to. Funny, how life sometimes forces us onto our path.

My first paintings were very illustrative, and then I painted a series of Adelaide buildings, some flora, a reasonable series of beaches, and some landscapes before I was intrigued by painting abstract. I love the challenge of painting representational work, but abstract is challenging and satisfying in a completely different way.

Representational work is painting WHAT I love, and abstract is painting HOW I love.

For me, it just hits different.

Recent musings

Profile image of Kat Gruber in front of painting.


Check out past & present exhibitions of my work. Make sure you say hello when you visit!


Head over to my online store. Plenty to browse and even purchase for that special someone or for your own wall at home or the office!

'Poolside' is an original abstract painting by Kathryn Gruber