Artist Spotlight: Katerina Larsen


We  talk about all things art and life with SUPER talented artist Katerina Larsen, her art is featured on The Block this year and we are all a little (alot) obsessed with her art!


Katerina Larsen has featured in Kyle and Leslie's Studio Space on The Block 2023, her show stopping piece "Peaches and Cream" is available online at The Block Shop, and we cannot get enough of this beauty. Image via @davidcookphotography.


Tell us a bit about yourself?

Becoming a visual artist has been a bit like coming full circle for me.

My home and studio are based on the magical Surf Coast of VIC near Bells Beach (think Keanu Reeves Point Break), but I grew up in Tassie with my little brother, Adoni.

We were lucky enough to always be those kids who could draw and spent hours hanging out while trying to perfect drawings from our favourite movies and books. This continued as teens but it’s funny, we never really took our natural knack for realism that seriously. Maybe because we could both do it. Also, I don’t know how many times I heard: ‘artists only make it when they’re dead’. 

I like expanding myself creatively and had this passion for performance, so decided I would pursue an acting career. I was swayed into getting a Plan B first and pushed through a Law degree, but as soon as I graduated, was straight back onto acting and was signed with Melissa Rose Management. That time working with directors, creatives and crew made me more and more interested in generating my own content, and in 2008, I founded my creative and production studio Catch The Bird with fellow creative Nick Green. So, as well as a visual artist, I’m also a director and of course Mamma to my little light, Lucia. 

Katerina Larsen and Adoni AstrinakisKaterina Larsen is not the only one having her art featured in The Block 2023, stay tuned for more to come on her equally talented brother Adoni Astrinakis.


How long have you been producing your art? 

Adoni had made this amazing transition into the art space carving out a successful career using this dormant natural talent. That sparked something in me for sure. I was so proud of him and thought, I know we both have this kind of ability. I

was so busy with the business and pushed it to the side at the time, but when Covid struck, production became impossible. We were cut off from my studio in Melbourne as well as family and friends and I decided I needed a creative outlet for my sanity. Adoni had been pushing me to reconnect with my art and so I finally started a painting in the shed in our backyard. That artwork became ‘Peaches and Cream’ and was my first ever oil painting.

We’re both self-taught artists and I’d always favoured charcoal drawing in the past. I painted ‘Peaches and Cream’ completely freehand and with a limited pallet.

It was cathartic for many reasons and an amazing feeling to find that my skills were still there and had even grown. I liked the freedom of paint, which felt different to drawing. I decided to share it and much like Adoni’s experience, got such an overwhelming response. It’s really that painting that was the catalyst for becoming a professional visual artist. It’s so special to think that a print of that very painting is now going to be featured on The Block in the same property as Adoni’s work. It’s quite surreal. 

My originals and fine arts prints are sold locally and internationally.  After an introduction from Adoni, my works were recently collected by Joshua Plant, Vice President of The Susan Blonde Group New York, who posted: ‘I love buying Katerina’s art. I can’t get enough of them. You are one of the great talents of our time. Simply Brilliant’.


Katerina Larsen and Adoni AstrinakisJoshua Plant, Vice President of The Susan Blonde Group New York recently commented on these talented siblings work "the pair of you are so talented, it’s truly amazing"


Where do you draw inspiration from?

 Oh man, from all directions! Sometimes ideas come to me in a dream, sometimes I think of a good title, or an overarching concept and I use that as a launch pad for the kind of imagery I want to explore. I often get inspired when I’m feeling inspired too. So, if I’m lit up by a great conversion or have seen a good show or something, the ideas seem to flow. I write poetry and my compositions are a bit of an extension of that, like a portion of words instead of a whole book. My current framing is also inspired by obstacles that I’ve overcome. 

I’m inspired by photography, philosophy, music, advertising, social media, fashion and film. My experience on both sides of the lens has helped shape my aesthetic. I’m a proud generalist and really resonate with the idea of the Renaissance [Man] and a time when we were celebrated for having different areas study and artistry. My Mum even bought me a book once for $1 as a semi-joke called: ‘What to do if you want to do everything’!.

 I just try to paint what I really want to paint, not what I feel I should paint. I try not to worry too much if it’s going to be liked. Though of course am so happy they are! 

How would you describe your art?

I paint large scale figurative oil paintings and miniature pencil drawings in a realist aesthetic. I like to explore themes like beauty, power and attraction.  My art is an extension of my personal style and elements like clothing and jewellery are often key features. I would probably wear all of my art! The imagery is a balance of soft and strong. So, while my art is sensual there is often also a boss energy. My work is definitely modern but also nostalgic. A bit like a 35 mm photograph meets an Instagram post. It means they suit a variety of spaces and styles.

My compositions are usually fragments of a face or figure. I like the mystery and intrigue created by this sense of anonymity. Some people see me in them, some see a version of themselves or someone else entirely. While they’re not self-portraits, there is an element that’s self-referential and they are a bit like exploring a character, mood or moment which people seem to really relate to. 

I love seeing my pieces in a room and watching how people are drawn to them. I like to strive for ‘perfectly-imperfect’, so that so you can still see my hand clearly in my work and there’s some tasty illusion to the realism up close. This is one of the many reason that like Adoni, all my works are created freehand. They are technical pieces and difficult to produce this way, so I think this adds a certain value to our work. Tracing was never part of our process growing up and we seem to have continued working this way now.

Katerina Larsen and Adoni AstrinakisKatrina reflects on her work: The imagery is a balance of soft and strong. So, while my art is sensual there is often also a boss energy. My work is definitely modern but also nostalgic. A bit like a 35 mm photograph meets an Instagram post. It means they suit a variety of spaces and styles. 'Peaches and Cream' available at The Block Shop.


Your art features on The Block this year? 

It was a total pinch me moment! Kyle and Leslie both loved both of our work. They have amazing style so it’s very flattering.

My piece is the centre artwork of one of the rooms which is just awesome. Also, everyone knows The Block so it’s fun to share the news. It’s just such a cool experience!

What does it mean for you to have your art featured on The Block and be a Block Shop artist?

I love it. Especially to be sharing the experience with Adoni. It’s so lovely to receive this added recognition as an artist and a really unique way to connect with such a large audience. The Block Shop team have been fantastic and so supportive of my work, even posting that they are: ‘Obsessed with the artwork of Katerina Larsen'.

Katerina describes her artwork as "an extension of my personal style and elements like clothing and jewellery are often key features. I would probably wear all of my art!"


Favourite Block couple, past or present?

I actually used to share a studio with Chantelle Ford of The Block winning team 'Chantelle and Steve’! So The Block seems to have been orbiting me for a while before this for some reason. And of course, Kyle and Leslie. They are the best. Go green!!!! 

Leslie with Katerina Larsen artwork peahes and creamNo surprises that Katerina's fave Blockheads this season are Kyle and Leslie, proving they have an impeccable style and a hard work ethic this week, steering clear of the drama and delivering a beautiful room. Shop the art from Katerina Larsen at The Block Shop. Image via @davidcookphotography.


Are there any particular artists that inspire you?

Definitely my brother of course, he’s a freak. I get inspired by all sorts of artists though, like film makers, musicians, photographers and content creators. 

In terms of fine art, our background is Greek and it’s been really expansive to see a Greek/Australian artist like Michael Zavros paving the way for a revival in realism. CJ Hendry’s independent rise through Instagram has been eye opening. Adoni and are both also admirers of Mark Maggiori’s work, and I recently bought two of his pieces, one for our home and one for Adoni’s. 

My god brother Tony Garakalakis and his partner Irene Hanenbergh are definitely role models. Tony’s work has also featured at MONA which has been a hugely inspiring development in our hometown of Hobart. I’m also inspired by artists who channel adversity into art, like Frida Khalo and pioneers like Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun.

Of course, the OG generalists who were renowned painters, philosophers, poets, sculptors and inventors among other things, I’ve always had an affinity with Da Vinci in particular.

Siblings Adoni and Katerina as kids, "We were lucky enough to always be those kids who could draw and spent hours hanging out while trying to perfect drawings from our favourite movies and books. This continued as teens but it’s funny, we never really took our natural knack for realism that seriously. Maybe because we could both do it." said Katerina


Where do you like to create your art?

 I create it mostly from my studio which is actually our ordinary shed, transformed by my Husband Carl during Covid, into an amazing Scandinavian, pine-cabin inspired haven. He is a man of many talents and people always get a surprise when they walk in. 

Inspiration likes to strike me unexpectedly and I’ve always got some idea buzzing around, so I rely on my phone a lot to explore concepts on the run. 

Adoni and I also love hanging out, bouncing ideas and talking technique. I’m so lucky to have someone like him who personally understands where I’m coming from, what I’m going for and what it takes to achieve it. We don’t work together but if we’re visiting each and showing our current works in progress, we have so much trust in each other’s eye that we’ll often give each other feedback. Sometimes it’s not what we want to hear, but that’s often the most important kind!

Do you have a playlist / podcast you like to create to?

I should be called an artist slash professional podcast listener! I absolutely smash them while I work. It’s like a self-navigated education of sorts.  One of my favourite all times is The Expanded Podcast by Lacy Phillips. Their whole brand is amazing, and it’s helped me a lot on my path. Highly, highly recommend. The Art Curious Podcast is an great one for an entertaining look at art history. I also love listening to music and got obsessed with Son Little and the A Star is Born soundtrack last year. 

What does a typical day look like for you?

I am a lucky Mamma, so my day usually kicks off with Lucia jumping into bed with me for a cuddle. Sometimes this means we end up rushing to school, but we love it and I know I won’t get this time back. Then I get to being an artist/podcast listener/director. I’m a social person and art can be a little solitary at times, so it often helps me paint and get into a flow state by listening to music and podcasts, taking calls and collaborating while I paint. 

Aside from the actual painting, I spend a lot of time working with imagery and playing with concepts. I think wearing a lot of hats and being across different facets of a creative project is essential to being a director, so I’m used to working in this way and it’s been a natural extension into visual art. 

Adoni and I touch base most days. There’s running around involved and some back and forth to Melbourne. He’s really helpful, and often takes my work with him if he is visiting one of our joint suppliers. I also work with fantastic local suppliers, like Scott at Frameline Printing and Framing. 

I try to fit in a walk with a meditation on at some point.. I can get really locked on otherwise and lose perspective. The nature of my style is very detailed and I can get too perfectionistic. I always produce my best work when I take some time out and then get back to it with fresh eyes.  We’re spoilt for nature where we live so I don’t have to go far to feel like I’ve taken a real breath.

You have to be a master multitasker, but that’s honestly how I like it and just how my brain works.

Katerina Larsen ArtKaterina's talent is just amazing, the beauty and divine feminine forms she creates in her artworks just exude the feminine beauty, is it any wonder Leslie fell in love with this piece for her pilates studio space. Shop Katerina's full range of artworks here.


How do you fit your art around life/kids?/work- Any tips?

I am so lucky to have such a supportive partner and family, especially Carl. Even though I take the paths less trodden, they always back me.

Luckily, Lucia loves getting arty with Mummy in the studio. She often sits next me and paints too. We create, chit chat, philosophise, sing and laugh. She very wise for a six year old and actually has a great eye. She often points out what I need to work on in my paintings and is usually right! 

I believe it's so important to foster the natural inclinations of kids to be their authentic selves. I hope that I’m helping by showing her what following your passions and talent looks like. 

Favourite holiday destination?

Greek Islands. No contest.

Hardest person to buy a gift for?

Dad. We always have to get creative. We even bought him a star in the sky once Lol

 What would you buy yourself from The Block Shop?

 More art. But I need more walls!

Favourite house decorating trend?

Figurative art ;) 

Most decadent thing in your house?

 Our beautiful Mark Tuckey furniture, especially the epic oversized Plinth Sofa. They are forever pieces. 

Oldest and/or daggiest thing you have in your house that should be thrown out but you just can’t bring yourself to?

Carl is a Leo on the cusp of Virgo, so things like that don’t hang around too long around here ha ha which is probably a good thing. 

Favourite room in the house?

 Any room with sun in it at the time. I love sunlight. Carl’s pretty sure I’m part cat. I love when the way the sun comes into a room matched the light in my paintings too.

 If you could renovate one room in your house which would it be?

 We’re actually thinking about renovating at the moment. We live in this surf shack style home in a rare little pocket called Jan Juc, it’s a magical blend of bushy sea, but also super close to everything. Lucia is growing up in a wonderland and we feel very lucky. We bought it just before Covid hit after it had already had a great mini reno, so while we’re not in a rush, it would be nice to extend for some more space, sun and ocean views.

Have you built your own house?

 No, just the shed transformation so far.

Favourite decor item in the house?

 Ok, besides art... I went into this total obsession once to find the perfect rug for our living room during Covid when production work had dried up for a time. I admit I may have taken it a bit far and I think Carl was worried about me, ha ha. 

It was worth it though! I finally found this amazing blush, authentic antique Anatolian Oushak rug (try and say that 10 times in a row) from Turkey on Etsy and on budget! It really pulled everything in our room together and always gets compliments. 

Favourite artwork you own?

Adoni’s original painting ‘Bardot'. I am so lucky, it's really special and completely makes a space. It’s huge and jaw dropping in person especially. We also have incredible works by Mark Maggiori, Tony Garafalakis, Andrea Shaw, David Bromley, Claire McCracken, David Bandt and an incredible First Nations piece. I wish we knew the artists name!

I also mentioned Carl is a man of many talents, while he’s not saving the planet as the director of his environmental and agricultural consulting firm RMCG, he also takes epic photographs. We have works of his all over our house and Adoni has this super large scale picture of his at the entrance to his home, they’re really cool. It’s a statement piece.

Katerina's favourite art is an original by brother Adoni Art, Bardot, shop Adoni's art at The Block Shop, and stay tuned for his Block debut. He is incredibly talented, you are going to LOVE his work!


Most treasured possession (other than kids or partner!)

Cicciolina a.k.a ‘Cicci’ our Brittish Blue Cat. She probably wouldn’t like being referred to as a possession though. We named her after the restaurant we had our first date at.

Know anyone else who hasn’t been featured on The Block but should be?

 So many amazing fellow Surf Coast artists. It’s a treasure trove around here. It’s worth checking these local galleries to scope the talent: @boomgallery, @hoopgallery and Special mention to Andrea Shaw @andrea_shaw and Edwood McKay @edwoodmckay, Carl Larsen @larsen_carl. Also some emerging young artists to look out for: Mae Anagnostis @mae.anagnostis and Rita Miotto-Brown @rita.mi.otto. 

A perfect Sunday afternoon would be….

Chilling with friends and fam in our sunny backyard listening to great tunes. We’d be talking about the deepest of things and the of lightest things. I love a conversation that goes from: ‘If you were a chip flavour, which one would you be?’ to ‘What is consciousness?’. I’d probably cook a big feast and we’d all stay up too late laughing and playing guitar around the fire pit. 

Anything that you are loving at the moment that you would like to share with us?

I’m loving being in my element. Like for many people, it’s been an interesting few years. I’m also loving sharing The Block experience with Adoni. We’re best buds and always been super close, some people even mistake us for twins!

Even though we’re very much independent artists, our journeys definitely have uncanny parallels and it feels really good to celebrate this ability we happen to share so publicly. It’s just like what we did as kids together, so it feels right for some of it to be happening side by side.

 I think there’s magic around at the moment for sure. It’s special.


Thanks so much to the talented Katerina for giving us an insight into her beautiful mind and art, we cannot wait to see what's next for yourself and Adoni, that's one super talented family!


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