An Eye For Beauty
Love Paper Paint’s Katie Gaines creates all things art
Posted on July 1, 2019
Comic books, with their distinctive characters and story lines, are a hot commodity of late due to the popularity of the Marvel and DC movies. For Katie Gaines, however, comics were a gateway to a diverse and successful career in art of all kinds, from faux-finished garage doors to kids’ room murals to, yes, even iconic comic book characters. The San Marcos-based professional artist and quasi San Diego native — she moved here when she was five — doesn’t necessarily have a specialty when it comes to creating. She really can do just about anything.
Though not pictured herself on our July issue cover, Gaines is its star, as the creator of the painting that so perfectly reflects the magnificent natural beauty of the Del Mar coastline looking south toward La Jolla. By her own admission, this was the first time in a long while that she has had the opportunity to just paint a picture. As the sole proprietor of Love Paper Paint, Gaines’ work spans a range of projects, both commercial and residential — think walls, murals, floors, furniture, even garden gates — plus collateral for organizations and even weddings, creating the cohesive overall look that becomes the “brand” for the entire affair, from the save-the-dates to the last dance.
Partnerships with wedding coordinators throughout Southern California, as well as relationships with well-known designers including Solana Beach’s Chevalier and Robinson Brown Design Inc. in La Jolla, means Gaines can be busy seven days a week, especially during the summer “wedding season.”
Gaines jump-started her life in art working at a Sorrento Valley comic book company in the early ’90s while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the visual arts from UC San Diego. So, it’s only fitting that, in 2017, she was commissioned to paint three murals around San Diego of Warner Bros.’ Marvin the Martian to create buzz for the upcoming Comic-Con. Two still exist; one on Lestat’s Coffee House in North Park and another outside Pacific Beach’s Mission Surf shop. “That was my coolest project,” says Gaines, without missing a beat.
Her boundless talent allows her to shift seamlessly from Marvin the Martian back to the many other ways she applies her skill. In addition to the traditional arches, scrollwork, and faux finishes she is often commissioned to do which complement the hacienda-style architecture popular in Rancho Santa Fe, the recent trend in more neutral schemes has led to more work refinishing furniture in lighter colors and cleaner, simpler details throughout the home, including murals that mimic wallpaper. In May, she created the event graphics, invitations, and other collateral to embody the festive theme of the Rancho Santa Fe Community Center’s Spring Fiesta.
Gaines sums up her forte in just a few words: “If it can be painted, I’ll paint it.” lovepaperpaint.com Deanna Murphy
Katie Gaines Portraits: Photography by Vincent Knakal Artwork: Courtesy photos