PAINTING + MIXED MEDIA
The primary theme in all my work is light. In addition to light my work is about attachment to place. Formally, I am drawn to the geometry of traditional New England architecture. These buildings link us to our human past in this landscape. Emotionally they are about home, our own specific place, where we are attached. At the most basic level they represent shelter: safety. They bring to mind family, an intimate place of knowing and being known, belonging.
My aim is to evoke a time and place in our shared world, and a corresponding emotional experience. My method is to spend time paying acute attention. I search out subjects in the landscape that are visually arresting and that evoke riveting emotional energy for me.
My paintings are mostly done in the studio and are based on photographs I have taken of meaningful subjects in a quality of light that moves me. Mixing many subtle color variations of paint is a challenge I enjoy. I’ve been influenced by the work of various 19th century American painters, as well as Homer, Hopper, Kent, Ault and Benton, and a number of contemporary realist painters.
Walking home from school as a child I was imprinted with the exquisite poignancy of the late afternoon light. I came to call that moment of the day the “switching time” because it seemed to provide a gap in my usual perception of time: a space in which the past and future felt more fluid and present. Now I also understand it as a moment when my own mortality is mirrored by that of the day, making transcendence keenly possible. Much of my work can be seen as a faithful description of particular buildings, hills or fields, but it is all made to express the juxtaposition of the finite and infinite.
Kathleen is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and has exhibited widely throughout Vermont and New England and is part of many private and corporate collections.
photo by Heather Henriksen