Catherine Eaton Skinner

Paintings

About the Medium:

As an artist, I communicate best not with words but with visuals, the medium only a beginning, and a tool to be used for the exploration. I define and redefine images, spiraling past points where I have been. An encounter with an old image may touch a new awareness, a new thought out of which develops new images to pursue.

The figures may be here, there, or somewhere in between, lost, or just lost in thought, alone or together in ways we may not see. Landscapes of the soul bound to landscapes of the earth, the air, the light.

Painting with encaustic was like returning home for me. The last two years of painting and drawing, I have been intrigued with transparent layers, wax melted onto monotypes, and working on frosted films that overlap. Years of batik, painting with color in the wax, made it an easy transition to encaustic. This beeswax-based paint is applied molten to an under painted surface of linen that has been stretched on a wood panel and sized with hot rabbit skin glue. Layers of colored wax are built up, and then fused with a hot air gun. Different colors will melt at different rates because of the varying chemical compositions of the pigments and the greater absorption of heat by darker colors. The layers can be used transparent or very opaque, scraped, incised and impregnated with objects, papers or other materials.

The durability of encaustic is due to the fact that beeswax is impervious to moisture, does not yellow and darken with age and with the inclusion of dammar resin in the formula increases the hardening of the wax over time. As with all works of art the paintings should not be hung in the sun or kept at very cold temperatures. A simple buffing with a soft cloth and a spritz of water will remove any haze that may appear, especially in the first few months when the surface is hardening and curing.

Mka' Mdun Sa - Heaven to Earth and the Inspiration for my recent body of work

The cool mown grass beneath my back was solid with the yet unexplored earth beneath me.

Only nine, I already felt the energy reach upward in the tall Douglas fir, the movement of the ravens in the wind, the clarity of the lakes and constant repetition of the oceans.

Seeing outward I wondered at the concept of infinity, at the same time studying different finite numbering systems in school.

The inquiries of my childhood have continued over the years, a fascination that has grown with every addition of knowledge.

And when I read, I see.

And what I see, I want to paint.

The five elements - earth, fire, water, air and space - are the foundation of our universe, our bodies, and our mental and spiritual states.

Maintaining the balance between them and understanding their energies is paramount to our survival.

The life and place we hold from "Heaven to Earth" is precarious, and because of that even more precious.

2012, Catherine Eaton Skinner

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