Kathryn St. Clair
Massachusetts College of Art, 1996, MFA
William J. Fulbright Fellowship, 1997
I strive for a current relevance in my paintings amid a world of climate change, extreme weather, and fragile, vanishing ecosystems. The processes of “disturbance” and “succession” in nature, as well as art historical representations of the natural elements are things that influence my work.
The light is inextricably connected to the water, the land, and the atmosphere. These elements and the interconnected aspects of all living things have inspired me to create momentary, imagined, experienced, and idealized situations in my paintings. The fluid paint itself becomes a part of the landscape experience- the soil, the light, the sentiment- and it guides the forms that allude to the land.
I am drawn to how light shifts our perception of what surrounds us, creating a halo of soft diffusion or pockets of ambiguity. I am intrigued by patterns and distortions in landscapes- where images of what is "real" and what is "reflected" are set adrift or submerged in a nebulous space.
I’ve shifted from pure abstraction to more abstracted landscapes since moving further outside of the city. I draw inspiration from the local wetlands preserve in Sonoma County, though the work is mostly invented in my studio by recalling light and sensations.
I marvel at the mystery that exists in the shadows and the emergence of light from darkness. There is a journey that unfolds with each painting. My process has become a romantic exploration of drifting, pulling apart, converging, ascending, and descending.