My paintings are highly detailed representational images that are designed to be both beautiful and engaging. The atmospheric coastline, architecture, and landscape of New England, where I live and work, as well as the people close to my life and everyday objects are among my subjects.
Each painting is the culmination of a process that begins with culling lots of information from throughout my personal experience. Ideas are saved in lists, notes from reading, files of photographs, clippings from magazines and piles of newspapers. It all percolates in my mind, often over a period of years, and then as a piece is developed a number of these ideas become evident. At the beginning simple sketches are made followed by the gathering of specific visual resources. Numerous digital photos are taken, sifted through, and manipulated. Black and white printouts are cut up and arranged with the aid, at times of old composition systems like the golden section or the grid for structure and systems of perspective for space. However, ultimately it is intuition and the eye that take precedence as elements are combined to form a constructed reality. The design is scaled up, transferred to canvas or panel, and then painted.
The final paintings are a type of visual montage with some works portraying a single cohesive "scene" and others juxtaposing multiple panels and employing elements like mirrors or newspaper. While the subjects I depict may be personal, their ordinariness imparts universality. The paintings can be witty, ambiguous, or evocative. They may be responses to images from art history or text in newspapers. They may acknowledge the role of the artist and the viewer in visual art.
--- Catherine Christiano