Katy Cauker

Painting on location at the Oregon Coast

Unusually low tides lead to new landscape shapes in the Yachats River estuary.

Painting on location at the Oregon Coast

I came home from my annual painting trip with fewer pieces. Many,like this one, are value study drawings in their initial stages of development. Painted on panels using acrylic and charcoal to develop ideas around the continuously changing shapes that form and disappear as the salty waters of the Pacific roll in and out. People wander in and out of view much like the sand formations adding a vertical structure to the flat landscape. Everything is in motion. The vastness is deceptively expansive and the figures provide a known size that help explain this as they chase the receding tide toward the horizon or remain stationary lost in thought.

I love work in these early stages. They are “finished” with their freshly stated energy conveying the rawness of first impressions.

The painted drawings have all the information I want but none of the tactile qualities I find so appealing about the painted surface. I have realized that the surface quality of paint is a key element to a paintings appeal. It is the reason I am less drawn to digital images of photographs or digital reproductions of paintings. It is a quality unique to painting, and one that varies depending on the paint you use.

This piece has a a surface quality all its own but it’s rough and thin and greatly influenced by the surface of the board underneath the paint. It’s a bit like the difference between burlap and velvet.

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