The inspiration is right in front of me.
Exaggerating nature’s beauty is a principal quality of Carin Gerard’s work and a compelling aspect of her inspiration. The California-based contemporary realism painter’s perception of the world we live in is emboldened and vivified through large-scale canvases, where seemingly simple, natural objects are graphically and dramatically brought to life. While the shapes, shadows and textures are less perceptibly real, they take on both magical and majestic features. To create this effect, Gerard balances the classical realism of the Renaissance era with the spirt and spontaneity of contemporary art. Specifically, Gerard paints from the innermost elements of a subject to the outermost—the experience can be like witnessing a flower bloom or a butterfly take flight. Painting in this way allows her to look at a subject more sculpturally, noting each twist and turn, and exaggerating the pattern rather than worrying about its realistic interpretation. Her audience can feel entwined and engaged, like they can step into a piece and become part of it.
Gerard’s new series “Connectivity” symbolically links butterflies or flowers to form a unique union and bond, creating a sense of intimacy, expectation and optimism. These feelings are vital to her life and work; she is in continuous exploration of transition and transformation. Though these pieces capture a fleeting moment in time, like the flutter of a butterfly’s wing, she views beauty as a continuum and purposefully looks for the intricacies of evolution and dynamism. Gerard feels a profound sense of intimacy through the act of putting brush to canvas—taking ordinary, natural objects and reinterpreting them in a way that sparks imagination, fuels progress and conveys a vibrant story to each individual. Gerard explains, “The inspiration is right in front of me. I don’t have to make anything up.” Painting is Gerard’s process of breathing her subjects into being, which is at once thrilling and brings her enormous gratitude.
Photography + Artwork on this site: All Right Reserved.
Photography by Christy Gutzeit, Bill Dewey, Heidi Bassett Blair, Dominique Vorillon.
Copy written by Holly Richmond, PhD.