The inspiration is right in front of me.
Exaggerating nature’s beauty is a principal theme of Carin Gerard’s work and an essential quality of her inspiration. The California-based artist’s perception of the world is emboldened and vivified through painting, 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 spirit and spontaneity of contemporary art. Specifically, she paints from the innermost elements of a subject to the outermost—the experience can be like witnessing a flower bloom, a butterfly take flight, or a cloud dissipate into thin air. Painting in this way allows her to look at a subject more sculpturally, noting each twist and turn, and amplify and enhance the pattern rather than worrying about its realistic interpretation. Her audience feels entwined and engaged, like they can step into a piece and become part of it.
Gerard’s new exhibition titled “Resplendence” symbolically and harmoniously links sculptural gardenias, majestic butterflies and ethereal skyscapes in a way that creates a sense of intimacy, expectation and optimism. From the Latin “resplendere,” meaning “to shine back,” this collection is about the continually growing splendor of the natural world rather than a literal artistic interpretation of sheen or luster. She is in continuous exploration of transition and transformation, and the brilliance of these subjects impart feelings of promise and potential, which are vital to her work. Each canvas captures a fleeting moment in time, reinforcing the sense that beauty is a continuum. Gerard purposefully looks for the intricacies of evolution and dynamism that touch on the human experience. The idea of impermanence, even instability, reflects the reality of the world we live in, but hope is always at the core. She 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 the imagination, fuels progress and conveys an evocative story to each individual. Gerard explains, “The inspiration is right in front of me. I don’t have to make anything up. Painting allows me to breathe my subjects into being, which is at once thrilling and brings enormous gratitude.”
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Photography by Christy Gutzeit, Bill Dewey, Heidi Bassett Blair, Dominique Vorillon.
Copy written by Holly Richmond, PhD.