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Studio News for Winter/Spring 2013


   paintings      •       drawings      •       reproductions       •      info


Painting "Coffee and the Paper"This is the latest version of my studio e-news. Thank you for opting-in by registering your email. The winner of the drawing for the limited edition giclee reproduction Coffee and the Paper is Brian Stephens from Lyme, CT.











Art Essex Gallery

Painting "Upstart"Two of my paintings on newspaper are included in the Juried Invitational Exhibition that is on view through February 24. Also on display in the gallery is a selection of my postcard sized Hawk's Nest Cottage paintings. Art Essex Gallery is located at 10 Main Street, Essex, CT











A Memorable Valentine's Day Gift

Painting "Bowl of Cherries"Who doesn't love chocolate? But if you'd like to give a memorable gift consider a fine art reproduction or an original. Reproductions are priced from $100 to $200 and my smallest postcard sized original oils are $425. If you are so inclined, for originals please contact the studio for available images and information and remember to allow sufficient time for delivery.









A Note from the Artist

Drawing, Order Chaos DecisionsI often get questions about the works featured in this newsletter. Each of these still lifes was painted in oil on newspaper that has been mounted directly to a panel. The idea of using this combination of materials, I must admit, evolved out of my own laziness. For a period of years, I created a series of graphite drawings with compositions that juxtaposed the front pages of newspapers with still life objects. I was visually drawn to the patterns and graphic qualities of the two dimensional printed page and also to how the news stories and headlines leant meaning to the piece as a whole. These drawings, with their legible text, were painstaking to create. Also, at some point I decided that I wanted to introduce color into the compositions using oils.




Painting Jack-in-the-Box #1I had neither the patience nor the interest to create the illusion of newspaper using paints and a brush, so I began to experiment using real newspaper. The first two paintings, Jack-in-the-Box #1 and Jack-in-the-Box #2, are small images of Jack-in-the-Pulpits on the stock market listings. The stock pages provide a uniformly patterned background and as an everyday artifact from our capitalistic culture, they contrast with one provided by nature. The paintings are beautifully mounted in hand-crafted maple frames that form a box around the image, hence the name.   



Painting Russian Turmoil

These initial paintings were a technical success, so I continued the series on a somewhat larger scale (the largest so far being about 14" x 9"). Some paintings explore the “nature versus culture" idea either on uniformly patterned securities listings or in a more humorous way, for example by juxtaposing the natural homes of birds’ nests and shells with the real estate pages. In other works, I consider the paper as the everyday object that it is, combined with a cup of coffee. I might also select still life objects that relate to the events on the page, iconic Russian nesting matryoshka dolls for a day of tumult in the Russian market or a bowl of cherries with the headlines celebrating a Dow Jones Industrial Average milestone. I am continuing to create more of these pieces; however I am also increasingly aware that the newspaper headlines no longer seem to have the poignancy they once did. 



As a final note, I’d like to comment on the materials used in the paintings. The technique that I use to prepare the panels is similar to the methods recommended for collage and the old technique of decoupage. The paper is mounted to a smooth gessoed panel under pressure and then multiple layers of an acrylic sealer are applied prior to painting the still life. The dry painting is also sealed with an acrylic varnish. The paper remains stable and turns a pleasant golden color, especially if it is exposed to ultraviolet light.

Image Information from the top:

The Narcissist is You (detail),  oil on panel, originial is 48" x 30", 2006. Collection of the Artist. Photography by Rick Scanlan.

Coffee and the Paper, oil on paper on panel, 10" x 8", 2005. Private Collection.

Upstart, oil on paper on panel, 10" x 6 1/2", 2006. Collection of the Artist.

Bowl of Cherries, oil on paper on panel, 13" x 9", 2006.Collection of the Artist.

Order, Chaos, Decisions, graphite on paper, 11 3/4" x 8 ", 1993. Private Collection.

Jack-in-the-Box #1, oil on paper on panel, 5 1/4" x 2 1/2", 2000. Private Collection.

Russian Turmoil, oil on paper on panel, 11" x 8". Private Collection.

All images are copyrighted by Catherine Christiano, all rights reserved.

The Wall Street Journal is a registered trademark of Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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