The Art & Photography of Catherine Kirkpatrick


I'm fascinated by old and decaying things like paper garbage and sunflowers, so it wasn't a big leap toward appreciating the beautiful harmony of bones. The structure of life that remains, for a time, after life is gone. But I want to be very clear, I bought this item in a store. He or she came nice and clean in that little glass dome you see. It was hard to choose between several offerings. One had beautiful, fluttering ribs, but I knew I wasn't going to do close ups, so went for the one with the best overall pose. 

After death, it looks quite beautiful; were it alive, I would run for the hills. Terrified of the things, even the smaller variety, the tiny mouse. There is a street in New York, Gold Street, that was at one point the mecca for those studying rats. Hopefully, that has changed, but a few years back, if you walked down it, you would always see a dead rat somewhere, and a book was written about it.

I'm struck by the idea of fragility in so many things, including these days the seasons. Summers are getting hotter, winters shorter. I don't love the deepest cold, but I love what winter looks like. Snow that seems to transform everything it touches, translucent ice, tree branches waving against dark clouded skies. What if all that beauty goes away? 

I have begun printing winter scenes on very thin paper, and treating the paper in a variety of ways. I think the images suggest not only the season, but the fragility of the season. Maybe also something about the fragility of human existence, and the thickets and struggles we go through.

Where did the color go? Why did it disappear?
Still struggling with the question of what changed in the last 2 1/2 months when still life setups went from being wildly colorful and all over the building to rigorous, monotone, and inside Studio G. Maybe it's some kind of quest for order, a search for underlying structure on my part.
Still confused...

Can't seem to stop it. In the midst of awful clutter and junk and renovation detritus, I set up these gray scale still life pictures with a spiky shell (doesn't it look like it's alive?). Maybe I need order or discipline (50 Shades of Grey...). Peaceful, calming and cleansing in a very dirty environment (the real kind). Someone swept up the hall for Open Studios and literally swept up a bucket full of dust and dirt.

Still working in gray mode. When I first started painting the objects, they were middle gray, dreary and heavy. Then the gray paint got lighter till the places the light hits are almost white. There's something soothing about this series, and slightly maddening. You really have to be careful about the folds of the drape, the angle of the block, whether the vessels are aligned just right and not tipped too much toward you. They look still, but there is a lot of movement and effort behind them!

Maybe it's the weather, gray and rainy, but I decided to experiment with monotone fabric and props. I painted a bunch of bottles gray, brought out the gray fabric, and went to work. I didn't really pick up on the blue till I processed the images. Kind of like it though, goes with the rain and mood of the day.