Coeur d’Alene ID. The Flora & Fauna of Catherine Earle at The Art Spirit Gallery. This show runs from June 6 – July 5 2014.
Opening Reception and ArtWalk will be on Friday, June 6 from 5-8 pm.
Catherine Earle will give an informal painting demonstration of her layered acrylic technique Saturday, May 10 starting at 1 pm. These free events are open to all.
The Flora & Fauna of Catherine Earle by Jackie Henrion.
Certain art reaches into iconic threads of culture and manages to weave them into a fresh and unique presentation that resonates with depth. Catherine Earle’s body of work achieves that sense of cultural richness. The center piece of the show is a large canvas 48″ by 84″ depicting Blue Himalayan poppies, with a background light that implies a dream of midsummer nights. It is subtle in its presentation and hovers in a mysterious plane between naturalistic and abstract form with details that are fresh at every viewing. Her show opens June 6, at 5:00 at The Art Spirit Gallery in Coeur d’Alene. This gallery, founded on the philosophy of the renowned art teacher Robert Henri, is the perfect showcase for her work. Steve Gibbs, the owner, has an extraordinary aesthetic sense for the artists he represents and the care with which he mounts his monthly shows.
As you progress through the display you see other naturalist yet mystical portrayals that are rendered so skillfully they are poetic. The paintings convey psychological and philosophical questions sometimes reflected in the titles she chooses. The invitational piece, entitled “Trust in the Self” is a portrayal of an unblinking stag staring straight at the viewer with a gaze that invites us to imagine its emotional state. The massive horns are adorned with an array of floating feminine flowers, perhaps an imaginary Puck adorning a royal monarch.
Earle uses layers of acrylic paint to create the subtle sense of light and transparency usually associated with oils or watercolor. Birds, bubbles, stems and flowers in her work seem to radiate with an inner glow captured by European masters. Indeed, born and raised in southern France, she was surrounded by the various schools of art and beauty: It was in the water, the clouds and the flowers in her family’s greenhouses. She has progressed inexorably through explorations in abstract, celestial, cellular and now a naturalistic exploration of color, light and form. When she talks about it, she uses words that imply metaphors of birth, rebirth, small messengers of awareness, unseen influences. Her subjects are at once complex and simple, such as a hare entitled, “Discernment.”
She was trained at the Beaux Arts School and clearly has an intellectual grasp of the methods to create her unique sensibility. But her work has escaped the intellectual, it is intuitive, which is evident when you see her demonstration which will start at 1:00 on Saturday June 7 at the Art Spirit Gallery. She sometimes struggles with words to describe the strokes and color combinations which flutter easily from the brush in her hand. Hers is not a demonstration of technique as much as a philosophy of art and beauty and – for the moment you may feel the enchantment.
-Jackie Henrion, born and raised in New York City, is a member of the Sandpoint Monday Writer’s group and has a background in music and the arts.