"Louisville Bridges" by Catherine Bryant, Oil on canvas, 11x14in, 2018, $600
The landscape artist, in particular, the plein air painter, must venture out into the world to satisfy their creative drive. It doesn’t always mean tying down their easel to brave fierce winds or painting in polar fleece in freezing temperature; modern day artists retire to the well-heated studio and other subjects, but the ever-diminishing seasonal transitions demand their attention.
When we review the work of Catherine Bryant, one of the region’s most notable landscape painters, that desire is communicated with abundant clarity. The natural world is a living organism, changing with each passing day. We know this in our bones, but Bryant seems preternaturally in tune with it in a way that forces the rest of us to understand how much we take it for granted. And her Instagram account attests to her dedication, with images of paintings completed just three days ago.
In her Artist’s Statement, Bryant explains how she finds plein air painting to be crucial in developing skills for making quick decisions in, “simplifying composition, value assessment, and color acuity, all the while completing a painting within 2 / 2 ½ hours.” Skills she carries with her into the studio during the winter months, during which she turns her attention to still life and portraits.
Like most contemporary landscape painters, she also accepts humankind’s contribution, folding in architectural elements, the barns and fences of the farmland, the bridges and barge traffic on the Ohio River; our hand in altering the environment has become as meaningful as the ancient topography that is the foundation of all such compositions.
Included here are a series about the many bridges connecting Kentucky and Indiana that are woven throughout Louisville. They are a commission through Zephyr Gallery for the Kentucky International Convention Center, which just reopened after a $207 million renovation.
On September 29, Bryant will be part of the Louisville Visual Art’s Juried Exhibit in the 2018 Portland Art & Heritage Fair. The exhibit will be available for viewing at the Marine Hospital from 11am-5pm. Jury prizes will be awarded at 2:00pm.
Ms. Bryant teaches her passion for painting at Preston Arts Center on Bardstown Road, and in her private studio.
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BA, University of Louisville
Gallery Representative: Jane Morgan Gallery; Edenside Gallery; Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft, and Hoosier Salon (Louisville) Broad Ripple Gallery (Indianapolis)
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.