preston arts center

Painting

Vignette: Catherine Bryant

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"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.

"Peaceful Morning" by Catherine Bryant, Oil on canvas, 24x36in, 2018, $2150

"Peaceful Morning" by Catherine Bryant, Oil on canvas, 24x36in, 2018, $2150

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.

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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)
Website: http://www.catherinebryantart.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/catherinebryantstudio/

Scroll down for more images

"Overlook Magic" by Catherine Bryant, Oil on canvas, 11x14in, 2018, $600

"Overlook Magic" by Catherine Bryant, Oil on canvas, 11x14in, 2018, $600

"Louisville Bridges #2 (Lincoln)" by Catherine Bryant, Oil on canvas, 30x40in, 2018, POR

"Louisville Bridges #2 (Lincoln)" by Catherine Bryant, Oil on canvas, 30x40in, 2018, POR

"Final Resting Place" by Catherine Bryant, Oil on canvas, 11x14in, 2018, POR

"Final Resting Place" by Catherine Bryant, Oil on canvas, 11x14in, 2018, POR


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.

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Painting

Vignette: Catherine Bryant


“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” — Edgar Degas


"Yellow Villa" by Catherine Bryant, 12x9in, oil on canvas, plein air (2010), $395 |  BUY NOW

"Yellow Villa" by Catherine Bryant, 12x9in, oil on canvas, plein air (2010), $395 | BUY NOW

Catherine Bryant’s outlook on life may best be expressed in a phrase she likes, “Art is the breath of life.” After experiencing a troubled childhood, Bryant used art to change her life, or at least get moving in a better direction. Armed with a sketchbook and charcoal, she set out to find beauty and record the wonders around her. This journey took her into a world of constant growth.

Bryant is a landscape painter, but she doesn’t restrict herself to panoramic scenes of nature. In fact, her compositions tend to be more intimate glimpses of the way the trees and vegetation frames our point-of-view on the bucolic environment. “Yellow Villa” shows the expansive view that reaches off to the horizon, the diminishing fields becoming more abstract as the distance increases, but in “The Trees Speak Softly”, the viewer feels hidden in the shade, poised to eavesdrop on whatever privileged moment might be about to transpire just beyond the trees.

Another aspect of landscape compositions is the still, unmoving aspect that is so common, but in “Warm H20” Bryant captures a spontaneous moment in time, the immediacy of the interaction between horse and human palpably communicated with certainty and skill. Perhaps it is the introduction of animals, always a favorite with this artist, that represents an opportunity to inject some modicum of unpredictability into her compositions.

"Warm H2O" by Catherine Bryant, 36x48in, oil on canvas (2015)

"Warm H2O" by Catherine Bryant, 36x48in, oil on canvas (2015)

After a career in advertising as a Graphic Designer and airbrush illustrator, teaching classes at Ivy Tech, Bryant created her own business, working as a muralist for 25 years.  Realizing she wouldn’t always want to climb scaffolding, she started honing her skills as a fine art painter.

"The Trees Speak Softly" by Catherine Bryant, 8x10in, oil on canvas (plein air), $395 |  BUY NOW

"The Trees Speak Softly" by Catherine Bryant, 8x10in, oil on canvas (plein air), $395 | BUY NOW

Now, during the summer months, one can find the artist outdoors throughout the state of Kentucky and southern Indiana, painting  “plein air” (painting outdoors). She finds “plein air” painting to be the best method for sharpening her quick decision making skills; an invaluable exercise for simplifying composition, value assessment and color acuity, all the while completing a painting in a matter of a couple of hours. These lessons carry over back in the studio during the winter months.

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)
Website: http://www.catherinebryantart.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/catherinebryantstudio/

"1st Notes of Spring" by Catherine Bryant, 30x24in, oil on canvas, $2950 |  BUY NOW

"1st Notes of Spring" by Catherine Bryant, 30x24in, oil on canvas, $2950 | BUY NOW

"Sweet Dreams Dear Light," by Catherine Bryant, 11x14in, oil on canvas, plein air (2016), $495 |  BUY NOW

"Sweet Dreams Dear Light," by Catherine Bryant, 11x14in, oil on canvas, plein air (2016), $495 | BUY NOW

"Dance of the Texasbonnets and Indian Paintbrush" by Catherine Bryant, 48x36in, encaustic & oil on canvas (2016), $3500 |  BUY NOW

"Dance of the Texasbonnets and Indian Paintbrush" by Catherine Bryant, 48x36in, encaustic & oil on canvas (2016), $3500 | BUY NOW

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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