My work draws from painters and painting traditions of the mid-20th century. Abstract Expressionism led me to a personal means of applying paint. The paintings of post-painterly abstractionists attract me because of their monumental quality and the degree to which they force viewers to challenge expectations of how a painting should look. I draw upon Milton Avery for his coherent compositions of simple shapes, awkward quality, and harmonious combinations of color. Avery’s quality of color is an ever-present voice in my mind. Richard Diebenkorn’s “New Mexico” paintings influence the way my paintings are layered, revealing an underlying structure in what would otherwise be untethered space. Some of my approach to painting grew out of making clay sculpture and my fascination with the innate qualities of clay. I used color (in the form of sprayed oxides) to accentuate shape and to reveal the clay’s inherent qualities. I valued the porous texture of clay in its raw and low-fired state. I relinquished control over my medium to a significant degree, which allowed a release of its energy to be captured in the work. This approach allowed a strange beauty to be shown, even what is considered “unattractive.” I strive for a similar beauty in my paintings. I paint with oil because the color is luscious and rich. I often pour or rub the paint because that feels like a more natural way of working with it. This approach results in nuanced color and surprising accents that I enhance with line and more intense color. Design, in the sense of planning ahead, is kept to a minimum, in the hope for an unpremeditated work, yet a meditative experience for the viewer. The outcome of drawing upon these traditions, artists and influences––along with something added that is all my own––are paintings that focus on the potency of color; provide surprise in an environment of equilibrium; and engross the viewer who notices the subtle but intentional nuances that inhabit the field. I’ve mentioned that I am drawn to the awkward quality of Avery and perceive my work as using awkwardness across a spectrum of its possibilities. Some works provide an overall sensation of awkwardness while others offer an overall sensation of composure but are built with elements that, individually, are awkward. This pleases me in a profound way. Catherine was born in Lexington, Kentucky and moved to Knoxville, Tennessee in her early teens. She received a master’s degree in ceramic sculpture from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and affiliated Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. In 1988, Catherine returned to graduate school, this time for an M.B.A. She took a job with Merck and Co., Inc. in New Jersey where she lived and worked for sixteen years. Catherine is currently working for the Hunterdon Land Trust managing its parkland home at the historic Dvoor Farm in Flemington, New Jersey. This part time work leaves time for friends and painting.
I’m a minimalist at heart, but I like stuff. I think my artwork lives in that same in-between state. I aim for the simplest end result, but find myself adding or wiping away and creating more in the process. I consider my work illustrative art more than fine art –
and enjoy that fact. I get complete joy from creating each piece and hope the feeling comes through. I live and create in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.
In the tiny pieces for this show, I was hoping to conjure intimacy. “Life is Intimate” is a grouping of random imagery that I believe tells a story – when you move to the piece and relate the colors, shapes and markings it’s revealed differently to everyone; I don’t create the story, the viewer does. I want my artwork to be fun and light hearted and enjoy making artwork I consider accessible to all. I love birds. I could draw the pointed shape of a beak until the end of time. I get some strange satisfaction from it and start there every time. The women came later – inspired by a series of digital sketches I hope to print some day – as individuals or perhaps compiled into a book.
Katherine is now working with more experimental forms. She is currently using the medium of mixed media collage. She sees the toned paper and found scraps as brush marks on her surface. Each mark merges together to bring forth a landscape created by observation and imagination. The variety of weight and texture in her papers adds depth to the landscapes she forms on the layered surfaces. There is a lot of freedom in the genre of collage and she looks forward to her ever-changing process.
“I desire to create a place where personal invention and observation may coexist in the area of collage. I utilize nature’s subject matter as a tool to express my inner self. My mixed media works are environments of play and direct study as I bring the different materials into a place of harmony. Each art piece shares a bit of thoughts and Christian faith as I translate my understanding of God’s created beauty from the natural world with my audience.”
Katherine Horst resides in Manheim, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Pennsylvania College of Art and Design in the spring of 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in fine art. Katherine’s knowledge and experience with traditional techniques developed from the foundational skills she learned in the fine art program: drawing, oil painting and printmaking. Throughout her four years of training, Katherine had opportunities to not only learn in the classroom, but to travel to major cities to experience art in the many galleries and museums. The diversity she saw in the working art world as well as among her peers and professors has given her a wide range of artistic appreciation.