Cliff by Bri Catarino

I seek to inspire optimism and ignite positivity through my work and believe that while creativity is inherently optimistic -optimism is inherently creative.  

My creative process is rooted in music and constant movement between pieces. However, color is how each piece truly begins. During my entire creative process, I immerse myself in the full spectrum of the color palette. This almost always begins at my favorite art stores or in local boutiques where I spot new hues and play with fabrics to layer print, pattern and color. This always leads to a creative spark which quickly finds its voice on a canvas.

The "Shuck" Series was no different as textiles, paint tubes and the waters of the Charleston Harbor converged in my mind and found their way onto the canvas' inside my Mt. Pleasant studio. Oysters have always been a fascinating subject for me. The subtle femininity juxtaposed with the rigid-rocky exterior always created a playful dialogue for myself. For this series I began with a palette knife. I knew a paint brush would lead to a tedious over-working of the shell forms and I comprehended that my inspiration was more than form. With each swipe of the knife, the canvas was transformed. Layer by layer, line and form dissolve only to be re-defined through texture, color and light.  Scraping, repetitive sounds filled my apartment. Eventually each canvas was filled with rigid and bumpy oyster shells constructed entirely from layers of acrylic paint and metallic leafing. 

The Shuck Series is my first series to be created with a palette knife that dissolved form initially only to build it back through the use of color, light and texture. The "simple" backgrounds are no different than the subject matter as the negative space between each is also filled with textures and layers which beckon for the eye to be drawn in. In the past I have created several series' of Marsh Abstracts - each completed with a palette knife. The defining characteristic separating these from the Shuck Series is the presence of form and the focus on negative space.

Painting entirely with a knife requires inherent optimism and trust in the creative process. It was through the active dissolution of form that my creative process was able to expand and relinquish any self-doubts withstanding - optimism took over. It would be impossible to create these images without that initial spark of creativity and the optimistic outlook when it comes to completing a painting - trusting the process is the only way to find the solution.

...and the titles? Just a pleasant reminder to stop taking myself so shucking seriously. 

Bri Catarino
Bri Catarino
10" x 30"