Natural Beauty features the most recent paintings by artists Sarah Hinckley and Katheryn Holt. United in their depictions of and references to the natural beauty they saw in their surroundings growing up near the beach, Holt’s series of mixed media on panel are figurative and Hinckley’s oils and watercolors on canvas and paper are abstract. Hinckley paints the elements that surrounded her – earth, sea and sky. Holt in this series paints swimmers who turn their back on the viewer, perhaps to reflect on personal memories or the beauty around them. Both artists bring a love of their respective subjects to their canvases and each paints with subtlety, grace and elegance. The colors used are earthy and beautiful reds, greens, and golds, blues and teals. Together the result is a visually and emotionally satisfying collection of work that reminds the viewer of the natural beauty that surrounds us.
Of her inspiration, Hinckley states:
My work is inspired from growing up surrounded by color fields of water, marsh, beach and sky, and also by Rothko, Agnes Martin, 60s formalist color field painting and the method of Monet’s late paintings. In my studio I have space for oil painting and watercolor. I go between mediums switching days allowing time for reflection and drying. I approach painting intuitively, constantly adjusting as clarify comes; most of the works take a few months to complete and some remain in conversation for a year or more. Patience is constantly being learned. I am incorporating two approaches while working; one, searching while painting; the second, writing out ideas and inspiration in a painting journal. I develop the color fields by putting down marks and editing them in or out depending on how I see it. This process of editing allows me the opportunity to continually search, be it a new direction, a new color relationship or something beautiful. Hinckley received her MFA at Columbia, her Fifth Year Certificate from The School of The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and her BFA from Tufts. She has had over a dozen solo and two-person exhibits throughout the country, and countless group shows. Her paintings have been featured in numerous publications such as Coastal Living, House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, The New York Times Magazine, and O (the Oprah Magazine), just to name a few. Her work is held in hundreds of public and private collections throughout the country. Hinckley lives and works in the New York area.
Regarding her work for Natural Beauty, we asked Holt “Why these women, and why now?” She responded:
In these cold and violent times in which we find ourselves, it seems to me we need more than ever some escape into the warmth and fanciful healing powers that conscious memory can possess. Indeed these paintings of women on the beach are the embodiment of that for me. In this capacity, they are neither rendered photo-realistically nor are they on trend with our current media – driven ideals about what a woman’s body ought to look like, clothed or not. Rather they are placed into historical context and shaped more characteristically by classical standards of beauty found in Renaissance painting, as well as the Hollywood idealized film starlets from the 1940s and 1950s. Looking away from the viewer, they are more fully able to lose themselves in their gaze upon their past and the details of the memories within. I dream of my own life spent growing up in the warmth of the sun on the beach. The creation of the women in these paintings resurrects memories of family, providing a meditation on the natural beauty of a time and place I might otherwise have lost.
Holt has also had over a dozen one or two artist exhibits on the west and east coasts, as well as countless group exhibitions. She studied Master Painting at the Slade School in London, studied at the University of Southern California and received her BFA from The Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. She has been an instructor at The School of Visual Arts, a frequent lecturer and writer on the subject of art and illustration, and her work graces homes and corporate collections throughout the country. Ms. Holt divides her time between studios in Northern California and New York City.