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Walking Line series 12"x6", encaustic

Kathy Cantwell

477 Walton Rd (enter in back)
entrance in back
Maplewood, NJ 07040

View Kathy Cantwell's Gallery

I am not someone who travels well. In a sense, my work is about how far or deep one can go by staying at home. The methodical, repetitive painting is soothing to me, and yet the resulting forms still allow me to create drama. I can get into painting a stripe as if it were the first I’ve ever painted regardless of how many times I have repeated the brushstroke. Because it is a universal motif that everyone recognizes, a stripe becomes a given whose redundancy can quickly put to rest what the viewer is looking at; but this comfort of recognition allows variations with color, thickness, and light to bring intrigue and even disquiet. As Bridget Riley says simple form made redundant amplifies things.

Having an excessive commitment to routine, I am propelled in my process by the shifts I see occurring as I lay down a color and a medium, and it can take days to visually absorb what is happening in a painting. I am interested in what one color does to another other, and I simultaneously become attuned to the pushback of the physical substance with which I’m working. I favor gestures that require continuous action, because the effort usually results in applications that are decidedly handmade. Rather than seamlessly join together, a stripe maintains its autonomy, as it borders and struggles and converses with the next. While a succession of parallel lines might tend toward order, my bands of color have variation and irregularity with uneven surfaces. Where flaw meets perfection is interesting to me, because we deal with that dynamic within ourselves daily. My stripes are expressive moments about being human.

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