Catherine Earle


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The Art Spirit Gallery is proud to open a show of new paintings by Sandpoint artist Catherine Earle.  The Opening Reception and ArtWalk will be on Friday, June 7 from 5-8 pm.  Everyone is welcome.

Catherine will give an informal painting demonstration in the gallery on Saturday, June 8 from 1-4pm.

SUMMER HOURS: Open every day from 11-6 and Friday evenings until 8.



Preparation for Catherine Earle’s most recent body of work began when she was a child in the French countryside. The simple vitality and ethereal quality of the plants, birds, fish and insects near her home struck her as a glimpse of some universal truth about the harmonious, yet unlabored relationship that these organisms had with the world. She shares that experience with the viewer in two different types of compositions. Some appear as a snapshot of life in motion. Time does not stand still in these works and, as writer Carrie Scozzaro points out, they are “intensely alive.” Other pieces are reminiscent of illustrations by naturalist James Audubon, and in these works, Earle’s handling of the organic forms is almost scientific.

Though Earle’s approach to the subject matter varies, her passionate connection to it has remained constant throughout her life as an artist. She began her formal education at Ecole Des Beaux Arts in France before moving to the United States in 1997. When her daughters were born, the experience initiated a more complete, intuitive understanding of the creative process. She continued her education as a painter in the United States, focusing first on watercolor, then on encaustic techniques. Her affinity for some aspects of these media is evident in her recent works done in acrylic on canvas. Translucent layers of color have the airy quality of watercolor, yet they build to a deep surface that has the feeling of an encaustic.

Earle’s recent paintings contain both figurative and abstract elements. Cellular forms drift in and around recognizable plants and animals; the spatial relationships are suggestive of interplay between the infinitesimal and the universal.  One has a sense of looking at the subject under a microscope while simultaneously viewing it in its entirety. A light seems to glow within the canvas adding to the ethereal quality of the work, while a pairing of muted colors and jewel tones provide a focal point for the viewer.

A bird does not plan its song in advance, just as a flower does not keep an appointment book to remind itself when to open. The plants and animals depicted in Earle’s works blossom, buzz, and sing prompted only by instinct. Earle’s paintings, similarly, are not planned or controlled but rather develop intuitively. She does not work from photographs or drawings. The image emerges by way of a natural process that combines instinct, mark-making and observation. Earle not only trusts this process, but finds that it produces exhilarating discoveries.

Whether in the pastures of France or the wilderness of North Idaho, Catherine Earle is constant in her assertion of the link between fish, fowl, and the infinite.

This will be our first major show for Catherine Earle.