Since moving to the foothills nearly three years ago now, Art & Light Gallery has been a wonderful basis of creative encouragement and growth for me. Located in the West Village of Greenville, or the Pendleton Arts District, A&L began by housing the works of local residents. Now, it boasts talent from artists coast to coast.
A&L asked me a few questions about the inspiration and process behind the body of work for my first solo exhibition, Y A W N I N G E A R T H. I tried to answer as honestly without being long-winded as possible! Click here to read our interaction, or take a look below.
In the studio with Kaitlyn Etchison
We are thrilled to welcome Kaitlyn Etchison for her first solo exhibition with Art & Light. Showcasing a stunning use of gesture, Kaitlyn creates thoughtful abstracts built with intentional layers and rich texture. Kaitlyn utilizes various materials and mediums to accomplish expressions of contrast and depth. The result is a simplicity that speaks volumes. From the coast of California to the foothills of the Carolinas, her works holds the memories of places visited.
We caught up with Kaitlyn in her studio to give you an inside look at “YAWNING EARTH”…
Q: Can you tell us a little about the places that have inspired this body of work?
A: Yes! Two winters ago my husband and I took a trip to Southern California. We spent a couple of nights tucked away in the hills of Ramona, a long wandering day in Joshua Tree National Park and some time near the ocean in San Diego. All of these theaters had a badge of uniqueness about them - the rich roll of land in the mountains, the immaculate sculpt of stone formations in the desert, the jewel like glow over the coast. Yet they were all the same in gorgeous ways, too: depth of field - slope against stars or boulders layered upon boulders and still more boulders; sea tones lightening as they stretched until they were the same color as the sky at the horizon line. Everywhere rock. Everywhere glitter over surfaces from morphing light at all hours. Everywhere striking lines, shadows cast, yawning expanse.
Q: What was one of your favorite memories from this trip?
A: Ramona - I honestly loved it more than the South of France! For our anniversary, my husband rented a dreamy house with jaw dropping views surrounding. He cooked incredibly, we had champagne in a hot tub under stars, chocolate next to a huge fireplace, woke up to a flood of buttery sun streaming in through floor to ceiling windows. It was just plain romantic. But I can't leave out the sea, either. Water is the heart and highlight of any trip for me.
Q: Has this process of creating for a solo exhibition impacted your process as an artist?
A: Much. This is my first show. I now know why they call things like this a “labor” of love. It is taxing, in the best way. And so many trips to the supply store, far more than I've made to Target these nine months as a new momma, that's saying something. I've learned a little bit more how to talk about my work without a self consciousness at not being formally trained. What I don't want to make anymore, and what I'm proud to put my name on. That it takes boldness to be simplistic and elegant. To put the brush down at the "right" time and let my offering be humble and not forced. To take a two hour or 12 day pause if necessary. It's re-iterated to me that nothing is new under the sun. I am inspired by shells and waves, for goodness' sake - nothing I create will be like what my eyes beheld or hands touched and it shouldn't attempt to be. It is okay that it's just a desert mirage in my mind, jotted, if you will, onto paper. Like notes on a sermon!
Content belongs to Art&Light Gallery, Greenville, South Carolina