Catherine Maunsell Artist Statement
In the mid 90’s I began painting in transparent watercolour, trying to represent what I saw. Twenty-five years later I am painting what I feel and what I imagine, primarily working in acrylic with the additions of graphite, charcoal, watercolor crayons, oil pastels, oil sticks, inks, collage, self-printed papers and found objects.
For me painting is sensuous, visceral and intuitive. I begin with a very limited idea - a mood, a feeling or perhaps an experiment with line - anything more detailed and concrete derails my process. I generally choose a dominant colour palette to fit the mood, often with some idea of whether I want this to be a primarily organic or geometric painting. I lay down some marks and I’m off!
I am an emotional painter who responds to the lines, shapes and colours - as I paint - never certain where I will finally land! Sometimes the initial marks get to survive as laid down but as I engage in the process of reviewing and revising, painting over and scratching through, reworking shapes and adjusting colour, they may disappear or change beyond recognition. Creating a finished painting is a process of addition and subtraction.
I have painted with Barry Coombes, Moira Clark, Tina Poplawski and Brian Burnett in Toronto, Katherine Chang Liu in Gloucester, Massachusetts and, every summer since 2003 [with one summer off for knee replacement and three so far, for Covid 19 and life events], I have spent two weeks on the Maine coast studying with William “Skip” Lawrence, painter, teacher and friend.