The American Landscape | Catherine Gill

Excerpted from Art Journey America: Landscapes.

Craig, Alaska, watercolor, 11 x 15. Photo: Dick Eagle.

Catherine Gill has lived and worked in the Pacific Northwest for thirty years. She paints on location in watercolor, oil and pastel, and is also a printmaker. “I relish painting landscapes in rural areas, often seeking out places that are small, remote, quiet,” says Gill.

What inspired this painting?
The imagery in this painting is so suggestive of many small communities in southeast Alaska, with its endless small, quiet, hidden bays, old wooden docks, and small boats scattered everywhere. The remote community of Craig is on the west side of Prince of Wales Island, and is truly way “out there,” removed from most urban challenges, but steeped in its own. Painting and teaching in this area for many years offered me the opportunity to witness this laid-back and independent way of life; to experience the endurance of folks tied intimately to the land and water.

Do you paint en plein air?
What attracts me to painting on location is the firsthand and totally present connection to the land, feeling the energy of a place that provokes an emotion in me, and powers my painting. When my feet are on the ground, and I know the direction of the light and the sound of the wind, I have so much more information to help me with the challenge of painting landscapes.

Featured in January 2012.