Katherine Maloney Painting, Fabric and Twigs

I am interested in work that celebrates nature and reflects on the seasons of life and the constancy of change.

Most physical and non-physical states in our experience are in constant transition: growing, changing, moving, decomposing, and being replenished, reconstituted, and transformed. In my work I seek to capture and celebrate these ephemeral manifestations and changes. The four season cycle in a year readily demonstrates this transformation. When applied to the spiritual realm, the progression of the cycles of life are illustrated in birth, life and death; the after life and the unseen. I draw on natural elements to describe the interplay between life and death, birth and rebirth, darkness and hope, the seen and unseen.

Abstract or representational, my paintings reference spirituality, the natural world and its cycles. For example, the painting, Our Path, uses images of nature to illustrate the cycles of life and death. My intention is that viewers will first notice an array of flowers. A more sustained view of the painting may reveal that at the top of the image, the grass is sparse and newly seeded directly below the gravestone. While many of the painted flowers are in full bloom, others have begun to shrivel and brown. The fragility of life is embodied in the beauty and delicacy of a dying flower, and the juxtaposition of elements evokes the inevitability of death and rebirth.

Much of my art has been inspired by the painting of Hans Hofmann. I am riveted by the drama and excitement in Hofmann’s abstract work and I aspire to a similar level of color, energy and vitality. Other influences include: Matisse for his color and composition, Bonnard for his color and feeling and Alice Neel for her reductive honesty and “quirkiness.”

I paint primarily in acrylic on canvases ranging in size from three to five feet. I love the drag of the brush, the jolt of color and the dance and interplay of paint in response to what is happening on the canvas. I find my passion for painting in the joy of that dance and the continuous challenge of creating art and progressing as an artist. I also create mixed media works using actual leaves, flowers, twigs and branches as the actual art medium in order to celebrate the beauty in each stage of the cycle.

I try to preserve a captured essence in my fabric sculptures. By working in silk, chiffon, organza, knit and other materials, I express in three dimensions the elements, personality and palette of each season and emphasize the physicality of each. I use mostly translucent fabric, which allows me to combine and layer colors within each piece. Combining and layering the colored fabric allows each piece to change in its surroundings based on shifting light and the varying positions and movements of the observer. In this way the art work mimics the ephemeral in nature.

Through my art, I want to relate the transience of the human experience with the shifting seasons in the natural world and incorporate the spiritual realm as part of the cycle. Like the physical changes through spring, summer, autumn and winter, the spiritual realm and the after life are part of the Life Seasons.