I paint landscape-inspired work in an age of volatile weather conditions and fragile, vanishing ecosystems. My work is driven by the state of flux in our world. The ecological processes of 'disturbance' and 'succession,' as well as the delicate interconnectedness of living things, are concepts that move me.
In this shifting, unpredictable, often chaotic world, my process has become a romantic exploration of drifting, pulling apart, converging, ascending, and descending. I appropriate situations in landscapes and allow deviations and disruptions to occur with the paint; I then find myself reacting to these random changes in the composition. My process becomes a metaphor for the shifting earth and environment.
We currently deal with a myriad of threats to our environment and future - extreme weather due to global warming, radioactivity, genetically modified organisms, and drug-resistant pathogens are a few examples of these man-made disturbances. I feel compelled to create work that expresses a sense of urgency to change course and react in new ways, while also celebrating the wonder found in the attributes of the natural elements.
I am drawn to how light shifts our perception of what surrounds us, creating halos of soft diffusion or pockets of ambiguity. I am intrigued by patterns and distortions in landscapes- where images of what is 'real' and what is 'reflected' are set adrift or submerged in a nebulous space. I marvel at the mystery that exists in the shadows and the emergence of light from darkness.
"Kathryn St Clair also paints deceptively placid figurative landscape designs, mostly waterscapes amid verdant forests. Any notion of safe subject matter is upthrown with her non-traditional color palette of oranges, purples and fuschias, her texture and abstraction of the skies, and the swampy, dripping spots of atypical colors and soft, but not quite accurate reflections in the landscape, capturing that moment before abstraction. When combined with her use of silhouettes, similar to the early arts and crafts modernism of the 1920s, it truly brings her artwork to a level of great significance." - Monique Delaunay, San Francisco Art Beat, January, 2011