Fall 2022 ArtWalk Cover Art
"Where the Earth Meets Sky"
Oil Painting by Katherine Ransom
When I was a kid, my head was focused on the clouds. Not just in them but watching them move across the sky--they shapes they made and the big changes you see under a Colorado sky.
I've always been a bit of an outcast--not really fitting in at school and I didn't have many friends growing up. I was alone a lot, but I wasn't really lonely. I was also incredibly awkward looking-- big ears that stuck out, crooked teeth, tons of freckles and super skinny. Fortunately, my mom took me to a place called the Bemis Art School, which is part of the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center.
I remember walking into this place that smelled like clay and paint and feet. I was surrounded by all this art in progress and saw people of all ages who looked every bit as weird and awkward as me and who acted like this was their home-- thus the smell of feet, since most of the students and teachers weren't wearing shoes. I registered for a class and knew that I found a place to be with all the other weirdos.
I've been very lucky to have so many artist mentors in my life who were encouraging and who were each unconventional in their own way, which was really helpful for me to see and learn more.
In college, I studied sculpture, photography, life drawing, art history and theory... but I fell in love with painting. and it's been the love of my life, that has remained constant. My concentration on earth, air, water and fire are informed by my lifelong passion for nature.
I've lived in beautiful places throughout Colorado and in Southern California. For the past five years I’ve been able to experience one of the most amazing settings-- the Pacific Northwest. Because I spend a lot of time hiking, cycling and on the water, I have the chance to really take in the sky, land and sea in all its moods-- good and bad, seasons and changes. This is actually a key part of my process in creating a painting. My primary medium is oil although I've painted with lots of materials and often mix media so I can hone in on the color fields.
For me oil paints are so wonderful because of the wide expanse of colors and the ability to layer. And even though my style is a blend of impressionist and expressionist it and I focus on capturing the feeling of a moment in time. This is so important to me because I want to focus on the emotional experience as well as the physical experience with nature. The slow drying time with oil paint allows you to manipulate the medium over an extended period. I feel freer being able to walk away from a painting that isn't coming together and just leave it until I am inspired or I get the urge to settle in and solve whatever is bothering me. Painting is such an amazing creative outlet for me and it's a way of being alone that's more socially acceptable.
The piece for the Fall 2022 Arts Walk is from a series of four, called What Lies Beneath. There is so much more than what we see on the surface, in all things-- situations, the environment, culture and of course people. To see beyond the obvious, leads to sensing deeper meanings, recognizing emerging patterns, and intuiting the bigger picture. This is what brings people closer together and binds us more directly to the planet we share.
The cover art piece is called “Where the Earth Meets the Sky”. With each of my paintings I write a short poem or a few sentences about the inspiration behind it. “Overhead the summer sun drifts to the edge of the Salish Sea. The heavens below glimmer with prisms of light floating gently, liquid and slow. We come together at the meeting point of sky, land and sea.”
It’s an honor for me to be selected as the Fall 2022 Arts Walk Artist and really, I couldn’t have done it without the support of my fellow co-op members at Splash Gallery. It’s great to keep spending time with the ‘weird kids’ who have helped me feel like Olympia, is truly home.
Where the Earth Meets the Sky