“I can only pass on what I was told by my mentors. You must do the work; if you only dabble, showing up occasionally to do your art, you will not be there when something happens. Keep good records of your process and where and when work moves to another place. Work on paper and materials not too precious to explore. Allow yourself to play. If you are always thinking what and where a piece will sell you are not engaged in the actual making. Be present. As it should be about the making of the work. Listen to what others have to say, then do what is in your heart.”
-Catherine Eaton Skinner from our interview in 2018, Issue 4.
Catherine grew up in the Pacific Northwest surrounded by the fresh and salt waters, majestic mountains, and old growth forests. She received her BA in Biology from Stanford University while simultaneously studying painting with Bay Area Figurative painters Nathan Oliveira and Frank Lobdell. She worked as a biological illustrator for more than a decade, Skinner specialized in the ecological integration of marine invertebrates and algae of the Pacific Coast. She presently divides her time between her studios and working as a multidisciplinary artist: painting, encaustic, photography, printmaking and sculpture.
Her work has been in numerous group exhibitions in museum and galleries and is placed in multiple private collections. She is currently represented at the Abmeyer + Wood Fine Art in Seattle, Washington; Waterworks Gallery in Friday Harbor, Washington; Art Terra in Bellevue, Washington; and Seager Gray Gallery in Mill Valley, California. Public collections include The University of Washington's Henry Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Museum of Northwest Art, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Swedish Orthopedic Hospital, and the Seattle University’s Seeds of Compassion Collection.
Skinner has been working with encaustic media and oil on panel for over 20 years. Encaustic is derived from the ancient Greek word encaustikos, meaning “to burn.” Molten beeswax is applied with a brush, and layers of colored wax and oil sticks added and fused in multiple layers, intensifying the color and depth of the work. The layers of wax may be transparent or opaque, scraped, incised or built up like sculptural relief. The durability of encaustic is due to the addition of damar resin, making it impervious to moisture, yellowing and darkening. When buffed and cleaned with a soft cloth, encaustic waxes look much like glazed tiles.