GEDDES, Katharine

As a plein air painter, capturing the freshness and impression of a scene is most important to me and the foundation of my work. I capture the essence of a scene with oil paint and cold wax, using expressive marks leaning towards abstraction.

Mixing cold wax into oil paint allows for faster drying time and creates a thicker, buttery paint. Imagine working in cold weather: quickly building up layers when painting outside is important. After a few hours, the paint starts to become tacky. At this point, I use palette knives, brushes and pottery tools to scratch into the surface creating depth and texture. Applying cold wax as a varnish, I then buff to create shine in some areas for emphasis.

In May 2023, I was part of a documentary, Ways We Remember War, directed by Geoffrey Bird at Royal Roads University. We travelled to Ypres, Belgium to paint the landscape once devastated by the First World War. I followed the path of Mary Riter Hamilton, a war artist who lived in Victoria, BC.

This experience impacted my work and how I think about landscapes and places that I choose to paint. When I am painting on site I am now thinking about the power of place and its memory, what the environment might have looked like in the past and what it might look like in the future. There is a fusion of all moments in time.

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