Trees, Skies, and Water I Have Known

Catherine “Cat” Capellaro - August 2022

August 1 - 31, 2022
Reception: Mon, August 1, 5:00 pm

When COVID-19 came to the United States in March 2020, two of my primary channels of expression — writing for a weekly newspaper and performing with VO5 — slammed shut. Like everyone, I didn’t know what was coming, or how long it would last. Without those public outlets, I looked inward, trying to find some sort of internal motivation to create. I started playing around with images —in my mind, in photographs, and with watercolor pencils. The day after Trump was defeated, I began an impressionist painting class at MSCR with Heidi Levy. Here was the moment, the flow, I was looking for. I felt riveted, time disappeared. Three hours went by in an instant, and I asked to bring some acrylic paints home with me—a fortuitous choice because the class was then canceled for safety reasons. I began to look at the world differently, meditating on my immediate surroundings. I live on the edge of an urban wilderness, acres of wetland, train tracks, and small ponds populated by a group of unhoused people, wild turkeys, coyotes, owls, and deer. On regular walks with my sister, I discovered infinite beauty in these humble Midwestern landscapes. One spot I returned to again and again was a bend in the tiny Starkweather Creek. I took hundreds of photos (and borrowed more from my neighbor) and began a study of this landscape. I painted with acrylics, and then moved to oils, and just kept at it. I have made hundreds of paintings since then. I have begun to travel again and have painted rivers in France, forests in North Carolina, and the gorgeousness of Northern Minnesota. I am still seeking and striving to capture the light, the feeling that I have when I’m in nature, in my own backyard or farther afield.