Nature Takes on New Dimension in these Realist Paintings Californian painter Carin Gerard is the artist behind these works of contemporary Realism. Carin’s attention to detail is meticulous and calls to mind the great still life painters of the Renaissance. Butterflies spread their wings in preparation for lift off, gardenias relish in full bloom yet retain elegance in their inevitable decay, and fading clouds sift through blue skies. Appearing almost three-dimensional, Carin’s paintings bring a whole new dimension to Realism. Carin has become a dependable source of inspiration for many people, not just within the artist community, by sharing her work via her Instagram account. We had a chat with the artist. THE PLUS: How was your summer? Carin Gerard: This was a tough year because I live in an area affected by natural disasters. We had major fires followed by a devastating mud and debris flow. Lives and homes were lost and my community really had to rally together to pull through. TP: Your art has the effect of engaging viewers as though it is three-dimensional. How do you achieve this? CG: To achieve my three-dimensional effect I start by blocking in my composition with the highlights and shadows. I paint many thin layers of glazes building up the solidity of the form and building up the highlights. The more the form is tangible and solid I am able to achieve this three-dimensional effect. TP: Have you always been fascinated by nature? CG: I am a studio painter and my first love was “Natura Morta” or “Dead Nature,” but as I grew and expanded as an artist my love and passion turned to the exaggerated form of flowers and butterflies. Now skyscapes intrigue me because of their transient nature and I am trying to capture a moment in time. TP: What do you like about realism? CG: I love to paint recognizable subject matters. At the end of the day, what delights me is to see the creation of something that once was alive and now I am trying to capture that moment in time on canvas. The inspiration is right in front of me. I don’t have to make anything up. Painting allows me to breathe my subjects into being, which is a once thrilling and brings me enormous Gratitude. TP: How many different pigments do you have in your studio? CG: This is a big one. I need to go and count. I have a lot, but I tend to probably only use about a dozen oil colors at a time now from two different companies that make very high grade pigments. TP: Do you think Instagram engages or distances us from art, overall? CG: For me, Instagram engages. I am not a fan of Facebook at all because I think it gets too busy and I am not interested in that kind of chatter. But Instagram is clean and simple and I love to see what my fellow artists are doing and it is easy to engage on a personal level as well without getting into too much chit chat which I do not have time for. TP: What do you like doing when you’re not painting? CG: I love to travel, especially to my favorite city – Florence, Italy. I love to walk on the beach with my husband and dogs. My favorite form of exercise is dance. I love having my quiet time to read books and I also love to get out of my studio, where I spend so many hours, and visit my friends and create a dinner together. Artwork photos by: William Dewey. Studio photos by: Christy Gutzeit. A solo exhibition of Carin Gerard’s work entitled Resplendence will open on 6th October 2018 at SCAPE in Corona Del Mar, California.