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Kirstin Lamb

APRIL 27 – JULY 15

The Woods

I make labor intensive paintings of gridded dots.  These paintings frequently document fabric, wallpaper and photo-based source material.  My most recent body of work has turned to the woods as its lone subject and focus.

About four years ago I began working on an 8 foot tall image of Northeastern American wooded forest to use as a backdrop for some of my installation and painting.  It took three years to finish the first large painting in the series, made from a snapshot taken in an afternoon. The slowness of the process forced me to look over and over at this one charmed and well-lit moment in time. 

During the forced isolation of the pandemic I sat with this painting, and began another, as I had no woods to go to, nowhere to experience the slowness of nature. I like to consider it a contemporary way of documenting our extraordinary woodland spaces of North America, in the tradition of panoramic and scenic wallpaper.  When I finished this painting, I installed it both alone and with other works as a backdrop.  I found a demand and need for woods imagery every time I exhibited the work.

I’m currently developing paintings of varying sizes, mostly composed of New England woods that I have walked through on foot.  The works are made from digital patterns I make from photographs, which I then paint on Duralar, a wet media acetate.  The patterns are derived from the photographs, but also abstract and blur the photograph to a greater or lesser degree, depending upon scale and complexity of the image.  

I’m looking for a painting whose marks land between textile stitch, Impressionist mark and digital pixel.  The paintings I’m making blur between a focused Photorealism, a computer-generated pattern and a fetishized repetition of an acrylic paint mark.  Much of what I do is mix and organize color.  That the excess of labor behind the picture surprisingly makes each one seem more immediate and present.

I want the experience of my paintings to be much like walking in the woods.  Surrounded by a fabric of green, an excess of detail, the labor of making the painting stands as a devotional homage to the complexity and slow growth of the forest.

The scale shifts of the paintings function much like the jumps in time from walking in the woods to slowly experiencing a painting over days, weeks or months.  The painting space both slows you down to a single greenspace and holds you within many particular and singular snapshots in time.  

I hope to imagine the woods in its current state, as it exists now, near me, in order to see what we have now.  We have precious resources that may be humble scrub brush or elegant old growth forests, all worth documenting as they are seen in our moment.

The Woods, 2020

Acrylic and acrylic gouache on duralar
Approx 90 x 72

Milfoil and Sneezeworts, 2024

Watercolor Pencil on Paper on Panel
9 x 12 in

Aspen Woods, 2024

Acrylic and Acrylic Gouache on Duralar on Panel
30 x 22

Walk Near Litchfield ,2024

Acrylic and Acrylic Goauche on Duralar on Panel
50 x 38 in Detail

Walk Near Litchfield, 2024

Acrylic and Acrylic Goauche on Duralar on Panel
50 x 38 in

Sunset in CT, 2024

Gouache and Acrylic Gouache on Duralar on Panel
22 x 30

Ladys Mantles and Cinquefoils, 2024

Watercolor Pencil on Paper on Panel
9 x 12 in

Ferns-in-Maine, 2024

Acrylic and Acrylic Goauche on Duralar on Panel
50 x 38 in

Maine-Woods, 2024

Kirstin Lamb Acrylic and Acrylic Gouache on Duralar on Panel
50 x 38 in