Katherine Dunlap's images pull you in slowly, catching your eye with vivid colors, but they're more than pretty. Often framed or filled with all kinds of tropical vegetation, their bright, flat surfaces recall tourist postcards of the mid-20th century, when the idea of "vacation" seemed to become real to a wide variety of Americans. Inspired by old photographs and slides of her parents and grandparents, her images feel both general and specific, real and not real, calling to mind vintage paint by numbers and oilcloth prints in their palettes. She says, "This image came from a photo of my grandmother on vacation. In the actual photo my mom and uncle were riding in the boat with her, but I liked the idea of it just being her looking at the camera."
Your eye flicks around the edges of each image, zooming in and out as it takes in pattern and composition. They're deceptively simple, with care applied to each stroke, each dot on an orange, blade of grass, or vein on a fern. Dunlap paints in acryla gouache and flashe, both of which give her work a matte finish. She says, "They make the painting look more like velvet." In other words, they have the soft feeling of what she refers to as "idealized memories." Not all of her paintings suggest narratives, but some of them do. She says, "I like the idea that my paintings are documenting the ordinary moments (like driving a boat) but the colors and foliage remind us of the positive feeling that goes along with these experiences."
Born in Gainesville, Georgia, Dunlap attended the University of Georgia, where she received a bachelor of fine arts in painting and drawing before moving to Charleston, South Carolina, where she currently lives and works. Her work has been exhibited and featured in publications including "Oxford American," "The Art Mag," "Charleston Magazine," "Skirt Magazine" and "Post and Courier."
• 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
• Finished Puzzle Size: 19.25" x 26.625"
• Linen pieces on quality blueboard backing
• Matte Finish to reduce glare
• Recommended Age: 13+ Years