Artist Q & A with Cathryne Trachok

Just Visiting Cathryne Trachok gallery with two photos on wall

Do you have a favorite medium? Can you tell us which you work with the
most and why?

I actually have 2 favorite mediums, I love oils, the texture, the color, the flexibility in technique which lends to experimentation with the image. And I love graphite, which is my Zen place. The drawings are where I go for peace. I find the texture of the paper, and the way the graphite mixes with the surface, very calming. The oils are more of a challenge for me, I like to push myself outside my comfort zone, and I am never really sure of the outcome until the end. I love going back and forth between the two.

Can you expand on the universal appeal of visual art?

We are all visual creatures. Where it becomes fascinating to me is that there is a universal visual. A “Golden Rectangle” where we are all most impacted. The difference between an image that is
beautiful, and one that is not noticed, is a fascinating concept that artists grapple with all the time. That universal beauty, that sweet spot in the collective visual is what makes you want to keep a painting forever. There are paintings that make statements and those are important in their time, but there is something about a beautiful painting whose only purpose is to show beauty. Across all cultures, across all media, that vision can have an impact that will last in visual memory, as well as emotional memory.

Can you tell us about the creative process behind ‘Just Visiting’? What are
you trying to communicate?

I came up with “Just Visiting” after years of moving around the country with my husband and children. Having grown up in one place, Reno, until I was 21, with most of my family still living
here, I know that feeling of belonging. Having moved every 2 years while starting my own family, I also know the feeling of being the outsider. It is an interesting tug-o- war, wanting to fit in to a new place, and yet still having ties to the home state. The lines between home and a new destination become blurred. That idea is how I work as an artist. I see things as if they are all something new all the time. I tend to notice things as a visitor would when they come into a new place. When I paint or draw those images, I want to show what I see from the perspective of a visitor. Basically, I am always on vacation, always “just visiting”, always noticing something new.

How do you see yourself in your artwork?

I don’t see myself in my artwork. I try to keep my work about the outside of who I am. It is an exploration of what isn’t me. Always a learning experience.

Can you tell us about what goals you have for the show?

I want people to enjoy what I have painted and drawn as much as I did while doing the work.

Just Visiting, Paintings by Cathryne Trachok, can be seen in Gallery East in McKinley Arts & Culture Center, December 11 – January 26.

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