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A lifetime of living on a Vermont Farm has given artist Catherine M. Palmer a love for the people and animals from her agricultural heritage. Working in many layers of semi-translucent pencil, she portrays the intimate moments of life with farm animals. Her scenes of the Vermont countryside record a nostalgia for the small farm life. She also happily does commissions of animals and people around these same themes. For more information email Catherine M. Palmer at email@example.com
Catherine M. Palmer specializes in capturing the spirit and soul of the animals and people that she paints.
I love working in colored pencil, it is a dry medium that I feel I can control without having my usual terrible mess to clean up after. I experimented with charcoals,water colors,acrylics, oils, and pastels but was never satisfied with the end result. I discovered colored pencil while working with a special needs child in her art class. It was neat, and calming,and made it much easier to achieve the kind of detail I love. It was my first exposure to artist quality pencils and it opened a whole new door.
I live surrounded by my subject matter, the agricultural animals and people of rural Vermont. In this age of huge factory farms it is easy to overlook the the intimate relationship between farmers and their livestock. That connection speaks to me and I strive to capture it in what I call casual portraits. There is something peaceful and calming in the attitudes and postures of contented animals. The rhythmic beat of a horse’s footfalls patiently raking hay is good for the soul.
My artwork starts with photographs most of which I take myself. Animals don’t hold still well! When I have enough reference photos I draw on trace paper which allows me to erase, reposition, and correct angles,etc. Trace paper is light and stiff and can take lots of abuse unlike fine, artist quality paper which damages easily and does not play well with erasers! Working in colored pencil means treating the finish surface very gently. Once you crease, impress, or mark the paper in any way it can generally not take colored pencil smoothly. Yes, I’ve ruined many pieces of paper before I even started! Once I’m satisfied with the composition I place it on a light box with my finish paper over it and trace my own drawing very lightly on the final surface.