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Carin Gerard

So little in life is permanent, and the fleeting resplendence of a flower punctuates this certainty. Living and dying at the same instance, the twists and turns of its petals tell a story with every passing moment. The gardenia, peony and rose give Carin Gerard, Santa Barbara-based classical realism painter, an opportunity to exaggerate nature’s robust, yet impermanent brilliance.

“Inner Beauty” is a series that relies on both realistic and fantastical colors to portray the vibrancy of each blossom. Purple, pink and blue play off subtle greys and whites. “I wasn’t confined by real color value,” Gerard states. “I went into fantasy, which is unlike my other work, and added a sense of excitement and lusciousness.”

A quality that is ever-present in Gerard’s paintings is sensuality; they are feminine, sexy and powerful. She believes the corporeal center of the flower—this essence of life—is formidable. The flower is symbolic in many ways, here capturing the spirit of the passage of time. She explains, “It is living and dying in the same breath, and holds beauty at every stage. Just like each individual person, we have the ability to hold onto our inner beauty or let it fade as life progresses.”

Perhaps more than with any other series, “Inner Beauty” showcases Gerard’s technical prowess. Using the Munsell color theory, she works from an equation for each color to create a string of values. “It’s like math,” Gerard states. “The process is complex, but in order for a painting to be complete, there must be a looseness, an informality amongst the precision.” To that point, she is not interested in presenting a viewer with a static image, lovely as it may be. Gerard’s work is dynamic, three-dimensional and interpretive. Her hope is viewers find the story beyond the external paint strokes, discovering instead the everlasting quality of nature’s innermost beauty.

Carin Gerard

Carin Gerard
Dancing Peony, 2014
Oil on linen
30 x 24"