Poem and Accompanying Visual Art

by Catherine Eaton Skinner Issue: 2022 Special Issue on Identity

Shadow Spirits

The earth in Ancient Egypt was named Ta Mara.
Pyramids and places of power were placed on intersections of the ley,
magnetic lines of energy that crisscross the earth.
So stand the ruins of the Incas and the stones of the Celts,
the power in the place and in the stone formed by man’s hand.
Mythology resonates with calling into being, the animals and ourselves, the root of our names 
     being sung to become realization.
We are magnetized with our blood and bone for our earth journey.
If we listen, we belong to the rhythms of the earth and its inner dreams. 
Our tracks are as the birds’ trails of migration, magnetized with the repetition of many that have
     traveled the same path.
If we stand in the vortices of the ley, we become a part of the whole.
If we become still and silent, we feel the four winds and the sky. 
We are then one with our kin of the past, the present and the future. 
We are then one with the energies of it all.


 

Artist Statement

Catherine Eaton Skinner’s work is centered on the balance of opposites, as well as methods of numerical systems and patterning we use to construct an order to our world. Thus, much of her art encompasses intriguing repetition and multiplicity. Her art has depths of layers that affirm her desire to allow a work to be beautiful as well as spiritual.

Her creative sensibilities and stimuli are owed in part to growing up in the Pacific Northwest of the United States surrounded by the fresh and salt waters, majestic mountains and old growth forests. Drawn to marking methods that have been used by peoples and even some animals to indicate presence and construct a deeper relationship to place and nature, Skinner moves from the simplicity of tantric forms to the complexities of grids. She reflects, "We live in a world where it may be difficult to feel a part of the whole, but we continue trying to find ways to connect to place and to each other." Her various series of works give expression to her journeys through many cultures over the years.

 



Catherine Eaton Skinner Credits: Photo by Suzanna Westhagen

Catherine Eaton Skinner received her BA in Biology from Stanford University while simultaneously studying painting with Bay Area Figurative painters Nathan Oliveira and Frank Lobdell. Working 20 years as a biological illustrator, Skinner specialized in the ecological integration of marine invertebrates and algae of the Pacific Coast. She presently divides her time between her studios in Seattle and Santa Fe, working as a multidisciplinary artist: painting, encaustic, photography, printmaking and sculpture.

Skinner’s monograph, 108, published by Radius Books of Santa Fe, New Mexico, showcases twelve years of her work in which she pursued a deep investigation of this symbolic sacred number, using repetition in multiple explorations. Her artwork is also included in Art of Discovery: Exploring a Northwest Art Collection, the cover art of Others Will Enter the Gates, Speak For the Trees and four marine wildlife and biology books. Unleashed, published by the University of Washington Press in conjunction with the Woodland Park Zoo, portrays her passion for animals and her relationship among them.

Over 100 publications (magazines, newspapers) have highlighted her work in feature articles and/or cover art work, including LandEscape Art Review (London), Artists on Art, Magazine 43 (Berlin, Hong Kong, Manila) XI Draconis Books, Saatchi Art’s "The Women-Only Edition of Invest In Art - Women's History Month,” Blink Art, Contempo Annual, iō Literary Journal, The Woven Tale Press, Apero, art ltd. and the New Mexico Bar Bulletin.

Skinner has had 39 solo exhibitions at, among others, Waterworks Gallery, Friday Harbor, Washington; Abmeyer + Wood Fine Art, Seattle, Washington; Radius Books, Santa Fe, New Mexico; The San Francisco Gallery, San Francisco, California; Gallery Saoh & Tomos, Tokyo, Japan; and an upcoming show at The Grace Museum, Abilene, Texas. Her work has been in numerous group exhibitions in museum and galleries, including the Royal Academy of Arts, London, United Kingdom; Marin MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art), Novato, California; Museum of Encaustic Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico; The City of Santa Fe Arts Commission Community Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico; the Japanese Handmade Paper Museum, Tokushima, Japan; and the Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, Montana. Public collections include the Embassy of the United States, Tokyo, Japan; Boeing Corporation, Seattle, Washington; Henry Art Museum, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, Washington; Museum of Northwest Art, La Conner, Washington; Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington; and Seattle University’s Seeds of Compassion Collection, Seattle, Washington.