Gillian Cavoto

Me Hike Bake Oven Knob

Natural beauty inspires me. It is my intention to celebrate the natural world in my work, not with large landscapes or grand scenes, but by focusing on the individual creatures that call the wild their home. Most pieces represents an individual, but like the outdoors, as a collective I hope they become a force larger than themselves. It is my hope the viewer is confronted with the beauty, power, and intrinsic value of animals that may normally not draw much attention. In doing so it is my goal they come to realize that they are a much smaller part of the Earth than they typically see themselves. We are large figures in our own lives, but in the scheme of nature we are very small. As an outdoor educator and Wilderness First Responder I have vast experience in the wild. I feel most at home when camping and living out of a backpack. The things I have seen and experienced whilst living outside have shaped who I am. Nature is where we come from, it is deeply ingrained in the fabric of our being. I see the earth not as something for us to shape, but as something to shape us if we’ll allow it to.

I primarily work in watercolor and graphite, these mediums are malleable and easily layered, which is something I do a lot of in my work. Each painting is made up of dozens of layers and mapping of details and anatomy. I try and capture the vibrancy and energy of the creature that I am painting, not only accurately but also beautifully. Almost exclusively I work from life, I try and collect the specimens I want to paint or find a museum or institution that has a collection of their own. It is very important to celebrate nature, it’s where we all come from. I love the things I paint. It makes me happy when I am painting. If I can capture the essence and spirit of the living being, it is very exciting. Never satisfied with my work, I continue to work to better celebrate and represent these animals with my paintings. My love for the wild continues to grow and I hope my paintings do too.