"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust
Catherine Ruane takes us on an aesthetic voyage of discovery. Her exquisite drawings portray plants and landscapes in ways that compel us to see them with new eyes. With this fresh vision, we recognize the innate beauty of the natural world. We also perceive its fragile existence.
Ruane sees the paradisal essence of the American landscape, but also recognizes its resilient strength. As the artist asserts, "Nature is not always pretty; the forest is not a side show. You have to slow down and become intimate with the forest to see the resilient strength that allows everything in the forest to survive."
Ruane has created pictorial studies of everything from tall, wind-swept palm trees to saguaro cacti to ripping rivers. Many of Ruane's palm tree images have titles drawn from the artist's early Catholic school education. Words like Shrine, Conclave, and Credence underscore the devotional nature of Ruane's depictions. Perdition from 2007 is a close-up view of two large palm fronds opened into bright sunlight. Behind them, a cluster of branches opens like the ribs of an immense fan. The drawing is rich and complex, the precise rendering of light and shadow echoing the contrasts of black and white photographs. The realism of Ruane's oeuvre is astonishing. As we admire her technical skills, we are simultaneously attracted to the plant life she portrays.
For more information about the artist, please visit her website.