ABOUT THE BOOK
The number 108, a potent symbol to Buddhism, Hinduism, and other Eastern spiritual traditions, has inspired the work of Catherine Eaton Skinner since 2004. Best known for her encaustic paintings incorporating natural imagery, Skinner’s Gya Gye (Tibetan for 108) and related series represent dramatic experimentation in form, process, and viewer engagement. Informed by extensive travels in Bhutan, India, Japan, and elsewhere—along with her corresponding research into languages and philosophical systems—she expanded her mediums to include rope, fabric, glass, stones, and found objects which she modified in unpredictable ways. Although some of the series, such as the Elements paintings, retain recognizable imagery, her recent series bring 108 into the 21st century.
From QR code patterns to the simple, interminable zeroes and ones of binary language, Skinner discerns pictorial aptitude in contemporary digital codes. Other series explore ancient tally marks—both eastern and western—and the abstracting impact of systematically repeating simplified mountains or tight details of eyes, among other universal motifs.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
A Seattle native, Catherine Eaton Skinner works out of her Santa Fe and Northwest studios as a multidisciplinary artist, incorporating painting and encaustic, sculpture, printmaking, and photography. She received her B.A. in Biology from Stanford University in 1968 while studying art under Nathan Oliveira and Frank Lobdell. The figure, human and animal, is an important element in her work and acts as a source of inspiration and exploration of identity, spirit, and the paradoxes of human existence. Her work explores the natural world, its intricacies and energies that require a fine balance. The five elements—earth, fire, water, air, and space—also interact significantly in her work.
Skinner’s paintings and sculpture may be seen at Abmeyer+Wood Fine Art in Seattle, Waterworks Gallery in Friday Harbor, and Mill Contemporary in Santa Fe. Her work can be found in many private and public collections including the Museum of Northwest Art, The Henry Art Gallery, and the Tacoma Art Museum.