kaetlyn able

I suddenly want to spend the day watching old Westerns … and I don’t even like old Westerns! This is the mysterious, rich, beautifully crafted work of Montana based artist Kaetlyn Able. Are you wondering how she does this? Graphite? Printmaking? I’ll let her tell you:

“I create dreamy portraits based on found historical photographs. Using tattoo needles and an x-acto blade, I etch into thin layers of black ink that I have painted onto white clay panels. Traditionally, this drawing technique is known as scratchboard, or scraperboard, but I don’t love those clinical-sounding names. They don’t do the process, which feels utterly, completely and perfectly magical, any justice at all! For me the practice is part meditation, part act of devotion. I slowly build delicate layers of marks, gradually adding more and more light and life to the image, until suddenly, a character and a story seem to emerge out of the black. It’s a surprise every time. I often layer these black and white drawings with pops of colorful elements that I paint in acrylic and acrylic gouache, creating further texture, dimension and emotional resonance.”

Tattoo needles?! What a fantastic way to get these characters to “emerge out of the black”. Love.

comments (3)

  1. Sabine S. from Germany /// 03.01.2018 /// 8:06am

    Luv these works.
    Many ♡ ly greetings sent by
    Sabine from WO(rms) in Germany

  2. Deb /// 03.01.2018 /// 5:00pm

    These works are small but so powerful and mystical. I want to get to know each character. The mark making and layering is so rich and complex and the pieces are obsolete gems. I LOVE the woman with the bear and the beauty and bravery each panel portrays. BRAVO!!!

  3. Dorothy Siemens /// 03.04.2018 /// 5:41am

    I was surprised when I saw how small they are – they pack a powerful punch and feel much more expansive. Beautiful, evokative work!

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