Entitled Morning Fog, this 2019 oil painting and clay collage on canvas abstracted landscape artwork is from the Oil & Clay series by contemporary Mendocino/Bay Area artist, Gaétan Caron (b. 1964), co-founder of Lost Art Salon in San Francisco.
Gaétan developed his own technique of integrating oil paint with raw clay on stretched canvases, adding organic texture to his work. The black clay is harvested directly from the bottom of a valley on his land in the Mendocino hills. After painting a first layer with oil paint, Caron hand molds the clay applying it while still wet, using a strong archival adhesive which remains flexible. This process allows for durability as well as for the natural craquelure to organically form as the clay dries and transforms into the texture of the mountains on the other side of the valley where his studio is located.
"And just like bark on trees naturally breaks and chips, it is perfectly all right if with time bits of clay fall off to reveal the beauty beneath." says the artist.
Gaétan lives and works in his off-the-grid home located in an heirloom orchard in the Mendocino hills of Northern California, a stone's throw from the wild California Coast. His work documents the textures, colors, forms, as well as monochromatic shadows and reflections found in the natural world through contemporary abstract, botanical, still life, landscape, seascape paintings and Fine Art photography.
"Caron's paintings with clay are simultaneously visceral and imaginary. They transport us at once to the strange inner reaches of the mind and the reassuring, marvelous textures of the earth." Larry Rinder, Contemporary art curator and museum director (BAMPA 2008-20)