Nashville, TN | Painting
Caitlin Blomstrom (she/her) is an artist and arts professional with a BFA in Painting + Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. She was an artist-in-residence at Penland School of Craft in 2023 and at Kunstraum in Brooklyn, NY in 2022. She was featured in New American Paintings in 2018. Caitlin is also a curator and loves to collaborate with artists and friends. She currently lives and works in Nashville, TN.
I create paintings and art objects as a way to interpret my surroundings and to re-contextualize everyday encounters. I am interested in representing quiet, mundane encounters, humorous and uncanny scenes that you might find on a walk or in an artist’s studio. Some of my paintings employ a painting technique called trompe l’oeil (trick of the eye). Painting in this style allows me to document ideas and experiences happening around me. Often, the paintings I make are influenced by the detritus in my own studio. In some paintings, I will render curled painter’s tape or hyper-realistic wood grain in an effort to encourage the viewer to look closer and to question materiality. I like that the final work reveals the artist’s process to the viewer.
One of the ongoing threads in my work is a series of paintings called “Trash Flowers”. While working in an art museum, I became accustomed to finding post-event floral arrangements in trash cans. After a wedding or special event, I would find the most exquisite and labor-intensive arrangements dumped into trash bins around the building. Some of these appeared perfectly preserved still holding their original compositions while others were actively decaying. Each encounter left me struck by the unexpected beauty but also a feeling of sadness, a reminder of our inevitable mortality. Now, I notice “trash flowers” everywhere, in both public and private spaces. At their lightest, these paintings are meant to be humorous and at their heaviest they exist to contemplate the passage of time, decay and death.
Lastly, the plein air paintings I make are meant to be a record of time spent observing. These paintings are at once an exercise in attention and also a decision to shift value. Representing mundane scenes in the traditional medium of oil paint forces a value shift by elevating and reframing their context. The decision to paint small moments is a deliberate act to elevate the ordinary.