Dig deeper: painter Ginnie Cappaert focuses on texture, color and exploration

Ginnie Cappaert’s work – with its bold, bold colors and nature themes in varying degrees of abstraction – is easily recognizable. It makes you wonder how she keeps her job and craft fresh with each new season.

In his March blog post, Cappaert wrote, “My work this winter has been focused on exploring what I know in greater depth. This meant that I wasn’t reinventing anything this year, but deepening many series that I had worked on before.

She lives above her gallery on the cliff edge of Egg Harbor. From its terrace, and even more so from its living room, its view is dominated by the sky. And this can be seen in his painting: abstractions in cold wax and oil with clear representations or simply hints of landscape, waterscape and sky.

“Having a relationship with my place is important,” Cappaert said. “And my place is here right now. Or New Mexico,” she added, referring to Santa Fe, where she spent a month painting during the winter.

But here in Door County, she spends her time outside of the paint going on weekly horseback rides, riding her bike early in the morning when the roads are quiet, hiking Door County Land Trust trails, practicing yoga and riding around in his red 1952 Ford pickup truck, unmistakably branded with his gallery name on the rear window.

Cappaert described his work as “a landscape and my environment reduced to minimalism, with an emphasis on color and texture”.

“My mission,” she said, “is to surround myself with beauty and create beauty in my paintings.”

This winter, she put into practice her goal to dive deeper into her art by exploring color, senses of place, textures and being mindful of subtle variations in color, such as all degrees of green in spring.

Because she works in multiple layers—often using 40 to 50 coats of slow-drying oil and wax that she selectively scrapes or partially dissolves with a citrus-based solution—she typically has five to seven paints to that time. It can take him months to complete one.

“I really become known for my big pieces,” Cappaert said. “It’s physically exhausting, but I’m ready for this challenge.”

In the meantime, she works on smaller and less strenuous pieces.

The painting and scraping process also creates a mess. When she moved from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to Egg Harbor, buyers of her Michigan property wanted to turn her studio into a master suite. Chips of paint and wax were not part of their interior design plan.

“I had a lot of cleaning to do when I sold this studio,” Cappaert said. “It’ll be a great master suite, but oh my, did I have to scrub!”

She is passionate about her art and her gallery which, in addition to exhibiting her own work, represents 40 artists.

“What I love about the arts is when artists have personalized galleries,” Cappaert said. “All artists [whom] that I represent are just individual artists like [me], do what you love. I never want to carry corporate or mass-produced artwork. »

It is important for her to be in her gallery, to interact with people, even if it means that most of the paintings are put on hold for the summer.

“I like the interaction of people because in winter there is none,” she says. “There’s only me in the studio.”

This leaves no time for Cappaert to do large paintings during the summer, although she manages a few small works and thinks a lot about what to paint when winter comes.

“All of these paintings seep into me,” she said, “so that when November rolls around, I can walk into the studio and see what’s going on with all of these thoughts and ideas.”

When winter arrives and his schedule opens up, Cappaert focuses on painting larger as it allows him to be more expressive. It also uses more layers and textures.

“I’ve gone further with this than I have in the past,” she said. “Sky paintings, too, are just built on all these layers. When I say deepening, I’m just talking about more and more layers and textures, and developing more interest in the piece.

But painting large, heavy panels can also be expensive – Cappaert’s paint orders run into the thousands – which is the price to put multiple coats on large panels using the best quality paints.

In her studio, she pulled out sheets of paper with different colors of paint on them, along with notes on the ingredients of each brushstroke.

“Look at some of these beautiful earthy colors with the sparkles,” Cappaert said. “Because even though my work is so colorful, I balance that intense color with that down-to-earth side.”

She exhibits her work at her Cappaert Contemporary Gallery, 7901 Hwy 42 in Egg Harbor; at Edgewood Orchard Galleries, 4140 Peninsula Players Road in Fish Creek, where she will be a featured artist this summer; and at Globe Fine Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

About Margaret L. Portillo

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