The Artist Behind Scratch Drawings

After becoming a parent, artist Caitlin Teal Price realized that working from her home studio provided her with a unique opportunity to do something different. 

Price’s previous bodies of work, using photography as her medium, involved extensive traveling and logistical coordination. In her series Annabelle, Annabelle (2009-2011) Price would travel around for weeks scouting out a location for her photographs. Once she found the perfect location, she would visit the location multiple times ina day to observe how the light changed and affected the environment. Once the location and time were set,Price would ask a person to inhabit the space for the final photograph.  Since becoming a parent and adapting to the constraints that come along with it, Price’s photographic method of depicting people and places shifted to a more introspective practice. Instead of traveling long distances to explore environments, Price began working in the studio for the first time in her professional career.  

Price’s current series, manifested during her newfound studio time is a series of mixed-media works called Scratch Drawings. Like her photographs of people and places, Price’s Scratch Drawings explore a world accented by light and form. Price started this series by combing through formative photography books within her personal library.  She then made abstract drawings of the most compelling photographic compositions. Parallel to this process, she began photographing the rays of sunlight permeating through her studio windows as they shined onto colored paper. Combining both processes, by pairing the abstract drawings with the photographs of light, Price created the foreground and background for her compositions.  In the final works, Price uses an x-actoblade to etch the delicate and intricate abstractions into the surface of her photographs.

Whitney Cole, of Candela Gallery, commented on the impact of Scratch Drawings, noting that although the series “initially feels like a stark departure from the photographic process, it serves more like a deconstructed ode. Each color chosen is a nod to the RGB/CMYK color scale; the scratched textures themselves are pulled from photography’s past; light, the queen of photography, is glorified with a straight portrait.”

In Scratch Drawings, with a combination of hand drawn lines and passing rays of sunlight, Price has seamlessly blendedconcrete and ethereal qualities that signify uncanny and existential phenomena from everyday life, allwhile referencing the history of art and photography. 

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