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Temporary Door

Kim Scott says her paintings aren’t meant to make people feel warm and cozy. Her work, which she calls Vanitas painting, conveys what most people want to avoid thinking about – the intransience of our own lives, and everything in them. Skulls, cuts of meat, insects, even robots, all looking disturbingly alive, are ways to invoke the futility, and the silliness, of vanity.

Her concern about climate change is a natural fit with themes she has been exploring for years. She took up bird watching along the American and Sacramento Rivers about three years ago. Images of local birds, especially the endangered tri colored blackbird, as well as the white line sphinx moth and tomato worm, have found their way into her work, in ways that are, she says, “a little creepy and a little beautiful. When you’re doing a painting of an animal, a bird, or an insect, it’s not real. It’s a replacement for the real thing, like a memorial. I don’t do direct narratives in my work. It’s a feeling the viewer gets. There’s a little foreboding, longing. It’s romanticized.” Her current series of paintings is in a Pop Surrealism style. “Realistic, but it’s nothing you’d see on the street,” she says.

A wry humor underlies much of her work. “One piece I’m working on is

a skull floating over a lake, wearing big hoop earrings,” she says. “One earing has a moth, the other has a chrysalis and caterpillar, showing the cycles of that creature’s life. The jewelry on my skeletons is about vanity. Also, I like earrings so I’m playing with myself.”

Scott works in oil on canvases that are about 16 x 20 inches. “I like what the Nertherlandish painters call cabinet paintings, made not for churches or museums, but for people’s homes. You get up close and engage with them.” She has traveled to 22 countries, had a studio in India for two years, and is a practicing Buddhist.

Scott lives and works in Surreal Estates, artist-built housing in North Sacramento. She is a full-time artist. “It’s not always a living,” she admits, “but it’s a life.” Among her many jobs, she teaches in a pilot program for the county jail system, and has taught at the Short Center for more than 20 years. Her long history in Sacramento includes an MA in art from CSUS, where she studied Photo Realism with Gary Pruner, and collaboration with a number of local artists. Scott’s work hangs in the Crocker Art Museum, and will be featured on banners along Del Paso Boulevard, as well as a show at Artspace 1616 in November.

Kim Scott

FE Gallery