Ginnie Cappaert, Artist of the Month

Marshgrass 2 (oil, cold wax, dry pigments on wood, 35×47) by Ginnie Cappaert was a finalist in the abstract/experimental category of The Artist’s Magazine’s 27th Annual Art Competition.

Ginnie Cappaert
Hometown:  Stephenson, Michigan


Early Art Years and Education
I decided I wanted to be a full-time artist 16 years ago after a lifetime of making art. I began working with watercolor, and then I moved to collage and mixed media. Currently I work with my passion—oil in an abstracted landscape, minimalist style. I made it this far in my career by immersing myself into my art and by taking workshops with Rodger Bechtold and Rebecca Crowell.

I’m a full-time artist. I own a gallery attached to my house and also sell my work through fine art galleries.

Genre and Media
Throughout my career, I was afraid of working with oils, while thinking that watercolor and acrylics were great. That was until I tried oils and fell in love with this luscious medium. I’m fond of nature and the land around me has always influenced me. I’ve finally arrived at a more simplified, minimalist structure in my life and this is reflected in my work.

Inspiration for Marshgrass 2
I love being outdoors. My husband, three children and I ride our horses in the fall and winter. It’s when I’m riding that I’m relaxed and really observe nature. As we travel through our dairy farm, which is 800 acres of fields and woods, we often ride along marsh grass areas. During this quiet ride, I feel and hear the rustle of the marsh grass.

Work Process
I don’t have a preconceived idea of what a final painting will look like as I work. It develops as 30 to 40 layers are applied. Using oil paint, cold wax and dry pigments, I apply very thin layers to the wood board adding texture, scraping the paint, dissolving areas and then rebuilding them as I construct it. The removing process is as important as the layering. I’m eventually able to see the direction of my landscape in the piece. Layers are the most important part of my work, which create depth and variation of beautiful colors. I’ve definitely found my love of a specific medium, and abstracted landscapes will never get old to me.

Time Spent on Paintings
It takes me weeks to complete my pieces. I construct several pieces simultaneously, because it takes a substantial amount of time for the layers of oil to dry. And sometimes I’ll think I’m done, but by the next day the painting doesn’t look right, so I’ll redo it until it finally speaks to me.

Favorite Parts/Challenges
Surprises constantly occur as the layers are applied and that’s what keeps me in the studio. When I begin working, I’m intrigued by the mystery of the final product. My favorite aspect of artwork is color. My favorite part is the entire process, immersing my days and my life into the paintings. The most enjoyable part is when I have completed my piece and it says, “Yes, here I am.”

My local and distant trips continue to inspire my artwork. My surroundings here in Michigan are beautiful and quiet. We’re fortunate to own land that consists of fields, forest and marshes, which show me new textures, colors and lines. Skies, vast lands, colors and light of the southwest also inspire me. All these things come together to make me a better artist.

Edited by Cherie Haas, associate editor of The Artist’s Magazine.

Artists of the Month are chosen from the list of finalists of The Artist’s Magazine’s Annual Art Competition.

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