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Artist Talk: Capturing a Wave

Updated: Mar 25, 2022

a photo of Wave Imprint #7, 2017 on sand at the beach.

Check out the video below to learn more about my process. This artist talk was made in collaboration with the City of Port Coquitlam, from my solo show "Capturing a Wave" at the Outlet Gallery in late 2020.

With accessibility in mind, please see the text below if the audio/ video format does not work for you.

About Wave Imprints:

Wave Imprints connect you to the ocean, wherever you are. They are made on acid free paper, using ink made by me from charcoal found on the beach, the land base I am on, or taken from sacred fires. They are minimalist, and invite the calm feeling of nature into your space using water, air, fire, and earth elements.

Wave Imprints play on the mindful witnessing of natural phenomena. I facilitate this work with the ocean, collecting found charcoal, and turning it into ink in my studio. I then bring the ink back to the water to create with. The images depicted on each work are created when a drop of ink on paper meets a wave. They are then left to dry on the foreshore.

Wave imprints are created using black ink on white watercolour paper. The final product is various shades of grey on white paper. The image may appear slightly different on computer and phone screens than in real life.

Wave Imprints invite a quiet, mindful experience with each piece.

Wave Imprints may have organic bends in them from the way they dried on the beach. I find this beautiful, as it evokes memory of the movement of the water.


Slide 1:

Hi all! I am so happy you are here. My name is Kaitlyn Beugh and my work explores ideas of connection, nature, and with Capturing a Wave in mind, the impact natural forces create in gentle ways.

I incorporate a variety of creative practices into the work I do. I combine disciplines in ways that complement the intention I have.

Slide 2:

I started making wave imprints in 2016, when I was going through what I realize now was an artist block.

I was studying painting at Emily Carr University, and I felt a disconnect to the work I was creating.

I was making acrylic paintings of local natural environments in my studio. At this time, I was developing sensitivities to the paints my studio mates and I were using, and experiencing negative side effects.

This led me to start making art outdoors, and exploring ways of creating that incorporated more nature into my work.

One day, I was sitting at the beach and I wondered what the ocean would paint. I took some ink of India and splashed it on a piece of paper, and brought it to the edge of the foreshore, where the land meets the ocean. I let a single wave wash over it.

Slide 3:

Here is an image of one of the first wave imprints I made.

As I continued this practice, my hands were constantly stained with ink from it.

It dawned upon me that this is a shared space, and if the ink is staining my hands, what else is it doing to the beings that live here?

I sat with this for some time, and one day came across charcoal from a previous beach fire. I collected this and took it back to my studio, making it into ink.

This ink washed easily off of my hands, and I knew exactly what was in it.

This was affirming for me, as I could now be transparent about exactly what I was putting into the ocean.

Working with the ocean this way really got me thinking about my personal impact on it, and has humbled me in the work I make.

Since then, I have brought more mindfulness into my practice.

I find that incorporating mindfulness brings more flow and play into the work I create.

I begin my process by focusing on different senses at the beach- whatever feels right in the moment, such as closing my eyes and listening to the waves come in,

closing my ears and watching the water move,

standing at the edge of the foreshore and feeling the waves come in.

These practices deepen my awareness of the intricate differences of the waves, and in each wave imprint, you can see this.

I have found that each wave is so different, and a few factors I have found that affect them include the tide, the weather, the seasons, and my location.

The waves at White Rock beach differ to that of waves in the Burrard inlet, or the Strait of Georgia, for example.

I have found a few themes that the waves have in common, and you can see them being portrayed in the coming images, which are each featured in my show.

Slide 4:

For example, in this one, taken at Crab Park in Vancouver in October 2017- you can see the wave had a fizz to it. The fizz made an imprint that looks like bubbles in the ink stain on the paper. I realized the ocean had a fizz to it after sitting and listening to the waves for about half an hour, and then making this piece.

Slide 5:

In this one, the wave danced across the page, bringing the ink along with it. There is a certain magic in experiencing this. I find that I need to be completely present and in the moment. That’s when I truly feel connected to the ebbs and flows of each wave.

Slide 6:

In this one, the wave came in strong and washed most of the ink off, leaving a line where the edge of the wave crawled up the paper.

Slide 7:

This one, the waves were slow and heavy, and left a lot of ink on the page, and you can see the varied movements within the wave throughout it.

Slide 8:

And in this one, there was a brown tinge, likely from the silt in the water at the time. The tide was very far out, and this one was created during the first covid-19 lockdown.

One thing that I love most about this way of creating is that rather than having a single studio to create at, my studio is wherever I am.

Much of my work is small for this reason- I like being able to carry my materials without too much weight, so I can focus on connecting to the land I am on and following my inspiration from there.

Something I am exploring now with Wave Imprints is working on a much larger scale- and finding solutions to the challenges this poses.

Thank you all for your presence here. That was the end of my presentation and I am now open to answering any questions you may have about my work.

I also welcome you to send me an email if you have any questions, and connect with me on social media @kaitlynbeugh

Want to stay connected? Sign up for my monthly newsletter to stay in the loop on my practice and offerings.

Kaitlyn is a practicing artist and has some of her artwork for sale in the form of original pieces via her website here. Kaitlyn is currently studying herbalism and connecting deeper with the energies of plants and natures cycles.

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