The Evolution of Artistry: Caitlin Teal Price’s Journey Through Scratch Drawings

Caitlin Teal Price, an artist entrenched in the vibrant cultural milieu of New York City, has woven a diverse tapestry of artistic exploration. Her recent venture into what she calls Scratch Drawings stands as a testament to her innovative spirit, marking a departure from straight photographyand delving into the tactile realms of mixed media works on paper.

This creative divergence from photography to mixed media drawings finds its roots in a pivotal life moment—motherhood. With the birth of her second child, it was important that Price make a shift in her practice – from one of photographing on the road to one that did not take her away from home.  The quest for a more studio-based practice nudged her toward the tactile allure of the unique works on paper, a dramatic departure from the sun-soaked beachscapes of Stranger Lives or the cinematic portrayals found in Annabelle, Annabelle.

Despite the apparent visual contrast between these artistic phases, Price’s thematic consistency remains anchored in the trinity of photographic elements—light, texture, and color. However, her recent endeavors reveal a palpable disillusionment with digital artistry. For Price, the magic lies in the physicality of image manifestation, the enchantment of a latent image materializing in a darkroom bath, or the thrill of crafting a tangible artistic piece.

The genesis of Scratch Drawings emerged from a fortuitous exploration of mark-making, an unforeseen divergence that blended her fascination for light with the intimacy of manual marks. This convergence laid the groundwork for a nuanced and meticulous artistic trajectory.

Price’s creative process unfolds in a meticulous dance between book tracings and captured light. She delves into seminal photo history books, tracing gestural forms that beckon her gaze while concurrently capturing the transient interplay of light filtering through the antiquated windows of her home onto colored papers. These ephemeral shapes serve as miniature backdrops, setting the stage for the delicate fusion of sketched forms with captured images. This meticulous pairing progresses into multiple studies, then to large scale works where she intricately carves into photographic prints with x-acto blades, each incision laden with deliberate intent.

The evolution of her artistry is palpable, transcending from Lego-inspired shapes reminiscent of her sons’ toys to the more ethereal and abstract forms witnessed in her recent works. Introducing pencils into her repertoire, she breathes depth into the pristine expanse of re-exposed paper. Her conscious amalgamation of markings and light is a testament to her deliberate effort to intertwine these elements, forging a symbiotic relationship that enriches both.

Scratch Drawings, a divergence from conventional photographic methodologies, emerges not as a disruption but as a homage—an ode to the essence of photography. Each color selected pays homage to the RGB/CMYK color scale, while the textured scratches evoke an era from photography’s historical fabric. Here, light reigns supreme, revered, and immortalized in straightforward yet reverent portraiture.

Caitlin Teal Price’s journey through Scratch Drawings isn’t just a departure; it’s an evolution—an intimate and tactile odyssey weaving light, mark-making, and a profound reverence for the essence of photography into a mesmerizing tapestry of artistic expression.

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