Kathy Buist | In The Presence of Nature

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kathy buist

in the presence of nature

GaLerie D’orsaY, Boston

We are thrilled to present to you this new catalogue celebrating the unique artistic vision of contemporary painter, Kathy Buist! Buist’s art is an invitation to connect with the world around us and build new relationships with ourselves and with others.

Through her art, Buist captures the shifting tides and the wind itself—all the wonders of the natural world—and invites the viewer to become a part of it. Her paintings are more than mere depictions of landscapes and environments; they are gateways to a deeper understanding of our place in the world. Further still, they serve as sanctuaries to which one can escape for a brief moment of respite.

In the Presence of Nature, there are places of communion and connection to be found. Buist’s art reflects this truth and encourages the viewer to see the world in a new light; one that is full of vibrant colors, textures, and emotions. Her paintings are a celebration of the beauty and complexity of our world and her ability to capture its essence is truly remarkable.

As Co-Directors of Galerie d’Orsay, we are honored to have represented Kathy Buist for a decade here on Newbury Street, and to have shared her compelling vision with collectors and art lovers from all over the world. We hope that this catalogue inspires you to connect with the world around you in new and meaningful ways, and perhaps even consider adding another one of Kathy’s stunning works to your personal collection.


Kathy Buist, East Hampton, NY, 2023 Photo by Ben Flythe

“The landscape belongs to

Luminous (Detail), Mixed media on canvas, 36” x 60”

the person who looks at it.”

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Interlude VI, Mixed media on canvas, 50” x 50” Tuscan Mist, Oil on paper, 8 1/2” x 11 1/2”

ABOVE: Renewed, Mixed media on canvas, 48” x 48”

LEFT: Watching, Mixed media on canvas with 24k gold leaf, 50” x 50”

Courtesy, the Wickwire Family Collection; Photo by Ben Flythe

Just Before the Water, Mixed media on canvas, 60” x 60”

Blue Prelude, Mixed media on canvas, 50” x 50” Passage, Mixed media on canvas, 36” x 60”

Reflections of a Garden XVIII, Mixed media on canvas with 24k gold leaf, 48”

x 48”

As Kathy Buist’s friend and collaborator for over a decade now, I am thrilled to share her latest paintings with you!

Kathy’s talent never ceases to amaze me. Her use of color and sense of movement is breathtaking, and her ability to express an atmospheric light is truly remarkable. Over the years, we have shared countless conversations and moments of inspiration, and I am honored to be a part of her artistic journey.

Last month when we were selecting pieces for this exhibition, Kathy let me suit up in her paint-stained work clothes to get a closer look at her newest creations. It was exhilarating! Kathy’s instincts in handling paint, the way she merges one color into the next is brilliant. She lets us in on her process with brushstrokes, drips, and layers. Her ethereal skies slay me! Explosive one moment, calming the next. There’s a certain energy that I feel in Kathy’s studio. Time and again, I’ve heard that same sentiment from her passionate collectors over the past ten years.

As Co-Director of Galerie d’Orsay, it is an immense privilege to showcase Kathy’s talent and share her art with the world. I hope this catalogue serves as a reminder of the incredible artistry that exists within the contemporary art world and the power of creative collaboration and friendship.


Martha S. Folsom & Kathy Buist, East Hampton, NY, 2023 Photo by Ben Flythe Kathy Buist, East Hampton, NY, 2023 Photo by Martha S. Folsom

That Which Goes Beyond, Mixed media on canvas, 48” x 48”

Reunion, Mixed media on canvas with 24k gold leaf, 48” x 48” Kathy Buist Painting, East Hampton, NY, 2023 Photo by Elena Martinez

Inspired by J.M.W. Turner

J.M.W. Turner, one of Britain’s most celebrated artists, reportedly had himself tied to the mast of a ship for four hours during a storm off the coast of Britain in the 1830s. The experience is said to have inspired some of his most famous paintings, including his ‘Snow Storm: SteamBoat off a Harbour’s Mouth’ (exhibited in 2022 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston).

Turner was known for his obsession with light and atmospheric effects, and his ability to convey the sublime in his paintings. Tying himself to the mast was a daring move, and this act is often cited as an example of Turner’s willingness to go to great lengths for his art.

Kathy Buist draws inspiration from this story of Turner’s determination and his ability to paint the sea’s turbulence. In 2022, she painted a monumental 72” x 72” canvas titled ‘From the Mast,’ inspired by Turner’s experience. Like Turner, Buist’s work often explores the relationship between humans and the natural world, and she uses her art to raise awareness about environmental issues.

In ‘From the Mast,’ Buist captures the raw energy of a stormy sea, using bold brushstrokes and sweeping movements to convey the sense of being at the mercy of the elements. By referencing Turner’s famous story, Buist pays homage to one of the great masters of British art, while also exploring the enduring relevance of his work for contemporary audiences.

RIGHT: From the Mast, Mixed media on canvas, 72” x 72” New Light, Mixed media on canvas, 52” x 52” The Wild Air, Mixed media on canvas, 40” x 40”

Transforming Skies (Detail), Mixed media on canvas, 18” x 24”

—Henry David Thoreau
“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”
ABOVE: Installation of Kathy Buist paintings at Galerie d’Orsay, 2021 LEFT: Galerie d’Orsay collectors with Kathy Buist Opening for ‘Contemporaries: Kathy Buist & Natasha Zupan’, 2018

Ogunquit Museum of American Art

Kathy Buist’s painting, Early Morning, Maine, auctioned in 2022 at a fundraiser for the Ogunquit Museum of American Art

Early Morning, Maine, Mixed media on canvas, 30” x 24”

ABOVE: Within the Wave (After Homer), Mixed media on canvas,

LEFT: Nature

36” x 36” Study #14 & #19, Mixed media on paper, 22 1/2” x 30” (each) Nature Study #15, Mixed media on paper, 30” x 22 1/2” Kathy Buist, East Hampton, NY, 2023 Photo by Martha S. Folsom Beach Haven, Mixed media on canvas, 60” x 60” Equinox, Mixed media on canvas, 60” x 48”

In Celebration of Galerie d’Orsay’s 21st Anniversary, 2021

FRONT ROW: Madeline De Michele, Devon Engle, Kristine Feeks Hammond, Jenna Gazaille BACK ROW: Kathy Buist, Martha S. Folsom, Ben Flythe


Breaking, Mixed media on canvas, 72” x 72”

ABOVE: Light Over Light, Mixed media on canvas, 48” x 48”

RIGHT: Emergence, Mixed media on

canvas, 48” x 48” Courtesy, Gerald Pomeroy Interiors; Photo by Sarah Winchester Studios

Nature Study #9, Mixed media on paper, 22 1/2” x 30”

Kathy Buist, East Hampton, NY, 2023 Photo by Ben Flythe

Elevate (Detail), Mixed media on canvas, 36” x 60”

“Let us spend one day as

deliberately as Nature.”

– Henry David Thoreau

An Interview with Kathy Buist April, 2023

GALERIE D’ORSAY: What do you hope viewers will take away from experiencing your work?

KATHY BUIST: I hope viewers find a sanctuary in my paintings. Some artists are invested in shocking people with their work; I’ve chosen a different direction. My goal is to allow people to find shelter—a haven—in my landscapes and to experience the peace that the moment can provide. I always aspire to reveal that there is more to life; that there is still beauty to be found and that the artistic experience provides people with solace from the tragedies of daily existence and headline news.

GDO: How do you think your identity and personal experiences have influenced your artwork?

KB: In the past when I encountered stressful situations, I always found comfort in nature. This made me realize that there is more to life than what we experience every day. When I look up to the sky or trees, or when I look out to the ocean, I see spaces of comfort. Meditation has helped me find places and spaces of “Now.” I have come to realize that the present is always the most perfect, and I am grateful for this. I love to capture that moment in my work.

GDO: Can you describe the inspiration behind your most recent body of work?

KB: I am inspired by changes in the atmosphere, moving clouds, the sea, and the translucence of air. In the past, I lived near lakes and now I live by the ocean; bodies of water inspire me to create pieces that reflect what I see, what I feel, and what I imagine. The air at different times of the day, the freshness of the wind, morning fog, and the light all inspire me and are essential to my work.

GDO: How has your artwork evolved over time and what have been the major influences on this evolution?

KB: The work has absolutely developed over time, particularly my use of color and the freedom in my brushstrokes. Robert Henry, a painter and professor emeritus at Brooklyn College who studied under Hans Hofmann, once advised me during a critique: “Use whatever you can to describe what you want to communicate.” His comment has always stayed with me and has opened so many avenues, encouraging me to experiment with a wide array of materials, whether it be sticks, rags, or my own hands. His words urged me to convey other perceptions and to allow for other layers to manifest themselves.

GDO: Could you speak to the role of color and texture in your work and how they contribute to the overall impact of the piece?

KB: Color is light. Light is color. I am always fascinated by color and light, two sides of the same coin. I allow these two to surprise me with new forms. Sometimes I feel like I am a viewer, not the creator, as I welcome color and light in partnership to present something new in my work.

GDO: How does your work engage with contemporary issues, either directly or indirectly?

KB: Like many people, I am concerned about the world today. There is so much destruction and pain around us. As an artist, I feel the need to preserve some elements of beauty—the essence of the earth, the kindness of the human spirit. I paint to capture both the subtleties as well as the sublime grandness of the landscape. My hope is that people who see my work develop a deeper sensibility and a broader view of our world.

GDO: Can you discuss the balance between intention and intuition in your artistic process?

KB: Intention and intuition go hand in hand in my work. Frankly, I don’t know where one ends and where the other begins. My pieces most often start with intuition—then that intuition pushes me to pursue an idea and a specific form. Then intuition takes over again in the development of the piece and it allows me to build something unique, something special. In this process, the subconscious takes over my conscious mind.

GDO: How do you approach the concept of beauty in your work, and do you believe that art has a responsibility to be beautiful?

KB: The work does not have to be beautiful. The work must describe an idea or communicate a moment in time. After all, what is beautiful? The appreciation of beauty is very subjective. What is intriguing, ambiguous, and thought provoking is beautiful to the individual.

GDO: Can you speak to any challenges you have faced in your artistic career, and how you have overcome them?

KB: In the past, one challenge was finding the time and the space to create my work. I feel very fortunate because I have since found both. I love having uninterrupted time to develop my ideas and to pursue my interests. Being in the East End of Long Island provides me with so many possibilities.

GDO: Can you describe the impact of the current socio-political climate on your creative process?

KB: The news, the emphasis on technology, the many devices that we use in our daily life are taking us away from what is most meaningful: finding deep connections with others and within ourselves. Creating art brings me back to my core—to my most honest self—allowing me to be in touch with a richer human experience.

GDO: Can you discuss any themes or motifs that have consistently appeared in your work throughout your career?

KB: The themes and motifs that I enjoy are the power and peace that the earth affords us. I think of artists like Turner and Monet; the Industrial Revolution had a huge impact on Turner’s work. Monet was also concerned about the industrial changes he saw around him, and the destruction caused by war. I think about how Monet created his water lilies while hearing bombs in the distance. In both cases, Turner and Monet found solace in their art, but more importantly, the nature that they painted.

GDO: How do you approach the question of originality in your artwork, and do you believe that it is still possible to create truly original work in the 21st century?

KB: I find great joy in creating something deeply personal, different from what other artists create. When I look at a fresh canvas, I address it with curiosity, intuition, and the desire to do something unique. We all have our own style. There are many landscape painters, but every individual has her own expression. I hope to continue finding new artistic expressions to share with others as a way of enriching our vital experiences.

GDO: What are your goals as an artist, both in the short term and the long term?

KB: My long- and short-term goals are the same and have been for quite a long time now; to continue exploring my creativity and being in touch with myself and others. I truly hope I can help people to think in more creative ways, to appreciate the beauty of nature, to replace aggression and violence with positive modes of communication. In sum, to contribute to a better world for everyone.

ABOVE: Kathy Buist’s Oil Sticks, East Hampton, NY, 2023 - Photo by Ben Flythe BACK COVER: Kathy Buist , East Hampton, NY, 2023 - Photo by Ben Flythe
Contributors: Ben Flythe | Martha S. Folsom Kristine Feeks Hammond | Devon Engle With Special Thanks to Kathy Buist & Elena Martinez 33 NEWBURY STREET, BOSTON, MA 02116 | 617.266.8001 | INFO@GALERIE-DORSAY.COM WWW.GALERIE-DORSAY.COM G a L erie D’ orsa Y
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