The Black and White Collections

Posted by Caitlin Shirock on

Faces, Figures, Hand Signs, and Lines

I love black and white art. There’s just something so sophisticated about black and white, and even though it can be simple, it’s also very striking. There’s a real power to black and white because it can say so much and speak so loudly.

When it comes to my collections, some of the most meaningful work I’ve done is in black and white. In all of my art, there is a level of honesty. Whether it’s pain, or love, or a sense of pride or hope, I pour it all out on the canvas. It’s hard to hide from what appears on the canvas when only working with positive and negative space. I’m always amazed by the range of emotions that I can access by working on a blank white canvas with a fresh tube of black paint. But, when I finish a painting, the end result is always the same, I can see the part of whatever emotion or feeling I was processing that is beautiful and worthy of remembering and I experience a huge wave of joy and gratitude.

Which is exactly what I want my art to be able to do for you. My goal is for you to be flooded with your own version of a joyful memory every time you walk by a Cash Color print hanging on your wall. Keep reading to find out more about the stories behind each collection below.

Faces Black & White Collection Blog Post

Faces Collection

I created the Faces Collection while I was pregnant with Geo. During that time, I thought a lot about how he would change me, what he was going to be like, how we were going to be together, or how we already were together. When I look back at these pieces I’m reminded of what a beautiful miracle pregnancy is. You are creating another heart inside of you. Another face. Another form of life that will love, make messes, get angry, and laugh. These black and white faces are extremely personal to me. We embraced our Italian roots and named our son Georgio (Geo for short) so it only felt fitting to name and number the pieces in this series— Visio Nos. 1, 2, and 3. I chose the Italian word Visio, which means “face” and numbered them to represent each trimester of my pregnancy.

Figures Collection Blog Post Feature

Figures Collection

My Figures Collection is a nod to the body positivity movement. Women are starting to change the narrative of the female persona and this is the best way I know how to support that movement. These acrylic, abstract nudes intentionally come in a variety of shapes, sizes with just a hint of color. It’s funny how inspiration and purpose can change throughout your life journey. Although this series was originally intended for women and girls to feel beautiful in their skin, all I see now when I look at these is the beauty of pregnancy (are you sensing a theme?). It’s hard to appreciate all those graceful curvy changes that your body goes through during those nine months, but they represent such an extraordinary process that is so worthy of celebrating. None of our bodies are “perfect”, especially right after childbirth, but these pieces are my way of reminding all of us that our bodies are beautiful at every. single. stage.

Hand Signs Black & White Collection Blog

Hand Signs Collection

At first glance, the Hand Signs Collection might look like a few simple, light, and playful pieces, but they actually carry a lot of meaning.

The Hand Sign series started with a commission from my sister-in-law, Sarah Reed. She has a home staging and design company, Arbor & Co., and needed a modern, gender-neutral and fun piece of art for a project that she was working on. We decided to do the Peace Sign and made it HUGE. As this massive print made its way through several other homes that she staged, the orders started flooding in along with requests for additional hand signs.

Next, I added the Hawaiian “Shaka” hand sign and the "Rock On" sign, which felt like a logical addition to the collection since we live in Nashville!

The most recent member of the Hand Signs collection family is the American Sign Language “I love you” sign. This one definitely has a lot more to it than just a cool piece of art. I have learned more about the deaf community through my friend, Laura Brown, who is an ASL interpreter. I wanted to honor this beautiful language that allows their voices to be heard.

Creating this collection felt different than my other pieces. These hand signs don’t carry the same personal memories or emotions that most of my others, but these prints do carry a lot of joy! What hand sign would you like to see next?

Lines Collection Blog Post Feature

Lines Collection

The Lines Collection is more abstract than any of my other collections. Lately, I’ve been feeling very inspired to paint in this abstract style and have added several new pieces to this collection. It’s not hard to see that this collection carries a lot of emotion.

Embracing my Italian roots again and love for the culture, the Linea (Italian for “Lines”) series is created by using a specific process of letting go of any preconceived notions or expectations, by trying to bypass my conscious brain and allow my hands to connect with specific thoughts or intentions on a more subliminal level and just let them speak for my soul with whatever they paint. I have never trusted myself to do artwork like this before, but developing my other collections has given me the courage to go a little deeper. These have become some of my favorite paintings because I feel like these pieces represent a sense of freedom in my spirit that I am excited to embrace.

As I get to know myself better in this stage in life where I’m learning to juggle my roles as a wife, mother, business owner, and artist, I am getting more comfortable with myself. There is a new level of certainty that I see in these pieces and I can’t wait to share them with you.

Black & White Heart

New Black and White Additions Coming Soon!

I am super excited about a new collection. The Black and White Letters Collection! I’ve always wanted to create black and white letters, but have never been able to resist the urge to add some color — and once that color starts flowing, it’s hard to go back! This time, I’ve got a clear vision in my mind and I’m working my way through the alphabet, sans color. Stay tuned. 


With Love,

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