Born in Lake Arrowhead, CA, Caitlin Schmitt is an abstract expressionist painter who creates soulful and intuitive canvases from her studio in Durham, NC. She works with acrylic, pumice, charcoal, and various textured mediums on canvas. Caitlin began painting at the age of 32 and is self taught.
Her education and training before this newfound passion includes a B.A. in Religious Studies and Dance from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008, a certification in Massage and Health Education from The National Holistic Institute, and a doctoral degree in Physical Therapy from Northern Arizona University in 2017. In many ways, this education informs her work profoundly and she carries her experiences working with the human body into her painting process.
Her work channels the wisdom, energy, and emotions of the embodied experience onto the canvas. She explores the intersection of the spiritual realm with the physical body in her sensual, energetic, and visceral paintings. All of her work facilitates healing, both in the process and as viewers bear witness to them.
Follow my instagram account: @anatomy_and_intuition
About 3 years ago, when I was 33, I decided to take an art lesson from my friend Jahde. I'd been watching her paint while I danced with a local community of Ecstatic Dancers. I was curious and excited by the way she moved her body and worked so intuitively. I had been dancing to heal and process things from my life that needed unravelling. Dance got me to a point where I could actually imagine I might pick up a paintbrush. I also knew that some things were meant to be seen to be healed. To be expressed and witnessed in the way only painting could provide. To continue healing deeply, I needed a new medium. Paint. After that class with Jahde, I was hooked. I knew I'd started something I could not stop.
Now, something that's important for me to share is that I had every intention of being a Physical Therapist for the rest of my life and I'd never thought I was an artist at all. I wanted to make a difference in people's lives and care for others. So, I went into healthcare. I went to grad school, invested huge amounts of time and money into gaining a deep understanding of the human body and especially the brain. But what I found when I started working was that the productivity demands and unethical strictures and expense to access quality care became absolutely intolerable to me. Witnessing people all day with severe neurological conditions, life altering injuries, severe chronic pain, and mysterious chronic conditions that impact them significantly was too much for me to hold. It was painful to be fully present and supportive at such a high volume for me. The stress and trauma of being a healthcare provider can be significant, unfortunately my open heart and gentle spirit struggled greatly. I refused to haren and adapt to such a toxic environment.
So, I gradually left the profession and returned to my prior passion for craniosacral therapy and bodywork. I pursued the reiki master teacher training and this impacted my way of life significantly. It also opened me up to a much more intense energetic experiences and expanded states of consciousness that impacted my painting. I began working with the sensations and energetic experiences with my clients and putting them onto the canvas. At the end of my work day I would paint pieces I called, " J.R.'s right shoulder" or "B.A.'s Brain" to show what I'd felt. And this is how Anatomy and Intuition was born! The human body was the source and root of all my work, whether it be the movement or the colors I portray on my canvas.
J.R's Shoulder 2019
Gradually, I began investing more time and energy into painting. I got an art studio in Durham and began taking on commissions. I started selling my work in 2021 and gradually I've transitioned into becoming a professional artist. But I still maintain a private practice, keeping my connection to people and dedicating much of my time to healing through touch.
As my work evolves, I find that I trust and surrender to intuitive guidance more easily. I am integrating energy healing and transmuting energy on the canvas in a way that has had powerful impact on my own life, and now on the life of others as well. As an artist, I serve my community as a teacher, through commissions, and by doing healing painting sessions. For me, painting has the power to change our perspective, to heal our trauma, and to transform our lives. I believe this because it's true for me.
I hope you enjoy my work. It is a pleasure to share it with you.