C. Buck Reynolds has been creating and showing art throughout the Bay Area for over 35 years, and has been researching and experimenting with cave art for the last 20 years. She believes that we’ll never know what early art’s purpose was, and while we can still find meaning today in some ancient art—lions stalking prey, galloping horses, hunters running— many other symbols have wide open meaning. Reynolds tries to assemble the animals and symbology that were so important to our ancestors in fresh ways. Some of her paintings are new compositions based on cave and rock art, while others attempt to make deteriorating images from actual European and Saharan rock walls look as though they might have been freshly painted.
Reynolds spends hours at the stone yard hunting for unique colors and textures of stone, looking for the forms of animals or people that lie in them. She shapes the rock with a hammer and chisel, and once she has roughly shaped a stone, rubs it with another stone to smooth the surface and edges, brighten the colors, open the pores, and give the stone a weathered ancient feel. She uses the same painting techniques, earth-based pigments, and carving techniques that paleolithic artists used, although her paintings are smaller than the originals. Reynolds constantly explores prehistoric imagery and symbols, trying to recreate ancient communication and images from nature on stone.