By Kaea Latronic Photos courtesy Kayla Toth
While curating an aesthetic Instagram story mood-board for my own inspiration, I stumbled upon an image was a stunning photograph of crystal-clear shore break. The image captured the bubbling and delicate lace of seafoam and evoked an encompassing sensation of being on the shoreline. I was delighted to discover that it was handmade resin art. Never before had I seen anything so life-like in the way of resin manipulation. For surfers, resin is akin to the waterproofing on a sea bird’s feathers; it seals everything together and preserves the integrity of a board. Seeing this industrial material used as an art medium so intricately compelled me to reach out and inquire about this creation.
Introducing Artist Kayla Toth said, in her words, “Every true work of art must express a distinct feeling. Everyone feels something when they are near the ocean. To some, it’s an escape or conservation of our oceans, where for others, it’s a living. To me, it is all of the above. Tranquil vibes and temperamental waves drive my passion for this particular medium of resin art. My goal with these pieces is to give others that same ambiance when they look at my artwork. Epoxy resin is inconstant, such as ocean waves.”
Raised along the Southern California coast in the small town of Fallbrook and Kayla grew up in a country town and has a deep passion for animals and art. She was taught to fish as soon as she could walk, so the ocean has always been an integral part of Kayla’s life. Fifteen minutes was all it took to get to the beach. She fondly recalls accompanying her father to work during the construction of rock seawalls from Oceanside to La Jolla. “Hardwork and kind-hearted ethics have always been a strong constant in my family,” she says. “When I am not found creating art, fishing, or spending time with family, I am a full-time Veterinary Nurse (RVT) in Encinitas, California.”
Speaking to her journey as an artist, Kayla’s early explorations were in acrylic and oil paint, ceramics and wood crafting, as well as pyrography – the art of wood burning. “Art has been a part of me since I picked up a pencil,” she reveals, “Nature and environmental pieces have tended to be a trend in my work since I was little.” An artist of many facets, she does her own woodworking to create cutting boards, charcuterie boards, wall canvases, tables, coasters, and more. When asked where she picked up resin working, she told me she was inspired by a local piece of resin art that had nothing to do with the ocean “but the vibrancy and realism of the work had me intrigued.” Expanding on her personal style, she says, “I took what inspires and motivates me by the coast and taught myself from home to create the techniques and aspects of ocean resin art.”
To achieve the depth of realism and photographic quality of her work is no easy task. Kayla clues us in to what materials were used, explains, “To create this type of art, [materials] include epoxy resin, color pigments, a heat torch, heat gun, and a lot of patience. Each piece is unrepeatable and visionary. I will continue to work a piece until I am happy, but rarely do I start over.” Kayla is open and excited for collaborations, and looking forward to a future in traveling to expand and extend her reach to new galleries, exhibits, breweries, boutiques, and wineries.