Cathy Carey / SELECTED ARTWORK / BIOGRAPHY / ARTIST STATEMENT / INTERVIEW / PAST EXHIBITIONS
Cathy Carey - Artist Statement
La Playa Gallery: Hi! Thanks for taking the time to talk with us. Can you tell us your name, where you live and a little bit about your past?
Cathy Carey: Cathy Carey, I have lived in Escondido, CA for the last 19 years and in Southern California for 34 years. I moved to California from Virginia.
LPG: Can you give us a brief overview of the work you create?
CC: I am best described as a Contemporary Expressive Colorist, whose favorite part about painting is using color to create emotional meaning and visual depth. In choosing what to paint or how to paint it, I want my pictures to be more than the reality of description, and I strive to fill viewers with a sense of joy.
LPG: I think you do a very good job of portraying a sense of joy. How and when did you get started?
CC: I went to the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC when I was 15. I got a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University at 19 and continued in the field as both a fine artist and graphic artist. I had a graphic design studio for 20 years in addition to painting and selling my work in galleries.
LPG: What motivates you to create new work?
CC: The natural world of animals and landscapes is my favorite subject matter. I think about my environment and the animals that share my world, and I want to show them in a joyful integrated space. I love the feeling I get when I’m surrounded by nature. I’m fascinated by organic shapes, inspired by the feel of the wind and intrigued by how movement makes light dance in patterns of warm and cool. The night sky draws me in, and the idea that looking at the light of stars is looking back in time thrills me. In order to express these emotions and ideas, I use brush- stroke marks to show the lines of energy I feel coming off living shapes, spreading and combining throughout all aspects of nature.
LPG: I can see the freedom of your brush strokes, and it definitely adds a lot to your work. Is there a specific series you are currently creating and what is the inspiration behind it?
CC: I spent a month in France last October and was greatly inspired by the landscape and the museums I visited. My current paintings are based on those ideas and images. I like to tell stories with my paintings to capture the imagination of the viewer. My continuing goal is to continue to dig deeper into my psyche and soul to uncover universal truths about what it means to be human and alive at this time of world history. The underlying story I want to tell is that all matter vibrates with the energy of consciousness, and we are all connected through beauty and love. I feel it is my mission in life to bring joy to as many people as I can, through my art.
LPG: What is the most indispensable item in your studio?
CC: My sketchbooks!
LPG: Sketchbooks are helpful for sure! Do you have a routine you follow for creating or only work when inspiration hits?
CC: I work every day, completing 4-5 oils a month. When I am inspired by a place, I take photos, paint on location, and keep journals. I do lots of drawings in a technique called blind contour, which leads to wonderful distortions but also to surprisingly coherent images. I am increasingly intrigued by how my blind contour drawings capture a scene and have come to rely on them when building a composition. I collect everything I have into the studio, and study it to see what stories will emerge. Due to my many years as a graphic designer, I have expert skills using the computer to scan in my drawings and create my compositions. This enables me to change sizes and proportions effortlessly and layer different drawings together. Once I have the exact image I want, I use a projector to get the drawings proportionally scaled up to the size of my canvas, without losing any of the natural feel of the original blind contour drawings. I paint my drawings onto museum quality linen canvases that are coated first in gold gesso.
LPG: Do you collect anything and does it influence your work?
CC: I collect art supplies. I have used every medium and brand to find my favorites. I work in oils on museum-quality linen canvas using professional-grade paints. Favorite brands are: Maimeri, Sennelier, Gamblin and Daler-Rowney.
LPG: What artist or artists have influenced you the most?
CC: Monet, Van Gogh and Matisse
LPG: It’s hard to not be influenced by the greats. Support for each other is so important. Locally, what artist excites you the most?
CC: Helen Shafer Garcia – I love her work, her use of color and composition, and the feeling I get when I look at her work.
LPG: Well, thank you for letting us into your creative world. It's been a pleasure and we are really looking forward to featuring your work at La Playa Gallery!
CC: I’m looking forward to the opportunity to show my work in your lovely gallery!