Welcome …

Cicada Horizon © Catherine Rutgers 2015

Pause here to be visually refreshed. CatRutgers4art is an essence. Far less than everything, much more than a fragment. Scroll, baby, scroll … or click on themes above. Happy to imagine you happy to be looking at this in a free-floating waltz of an undefined tempo. With love from the possibilities zone, Cat

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Behind the Scene: Upcoming Feature at Smith & Jones Gallery

Deep in the Glimmering Dream © Catherine Rutgers 2015

The pigment print of Deep in the Glimmering Dream (8 x 7.72 inches, on 11 x 14 paper, edition of 11) is available from the Smith&Jones gallery Weekly Feature, http://www.smithandjonesart.com.


This time of year, when the hours of daylight here in the northern hemisphere grow longer and longer as they come near to their peak, brings out the best in me. Among the wonderful developments this season, not only will I be part of the Hot & Sticky show in June, at the intriguing Brooklyn-based gallery Smith&Jones, curated by Joseph A. W. Quintela, one of my prints – “Deep in the Glimmering Dream” – is now a Weekly Feature, available at http://www.smithandjonesart.com/catherine-rutgers.

While “Glimmering” headlines this post, it is one of six pieces created for the gallery to choose from. And so, we now peer even more deeply into the mysterious potential of obscure urban corners and everyday objects transformed.

Babylonian Gardens © Catherine Rutgers 2015

Molecular Origins © Catherine Rutgers 2015

Slices and Bursts © Catherine Rutgers 2015

Cushioned Jewels © Catherine Rutgers 2015

Look Again © Catherine Rutgers 2015

 Catherine Rutgers © 2015

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SOTVC: The Violet and Green Edition

Serpentine Fire © Catherine Rutgers 2015Over the years, I’ve had various tag lines for my artwork. They were kind of like corporate names, if you can envision a company that is involved with absolutely nothing but making art or writing poetry or just generally sending out a riotous yet winsome identity that serves no purpose except my own.

Early on, circa mid-to-late seventies, it was Other World Artwork, a bit of a twist on the “Third World vs. First World” concept that was much on our minds at the time. Then came Space Monkey/French Kiss Productions, in honor of the Patti Smith song, Ms. Smith in her awesome entirety, and a general celebration of the wholesomely erotic, followed by a brief appearance from the Fabulous Underachievers Club, of which I am the founder and president, although we haven’t had a meeting in ages.

Sometime during the 1990s, I switched to SOTVCSign of the Vibrating Colors—which pretty much sums up an everlasting thrill of mine: placing (or finding) colors next to each other that set off visual harmonics in a very radical way. Since the aughts, sad to say, there have been no such tags. But I do still seek out the vibrations.

Favored duets include blue alongside orange, turquoise next to pink, and purple, or perhaps more accurately, violet, against green. In any case, I always thought the purple-green scenario reflected complementary colors. Not really so, though I did find a “red-purple” directly across from a “yellow-green” in a color wheel that featured tertiary colors. Or are they hues?

Setting the lexicon aside, here’s a meditation on violet and green, in fairly subtle permutations and ranging as far as they want to from the scheme—which is exactly right as far as I’m concerned. Love, Cat

Impossible Landscape © Catherine Rutgers 2015Yellow-Green Shards © Catherine Rutgers 2015

Violets Are Me © Catherine Rutgers 2015Remnant Crop © Catherine Rutgers 2015The Fist of Resistance © Catherine Rutgers 2015Sonar Fantasia © Catherine Rutgers 2015Just the Shadow © Catherine Rutgers 2015Who Could Say © Catherine Rutgers 2015December in February © Catherine Rutgers 2015Yellow-Green Crosses Violet © Catherine Rutgers 2015Cellophane © Catherine Rutgers 2015

Primordial Lick © Catherine Rutgers 2015

Exquisite Reassemblage © Catherine Rutgers 2015

 Catherine Rutgers © 2015

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Moving and Grooving

April is the freshest month. I can feel those darling buds about to burst! Cool in the morning, warm in the afternoon, and hot-hot-hot all the time to roll with new ideas. Hence, a fresh Uncommon Thunder cover. Cheers!
Fresh April Cover © Catherine Rutgers 2015

 Catherine Rutgers © 2015

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Fun with Filters!

The Original February © Catherine Rutgers 2015

Not the kind you use in a fish tank, which are horribly smelly but keep your scaly pets afloat, or the ones you pop into the pitcher to purify your tap water (even if you live in NYC, where the water is already awesome), but the kind that Adobe’s Photoshop supplies for those of us who love to play with images. Historically, I’ve been filter-averse, fearful of creating something that’s “too photoshoppy.” More recently, I’ve enjoyed discovering what they can do and taking the options as far as I can.

The source material is my not-so-high-quality snapshot of a collage. The in-between step adds a flip side, with effects from changing brightness, contrast, and saturation. Then we have the recent development: solarized oil paint. While the central figure reminds me more than a little of the Donnie Darko rabbit, that’s actually one of my favorite movies.
In Transit © Catherine Rutgers 2015
Solarized Oil Paint © Catherine Rutgers 2015

If you’re connected to a big screen, open this up to enjoy the full-size view!
Visions by Catherine Rutgers © 2015

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Uncommon Thunder’s Delectable Revamp

Delectably Switched © Catherine Rutgers  2015Titivate. Did you know that’s a synonym for revamp? I didn’t even know it was a word. But according to Merriam-Webster’s, it’s from 1824 and means “to make smart or spruce.” And sprucing up is exactly apropos for a fresh draft of the book that began as “Untitled (the Thesis).”

I was going to call this revision “luxurious,” but the new version is trimmed from 168 pages to 152. More full-page images, fewer altogether. Shown here, nine samples from Uncommon Thunder: Surrealism, Dada, and Robert Rauschenberg. As for the text, the body remains the same but the intro now concludes like so:

The original thesis and this translation-expansion are dada-surrealist objects. Layered, textured, seeking depth in two mediums: on paper and under glass. One used for centuries, the other just recently dreamed into pervasive reality. The 1970s. The 21st century. The mediums have changed and are changing us. Since 2001, I have worked almost entirely in digital media, a shift I can illustrate but only begin to understand. I’ve documented plenty of evidence here. But not surprisingly, creating new images proved to be more exciting to me than writing new analysis.

What got stronger over time? My hate-love fascination with surrealism and Dada; my admiration for Robert Rauschenberg and enjoyment of his art—which should be eminently apparent in the following pages.

Emotions Will Propel Your Life © Catherine Rutgers 2015

Thunderous Cover © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Color-Tinged Black and White © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Deep Into the Future © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Foiled Again © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Rose Hips Adorning Athena © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Sunflowered Opening © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Materials Raw © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Grass All Ways Greener © Catherine Rutgers 2015

 Artwork by Catherine Rutgers © 2015

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Anatomy of An Illustration: Exquisite Corpse

Inside This Day © Catherine Rutgers 2015Oh, those macabre surrealists! They just loved to play around with the more than slightly creepy, and yet be maddeningly onto something useful and deep. “Cadavre exquis” is the collective technique in which a text or image is shared in a chain: the first artist presents a piece, the second responds, then shows it to the next, who bounces off that, and so on. When asked to participate in a modern version of this, you know that I jumped at the chance!

The catalyst was Short, Fast, and Deadly (Echo Chamber | Fall 2014, Deadly Chaps Press) edited by Joseph A. W. Quintela and Parker Tettleton, with “views” by Katie Peyton. The excellent screen version appears at www.shortfastanddeadly.com/io4-fall-2014. And, of course, I love the print edition, which you can hold in your own hands for a mere ten dollars, available from www.createspace.com/5193448.

The jump-off point for me was “Swallowed in Limits of Hesitation,” a beautiful piece by author Meg Tuite. On receiving her text, I could not have been happier. It begins thus – “Unacquainted with right turns, the past is a present map that includes happenstance bruises and head-butts with objects that appear inanimate” – with the next twenty-two lines just leaving me entranced.

So, my illustration began with a false start, oddly (in retrospect) entirely abstract:
Screen Grabbed © Catherine Rutgers 2015

Then I remembered the “cakewalk” series of photos snapped before dismantling a conceptual sculpture in preparation for a birthday party (because I wanted to use the awesome dish for an actual cake):
Cakewalk One © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Cakewalk Two © Catherine Rutgers 2015

Cakewalk Three © Catherine Rutgers 2015

From there it was the proverbial breeze. I picked my favorite photo from the lineup, added two images, one an abstract derivative, one fresh from the out of doors, and mixed, stirring lightly within the specs for publication:
Blue Button Cakewalk © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Awash © Catherine Rutgers 2015 The Fire Within © Catherine Rutgers 2015

Once I was satisfied with the structure, the layers were flattened, the color adjusted, and voila! My contribution was complete.
Nearly But Not Swallowed © Catherine Rutgers 2015

 Catherine Rutgers © 2015

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