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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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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Yours Truly!

Truly Yours © Catherine Rutgers 2014

Video number five. Made for music. There are no soundtracks except the one you choose. You are cordially invited to experience “Yours Truly” and four other experiments in motion at Vimeo, http://vimeo.com/CatRutgers

Spritely Red Being © Catherine Rutgers 2014 The Trees Can Speak © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Jagged Edge © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Twisting Into Pink and Blue © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Taped Essential © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Persimmons In The Nest © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Glyphly Echo © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Purple Love © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Whats Up Dots © Catherine Rutgers 2014 The Compass Points Northeast © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Code Pattern Neon © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Foundational Element © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Shrunken Wave © Catherine Rutgers 2014

Images by Catherine Rutgers © 2014

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The Epic Proportions of “Aliens Glyph”

Somehow Reminiscent Matisse Perhaps © Catherine Rutgers 2014On Sunday evening, it began. Within 24 hours, I made more than three-hundred images, selected forty-seven of them, completed a new video-for-music, and uploaded it at Vimeo. Wait. Is that even possible? Check the files. Yup. It’s true. And I’m kind of stunned. Happy, but kind of stunned.

Blake Sandberg and Samm Cohen, incarnated as Aliens, the 21st-century punk-rocking band, are the inspiration for this marathon. You can sample their music—and their dynamic, highly visual aesthetic—at aliensnyc dot com.

Only one-sixth or so of the new images are used in “Aliens Glyph,” so there are probably three more vids to be made. Already thinking of schemes and titles. The process is fantastically liberating: experiment, experiment some more, reject, accept, experiment even more … oh, that’s good, accept! Nothing is off-limits, I stretch colors and shapes to their extremes, use filters and effects that I’ve never even looked at before. Ten samples appear below; the video link is http://vimeo.com/101351568.

Strangely, the opening lines of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” have been playing in my head the entire time I’ve been working on this, including while writing this intro. Finally broke down and played it. Yup. Still gnarly after all these years.

Glyph Lightly © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Roiling Deep © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Nest Full of Bright © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Echo Splanch Echo © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Whispering Static © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Happy In Brooklyn © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Son of a Yellow Submarine © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Another Sign of the Vibrating Colors © Catherine Rutgers 2014 No Hesitation © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Freeborn Anemone © Catherine Rutgers 2014

Images by Catherine Rutgers © 2014

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