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Catherine Rutgers, Artist's Bio © May 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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’Tis Always the Season

The Gift © 2015Step into my world, where we can be in love with a million things that cross our paths. The flotsam and bric-a-brac and spikelets. Trash on the asphalt. And chocolates unfolded. These are the sights that soothe the soul, pique curiosity, make us take a keener look.

Believe it or not. Read closely and you will discover that “ice is food” and magic is alive in a field of poppies that look like they should have been leopard skin.

And wouldn’t we all like to feel that irregularities and shade variations are characteristic of our fabric, and in no way to be taken as defects. Here, everyone gets a reprieve. Except for the glaciers, arctic or otherwise. But that’s a another story, to be written by gadarene tempests raging in heat through the soil of our northwestern forests.

Seventeen visual treasures await your scroll. Cheers!
Blink © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Magic © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Scrutable © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Ice Is Food © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Packaged Ice © Catherine Rutgers 2015 The Other Side © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Messing Around © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Front of the Garlic Clove © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Inside © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Impression © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Skip Trace © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Crisp K Unfurled © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Badge © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Front and Center © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Back of the Bow © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Untitled View © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Uncrinkled Kringle © Catherine Rutgers 2015Catherine Rutgers © 2015
gadarene = headlong, spikelet = a small or secondary spike, specifically “one of the small few-flowered bracted spikes that make up the compound inflorescence of a grass or sedge” – a definition that is downright poetic. Thank you, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, eleventh edition of bliss. One meaning of inflorescence, by the way, is “the budding and unfolding of blossoms.”

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Extravagant Possibilities

To Be Continued © Catherine Rutgers 2015Sometimes I like to check out the archives, digging deep into the image-making remnants. There’s a lot of cool stuff in there, and a lot I’ve lost track of. Even when I find intriguing possibilities, sometimes it’s frustrating because I often worked too small. And I frequently worked to the task, failing to save the layers in my hurry to finish a project, losing the traces that would make it possible to go back and revise in the way I want to now.

Before the era of gorgeous flatscreens, which is not actually so long ago, my computers were bulky and the glass was cramped. Processing was much, much slower, so save times for large images could take minutes. Having gigabytes of memory and virtual space to store data was not even imaginable. But despite the limits, it was all very exciting. Huge learning curves, urgent drive to work, marvelous discoveries. Oh, let’s rephrase that: It is all very exciting. And I am happy to be surfing through the 21st century, with new capacities and ever more extravagant possibilities.

Just for the fun of it, here are two from the vault. The first set is from 2005 and began with a glitchy text file that transformed words into two pages of stars. I’m fairly sure the collaged form was an idea for a business card. Slightly altered from the first go-round, the pale yellow orb is new and a large pale-blue squiggle scrawled across the background has been removed.

The second pair was found in a folder labeled “2008 beetles deluxe.” Which was perplexing because the only identifiable items are twigs and a fern leaf. It took two days of sleuthing, but I finally figured out that the background colors are based on a spray-painted postcard, with an abstract center that reminded me of a beetle. They’re not changed at all, except to set “The Coolness Can Be in the Details” in a desktop size, where it is now happily enhancing my screen. In number five, however, I couldn’t resist color play, rotate, and crop. Big smile. Ciao for now!

Rescued Document - The Original Stars © Catherine Rutgers 2015

Extravagant Possibilities © Catherine Rutgers 2015

My Prehistoric History © Catherine Rutgers 2015

The Coolness Can Be in the Details © Catherine Rutgers 2015

At Play in the Present Moment © Catherine Rutgers 2015

 Catherine Rutgers © 2015

P.S. Here are two of my favorite art blogs. For both of them, it’s been a pleasure seeing their work evolve. Beginning with Frédéric Biver, http://fakeormistake.net, Architect, Photographer & Dialogue Promoter, whose photographic conversation is “an ongoing experimentation. Combine related images. Create a resonance, a story … It is an intuitive addiction following up a never satisfied curiosity.”

Next up, Isobel Higley, https://isobelhigley.wordpress.com, whose “About” page states simply that she is studying contemporary crafts at Falmouth University in the United Kingdom. However, I think that underestimates the artistry and boldness of her vision. Cheers to two fascinating artists!

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Lush July

Work Space © Catherine Rutgers 2015

On the 7th of July, I completed a beautiful day by sitting on the front steps to watch the fireflies flicker above our local stretch of the Flatbush Malls and the neighbors’ lawns across the way. The Malls, incidentally, are not shopping centers: they’re narrow parks set in the middle of the street that have survived since 1899. In front of our apartment building, the kids who love to play there have named it “Traffic Island.”

Yesterday morning, it was cloudy and promising rain, which prompted a photo session of the flourishing flora before they were potentially flattened in a torrent. Sixty-six snapshots later, I realized it wasn’t possible to truly capture the intensity of emotion seeing these colors and forms evokes in life. But a bit of the glory is reflected here, including a few of the many bumblebees that were everywhere working away.

In Your Corner © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Coneflower Flux © Catherine Rutgers 2015 The Milkweed Emerges at Right © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Splendid Bed © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Flowing Over © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Blushfire Blues © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Sunrise Echinacea © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Clarion Stance © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Day Lily Deluxe © Catherine Rutgers 2015 The Bee and the Balm © Catherine Rutgers 2015 It Took A Few Years But Here You Are © Catherine Rutgers 2015 A New Path Settles In © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Hidden Blue © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Grateful Scenario © Catherine Rutgers 2015

Catherine Rutgers © 2015

P.S. Here are links to two of my very favorite blogs, revealing the lushness of nature found in every season – “Leaf and Twig” by Catherine Arcolio aka seedbud, https://leafandtwig.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/shout-of-color
“Green Lizard’s Blog” https://lizard100blog.wordpress.com/setting – for delightful photos of the English countryside and fascinating tales of “grow your own, make your own, save your own, do your own” in The Netherlands, respectively. Enjoy!

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Meet Zen and Stormy

Moon Over Mud © Catherine Rutgers 2015What’s your sign? There was a time when this was an inevitable question, somewhere in my life between “Who’s your favorite band?” and “What kind of work do you do?” Hello, artists! This is me being wildly sympathetic because I know what it’s like to struggle with that question, or in the good moments, have a response that feels spot on.

Anyway, I’m a Gemini. Hence, the contrasts, like “Zen” and “Stormy” – two of ten canvases that were all 10 x 10 inches. Yes, I love that kind of symmetry, and often think about numbers when making things. Like astrological signs, this too is a scaffold, a launch pad for creative flight.

In 1987, I was one year into a fourteen-year stretch working with spray paint and oil-based enamels in ways that were inspired by graffiti, the impressionists, space travel, and the flashes of light seen only when my eyes are closed. In “Whispering Spheres,” a solo show at the Cary Arboretum, there were eighteen paintings altogether, the largest was 48 x 84 inches. What a beautiful space that was. High ceilings, skylights, growing plants around the room. Perfect, perfect setting. And a review by Wayne Lempka in the Poughkeepsie Journal, in which Zen had a cameo.

“In ‘Illustration’ one is drawn into a subtle yet powerful organic image which rises out of a center palette of blues and purples. By drawing with the brush, the artist is able to create sheets of color that glow or brood from above or below. The two most successful small canvases, ‘Zen’ and ‘Pink Orbit,’ are so tightly put together that the shifting of any one element could cause the others to fall apart. The seductive use of colors and forms in both works seems to hint at secrets hidden from the viewer.”

Or uncover new secrets as I translate their character from canvas to screen.

Zen 1987 © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Stormy 1987 © Catherine Rutgers 2015 One Nine Eight Seven © Catherine Rutgers 2015 I Am the Evidence © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Starship Serene © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Ever Deep © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Comeuppance Conundrum © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Love Me Two Times © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Still Waters © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Reach Up and Stretch Out © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Polar Coordinate © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Ruby Red Crossover © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Built to Last © Catherine Rutgers 2015 Zen Difference Cloud Detail © Catherine Rutgers 2015

 Images and text by Catherine Rutgers © 2015

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Sweet Fun in the Summertime!

Cameo for Saturated Bliss © Catherine Rutgers 2015Shall we frolic? Yes, we shall. Recently inspired by a rumor that the Hot & Sticky show, opening June 16th at Smith&Jones, would include some hot-and-steamy artwork, I decided to try my hand, so to speak, at just that type of image.

Stepping up to the challenge, I created fantasy companions for “Saturated Bliss,” which will appear in the aforementioned show as an archival pigment print and appears in cameo to your left.

The virtual pals turned out to be more sweet and juicy than hot and sticky, and some took off entirely in their own direction. But I love them all anyway. With relish!

Pearl in the Sea of Joy © Catherine Rutgers 2015

Variation on the Blessed Glue © Catherine Rutgers 2015

Little New Love Shack © Catherine Rutgers 2015

Sticky One © Catherine Rutgers 2015

Ragged But Happy © Catherine Rutgers 2015

My Heart Was © Catherine Rutgers 2015

The Treasure You Are © Catherine Rutgers 2015

Swimming in This © Catherine Rutgers 2015

Light One © Catherine Rutgers 2015

Wind and Wave © Catherine Rutgers 2015

Filtered Moon © Catherine Rutgers 2015

Replete © Catherine Rutgers 2015

Catherine Rutgers © 2015

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Behind the Scene: Weekly 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/2015/05/24-may-2015.html.

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/2015/05/24-may-2015.html.

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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