What’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.
Images and text by Catherine Rutgers © 2015