Welcome to CatRutgers4art

CatRutgers4art Welcome © 2016Pause here for visual refreshment. CatRutgers4art is an essence: far less than everything, much more than a fragment, all original art. Inspired by my boundless fascination with natural phenomena in an urban environment, commonly leading to window-view sky watching and a lot of digging in the dirt to make things grow, I present this free-floating waltz of an undefined tempo with relish. All love from the possibilities zone, Cat

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Iconic Dimension

The iconic dimension is small. But it has to be powerful. Mostly I create this type of image for folder icons and their desktop aliases. So that means I’ll be looking at them in their tiny size for weeks, or months, or even years, until the data enclosed in the folder is no longer a priority. As the work changes, they change, so they kind of trace my art history. This selection from a collection of 146 spans July 2008 through July 2013. Five years, same groovy month. Just by coincidence.

01 Icons © Catherine Rutgers 201602 Icons © Catherine Rutgers 201603 Icons © Catherine Rutgers 201604 Icons © Catherine Rutgers 201605 Icons © Catherine Rutgers 201606 Icons © Catherine Rutgers 201607 Icons © Catherine Rutgers 201608 Icons © Catherine Rutgers 2016
Original art by Catherine Rutgers © 2016

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Persona Conundrum

Avoiding a Different Task © Catherine Rutgers 2016

02 Night Red Cat photo by Tom Burnett 2014

Merriam-Webster’s defines conundrum as an intricate and difficult problem, or a question having only a conjectural answer. Here’s one: Growing up, I was either painfully shy or thrilled to be on display. Some people thought I was “a snob.” But, really, I was just afraid to talk to them. On the other hand, as the preacher’s kid, I was highly visible and didn’t mind being in the spotlight at all.

I remember sitting at a table with my family in front of hundreds of Boy Scouts in the church gym for a dinner. I was probably 10 or 11, so it’s the mid-1960s. The scene was about as straight as you can get, which, of course means it was totally twisted. They had a hypnotist for entertainment and I volunteered and pretended to be hypnotized. Sat on a metal folding chair, closed my eyes, and did whatever he prompted. Though I don’t recall what that actually was, it resulted in the proverbial thunderous cheering and applause.

Later, when I tried to perform – flute in a grade-school talent show, auditioning for a high school band that wanted an Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) stand-in, singing solo with a local “Up with People” knock-off – I was petrified. I didn’t get in the band. My singing debut was not repeated. I did get second prize in the talent show. I think they felt sorry for me.

Then somewhere in the late 1980s, I started hanging out with poets. The Unbearables. It was great. I made art for their Assembling Magazine, then wrote and read a poem. My hands and voice were shaking. But I loved it, and did it again, and again. Eventually memorizing all my pieces and having a pretty good run at readings around New York up until the early 2000s.

There are few things more exciting than being on stage. Really. I love it. Couldn’t tell you why I stopped. That is, until a hot summer night in Connecticut, July 2014, when spontaneously drawn into the lights and fire you see in these photographs, snapped by Tom Burnett. It was brief, silent, and it didn’t occur to me that there would be documentation. Though that’s the current nature of life, when almost everyone always carries a device that records images. Still freaks me out, and gets totally meta in 09 Night Red Cat, where another hand with another phone appears at stage right.

The conundrum here is that the moment was delightful, the photos scared me. And were fascinating. Nearly two years later, on May 12, 2016, I set them up for a post and started writing the performance story. And thought that would be it. As night shots with only ambient light, the data was thin, I didn’t think there was enough to work with to create further transformations. But the next day, that assumption proved to be wrong, and the abstractions evolved with surprising variation and strength.

They strike me as very different from the colorfields and folds that have been my focus for the past year or so. Which brings us to this question: Does the artist’s personality drive the work, or does the art take control of the persona?

Classic Island © Catherine Rutgers 2016

04 Night Red Cat photo by Tom Burnett 2014

Left to Her Own Devices © Catherine Rutgers 2016

06 Night Red Cat photo by Tom Burnett 2014

Oracle at Sea © Catherine Rutgers 2016

And Another Thing © Catherine Rutgers 2016

09 Night Red Cat photo by Tom Burnett 2014

10 Night Red Cat photo by Tom Burnett 2014

Not the Same © Catherine Rutgers 2016

12 Night Red Cat photo by Tom Burnett 2014

The Greening Flare © Catherine Rutgers 2016

14 Night Red Cat photo by Tom Burnett 2014

Fire Five Adjustments © Catherine Rutgers 2016

Not Abandoned © Catherine Rutgers 2016

Original photos © Tom Burnett, 2014. Images and text by Catherine Rutgers © 2016

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Three Easy Pieces

A trio of fresh curves, for the opening days of summer. With love, from Cat

01 Rutgers_MovingAlong v5 to desktop size maximum blur 02 Rutgers_MovingAlong v6 to desktop size maximum blur 03_Rutgers_MovingAlong v4 to desktop size maximum blur
© Catherine Rutgers, 21 June 2016

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‘O’ Is for Outtake

12th Street © Cat Rutgers 2016

2nd Avenue © Cat Rutgers 2016

The ones that aren’t used in the first go-round often simmer in the background, then bubble up sparkling on a brand-new tip. Once upon a time, yet still within this century, I created a mural design for a big-box retailer’s two street-facing walls, planning to enter their contest. My art in this case was all about Brooklyn: love and pride, day and night, scaled to be huge, listing the name of every single neighborhood. Excellent project.

But my hardware and programs of twelve years ago didn’t have enough capacity to save really large files. They crashed all the time. I missed the deadline. Kept the images, however, and have often used the backgrounds since then. I like them, they’re simple and clean and lend themselves to variations. Here’s nine transformations circa February 2016, plus the tone-poem hoods in all their glory.
 Night Street v3 © Cat Rutgers 2016

 Night Street v01 © Cat Rutgers 2016

 Night Street v8 © Cat Rutgers 2016

 Night Street v07 © Cat Rutgers 2016

 Night Street v9 © Cat Rutgers 2016

 Night Street v10 © Cat Rutgers 2016

 Night Street v4 © Cat Rutgers 2016

Night Street v5 © Cat Rutgers 2016

Night Street v03 © Cat Rutgers 2016

All the Neighborhoods of Brooklyn © Cat Rutgers 2016
Images and text by Catherine Rutgers © 2016

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Beautiful Traveler: JoAnne Lobotsky’s Mixed Media

JoAnne Lobotsky’s “Compass,” textiles and acrylic on canvas, 16 x 12 inches, 2016

JoAnne Lobotsky’s “Compass,” textiles and acrylic on canvas, 16 x 12 inches, 2016

There’s something amazing about witnessing an artist’s turn in her path, and if you traverse the bodies of work in JoAnne Lobotsky’s portfolios, such a moment will be revealed. After more than a decade of fascinating, frequently complex, and often slightly surreal oil paintings, her work takes a turn, concentrating on smaller, mixed-media pieces that are “driven by a need to create works without illusory space.”Close-up of textile in “Compass,” by JoAnne Lobotsky, 2016 I needed to know more about that statement, and was especially curious about Compass, the opening artwork for this Guest Spot! My queries generated the following explanation from the artist:

“I want to make things that exist on the same plane and in the same world as we do. Not some illusory space that you drift into, like a window you are looking through.

“My work has bumps and textures and pieces of things glued to it – I’m offering up bits of the real world. The less the elements I used in these pieces coalesce into something beyond what they are, the more I like it. Maybe it is a response to an increasingly digital world. It definitely feels like a response or a declaration.

Printed fabric and acrylic paint, detail of “Compass,” 2016“What was I thinking about Compass? I had just received that textile with the horses and was excited to include an image that wasn’t abstract. This is a textile that most would think of as kitsch or just in bad taste. So I was excited about that as well.

“I had also recently received the fabric with people in traditional Asian clothing. So, basically, the West meets the East … I was looking to put things together that do not usually belong together. Similarly, the black cloud and the white clouds are very, very thick, in contrast to the flatness elsewhere.

Textile and painted cloud, in “Compass,” 2016“My frame of mind was that there was nothing to lose and I had no attachment to seeing any particular outcome. I grew up on a farm, and the land was primary to my childhood. Many of my pieces reference landscape somehow, and I see this piece as a landscape. I turned it upside down and prefer it this way as it becomes even more surprising, adding the north and south part to the East and West, hence the title.

Compass excites me – it’s one of those pieces that is showing me the way forward, and I want to do more with the ideas there, and with representational imagery.” Here’s a virtual voyage through ten other recent works. How can art be raw and exquisite at the same time? I don’t know but feel that Ms. Lobotsky creates that effect. They strike me as maps to my daily-life soul, that if I can just stare at each one long enough, I will understand who I am and exactly where to go next.

 “Wanderlust,” JoAnne Lobotsky, 2015 (fabric and acrylic on canvas, 10 x 8 inches)

“Wanderlust,” fabric and acrylic on canvas, 10 x 8 inches, 2015

“Later that Night,” JoAnne Lobotsky, 2015 (acrylic and modeling paste on panel, 16 x 12 inches)

“Later that Night,” acrylic and modeling paste on panel, 16 x 12 inches, 2015

“Some Birds of the Tropics,” JoAnne Lobotsky, 2015 (acrylic, faux fur, newspaper, cloth and tape on canvas, 24 x 18 inches)

“Some Birds of the Tropics,” acrylic, faux fur, newspaper, cloth and tape on canvas, 24 x 18 inches, 2015

“Some Birds of the Northeast,“ JoAnne Lobotsky, 2015 (vintage fabric, linen and acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20 inches)

“Some Birds of the Northeast,“ vintage fabric, linen and acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20 inches, 2015

“Before They Knew,“ JoAnne Lobotsky, 2015 (acrylic, ink, burlap and other threads, wax paper bag, feathers, corn husk and handmade paper on canvas, 14 x 11 inches)

“Before They Knew,“ acrylic, ink, burlap and other threads, wax paper bag, feathers, corn husk and handmade paper on canvas, 14 x 11 inches, 2015

“Beginner,“ JoAnne Lobotsky, 2015 (acrylic, paper, fabric, cardboard, plastic and wood on panel, 24 x 36 inches)

“Beginner,“ acrylic, paper, fabric, cardboard, plastic and wood on panel, 24 x 36 inches, 2015

“Detour,“ JoAnne Lobotsky, 2015 (fabric, faux fur, felt, silk, paper, sticks and cheesecloth on canvas, 16 x 24 inches, including support)

“Detour,“ fabric, faux fur, felt, silk, paper, sticks and cheesecloth on canvas, 16 x 24 inches, including support, 2015

“Overland to the River,” JoAnne Lobotsky, 2016 (acrylic, modeling paste, faux fur, cheesecloth, burlap, textiles, glitter and wood veneer paper on panel, 30 x 24 inches)

“Overland to the River,” acrylic, modeling paste, faux fur, cheesecloth, burlap, textiles, glitter and wood veneer paper on panel, 30 x 24 inches, 2016

“Messenger,” JoAnne Lobotsky, 2016 (acrylic, cheesecloth, paper, newspaper and plastic on canvas, 18 x 24 inches)

“Messenger,” acrylic, cheesecloth, paper, newspaper and plastic on canvas, 18 x 24 inches, 2016

“Crossing,” JoAnne Lobotsky, 2015 (acrylic, silk, modeling paste and paper on canvas, 12 x 9 inches)

“Crossing,” acrylic, silk, modeling paste and paper on canvas, 12 x 9 inches, 2015

All images in this Guest Spot are © JoAnne Lobotsky 2016.

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OMG Blue

Blue with Orange Edge © Cat Rutgers 2016This is a blue beyond blue like the primal oh-my-gosh what a beautiful color blue and I’m not the only one who said so blue. Super fine amazing quality paint, dropped off at my doorstep the other day by my très groovy neighbor. As soon as I opened the can, something had to be found to be painted with it.

Voilà! A big old flat file, used for drying silk-screened T-shirts a long time ago, heavy as heck and it holds a lot of stuff. Major corner of my newly laid out studio, a place where I like to look at the fresh prints. Should have taken a ‘before’ photo – it was gun-metal gray inside and I had painted the top aluminum, which looked kind of cool but was way hard to clean and smeary on your hands, paper too. Now it shimmers.

So, snapshots, snapshots, some with a flash, then without but adding more ambient light, then I notice an accidental shadow, then try some intentionally and that, my friends, was yet another OMG moment. Forthwith: the flat file in situ, five silhouettes, and one shadow play highly altered. The ‘newly laid out’ studio, by the way, is more like rebuilt. I took everything apart, scrubbed it all, moved it around, and reinstalled the equipment. Now there’s wide-open space in the center, where you can spread your arms wide and twirl.

Studio Corner (Prototype 3398) © Cat Rutgers 2016Shadow 3399 © Cat Rutgers 2016Shadow 3400 © Cat Rutgers 2016Shadow 3402 © Cat Rutgers 2016Shadow 3403 © Cat Rutgers 2016Shadow 3404 © Cat Rutgers 2016Corner Stone © Cat Rutgers 2016Secret tip for painting flat-surface metal: after using a brush for the first coat, try a roller for the second. Glorious.

© Cat Rutgers 2016

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Riding the Culver Line Dream

This is the core lineup of proposed art for the subway, with a few deviations. Would love to see them transformed into windows and windscreens. And, hey, you never know.

Blue Motion © Cat Rutgers 2016 Orange Delicious © Cat Rutgers 2016 Midnight Glow © Cat Rutgers 2016 Just Around the Corner © Cat Rutgers 2016 Exquisitely Arched © Cat Rutgers 2016 Bridge to the Island © Cat Rutgers 2016 New Moon Pathway © Cat Rutgers 2016. Swift Spring © Cat Rutgers 2016 Inexplicably Mine © Cat Rutgers 2016 Tangerine Dream © Cat Rutgers 2016 Summer Breeze © Cat Rutgers 2016 City Lights © Cat Rutgers 2016 Radiant Heat © Cat Rutgers 2016 Heartbeat © Cat Rutgers 2016 Within and Without © Cat Rutgers 2016 Bird's Eye View © Cat Rutgers 2016 The Pulse of Music © Cat Rutgers 2016 Solarized Song © Cat Rutgers 2016

© Cat Rutgers 2016

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