"My work spans decades and if the paintings were lined up together, they would tell a story" - Cathryn Miles
Artist Bio: Lela, my grandmother made quilts intuitively from fabric remnants sewn into geometric designs. She didn't use preliminary drawings or patterns, and her creations were my earliest art inspiration. I still have a few of the quilts and marvel at how contemporary they look.
I started drawing at an early age and was able to take private classes from a number of artists who really got me into experimenting with paint. My favorite artist at that time was VanGogh and I used thick paint on cardboard to try and emulate his energetic brush strokes. I had no knowledge of contemporary American or European art, and it wouldn't have occurred to me then to look at the art of non-Western cultures. Years later, after both art school and graduate school, I completely changed my thinking about painting. I started looking at abstract, contemporary artists such as Richard Deibernkorn and other West Coast painters for inspiration.
Artist Statement: Most artists' experiences change in their work. Acquiring knowledge of art history, experimenting with different tools and surfaces, and sometimes a need to get out of a rut are some of the reasons I've allowed my painting to evolve. I've more or less come full circle with the direction of my work. I've gone from admiring my grandmother's geometric quilts, to painting quasi-traditional landscapes and most recently back to abstraction of forms in my imagery.
I've always been inspired by nature. The colors of weather, patterning in the earth, movement of sky and water are infused in my imagery. Typically, I do small sketches or watercolors to use as "guides" for making my larger compositions. I use vine charcoal to create a linear structure on the canvas before laying out large areas of color with acrylic paint. From there, I apply layers of oil paint with a variety of carpentry or house-painting tools.
Beautiful color combinations, a physical surface quality, and an unexpected arrangement of shapes and lines are some of the qualities that I try to achieve in my paintings. Overall, my intent is to create a visual connection with the viewer. I want my work to be something that can be lived with and looked at forever.