"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." Albert Einstein I love this quote - the important words are "as though" because how we experience our lives is often dependent on how we frame our experiences. If we "think" its a bad day, it is a bad day. That is not to say there are all good days but often we can improve our mood and sense of well being by living "as though" things are well.The other idea i enjoy in this quote is that of "miracles". I believe i can find awe and beauty in some small detail of my daily life and by choosing to be conscious of these things improves my daily life.
photo of beginning thoughts about Oceanside Museum exhibition
So, I am having a solo exhibition at the Oceanside Museum in Oceanside, CA with an opening reception on Saturday, October 22nd, 2-4 pm. I will also be giving a gallery talk at that time. This exhibition has been a challenge for me because the space i was given is very small in relation to the usual scale of my work. My works are often 3' x 6' and larger. So I was faced with the question "How do I approach this exhibition?" Usually I create wall, floor and hanging installations and have the opportunity of selecting among my works to install. This time, my "usual" approach did not work. I began thinking about the space, taking photos, making notes, and brainstorming some ideas. The concept of "space" kept popping up in my thoughts - what is space, how deep is space, what is in space? After all, I've never been in outer space, and can't see what's in the space around people and objects in space on earth. Yet, the thoughts were compelling and it is basically a conversation I have had with myself for a long time and was beginning to be present in some of the installations I was making. So began a several month process of investigation, research, thoughts and experimentations in the studio.....
detail of hanging installation - 'Worlds Within Worlds'
Ted Talk: The Magic of Truth and Lies on Ipods Fascinating 5 minute Ted Talk by Marco Tempest - Artful Use of Ipods and clever discussion about magic and its edging on the border of truth and lies. Check it out....
I began my visual art as a painter who used mostly waterbased materials like watercolors, inks, acrylics, but my curiousity about materials led me to using other materials that had a transparent-like feel to them like tissue papers, mylars, rolls of transparent plastic wrap, plastic bottles, mesh fabrics, and glass. Several years ago, on one of my trips to southeast asia(family business takes us there), I found an industrial plastic mesh and was able to visit the factory in Shanghai, China. The owners, Mr and Mrs Tsai, took me on a tour of their factory and explained that the machines you see in the photo(left) created the mesh by using multi-color plastic pellets and as they melt into the extrusion molding machines they produce a plastic mesh that resembles fabric in many different colors and patterns. I use the mesh, along with lots of other materials to create my work.
In this photo, left, the factory owners are showing me some of the products they make with the mesh - products for the wholesale grocery industry, decorative industry and construction industry and are shipped in room-sized containers on commercial ships all over the globe. I enjoy the process of experimenting with materials - manipulating them by twisting,layering,stretching,cutting,shaping, applying heat,and using whatever means I can to expand the possibilities of the materials.
I have the point of view that "all things are possible" and with that perspective, I approach materials as opportunities to create and express my ideas and concepts.
Life is art - art is life, at least my life. Being new to blogging, it was tough coming up with a title so 'artful life by cathy' seems to cover alot of ground. As an artist, being 'artful' comes naturally but living artfully is a conscious day to day choice and journey that may or may not include 'art'. I want my blog to be mindful of all people, not just artists or the world of art,because after all, life is about so much more...
Like family - This photo is of my son Adam,a naval officer who just returned from a 7 month deployment last week. I am so proud of his service to our country and he is an inspiration to my life and to my art. Watching his ship pull into port was a feeling of pride, and overwhelming emotion.
Then there is my other son, Micah who with his humor, questioning and spunkiness, adds art to my life and life to my art. It has been with my children that the aspect of 'playfulness' came into my work as an artist. So with making my art, i begin with 'play'. I have a curiousity and love of materials - all materials - for making my work seeking out any thing that might bring meaning or expression to my thoughts and ideas.
So this is an introduction to my blog....to me and what makes my world go round. This photo was taken of me at my exhibition at the Bakersfield Museum of Art in March,2011. More photos of my work to come..