As an artist who also has epilepsy my paintings are more than art to me. They are a unique record of my memory, experience, and the way I perceive the world. In 2008, I had brain surgery to remove the focal point of my seizures. Since then, my memory has been more limited. The way I mentally organize images has changed, too. And after all that, I still have seizures.
Since I graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 2006, my creative process, and the images that resonate with me most, have become more fluid and abstract, less rigid in both planning and in their final result. Through abstract landscapes, I am able to bring to life the distinctive way I see the world: showing a balance in the battle between cityscapes and the power of nature. Structures are softened or silhouetted by their surroundings.
I use small watercolor studies from my travels in Ireland, Spain, Italy, Bermuda, and Colorado. Different components of these small studies are pulled together and combined on large canvases. The experience of travelling and painting in these dramatically different places has given my work new depth and meaning – where before I painted solely what I saw, now my paintings have become translations of my first impressions. My mind makes sense of the world in its own way, using a compilation of images and memories to create a permanent record of my emotions and experiences.
An interview in the Artists Studio
And don’t miss your chance to connect with bloggers during our Twitter Chat using the hashtag #LivingWellChat on March 31 at 7PM ET.
Cathy graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She fills watercolor journals when she travels, and produces abstract colorful landscapes in her Philadelphia studio. Cathy is a visiting artist at the Red Raven Art Company.