Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Wall

occasional euphoria  48x48  mixed media and collage 

It happens to me EVERY time.  I meet a huge deadline:  The work is made - the titles are fussed over and assigned - the image cataloging is completed - the paintings are delivered - the opening reception attended - the small talk is done.  I return to the studio after a few days of R and R. Then.........  nothing ....*crickets chirping*

I have hit the proverbial WALL.  Paint that seemed to flow freely is now being fumbled into mud.  Large canvases that seemed less intimidating a week or two ago, now glare at me from the studio wall with their looming emptiness.  Why does this happen to me so often?  I have other things coming up...personal goals to achieve...a quest to find more representation...juried show deadlines...ideas floating in my head (rather, they were there - now...*poof*).  It's not like I don't have things to do.  Yet, for whatever reason I have drawn a complete blank.  I am spent.  I feel like that empty space, devoid of work-in-progress,  is someone else's studio space.  That girl with all the energy has just disappeared.

Truthfully, I have been working through some extreme sadness throughout the last year and during that year I have produced a rather large body of work. (They don't look sad... that's how I work it out). Someone said to me at the opening: "These paintings are so joyful."   Painting has always been my therapy -  - and way cheaper than a shrink.  The sad situation that tears at my heart is still a huge part of mine and my family's world.  It only makes sense that I should be able to step back into the studio, focus my energy and do what I've been doing for years...."trudging through the muck"  with a paint brush.

Maybe I just need another day or two...or maybe it's time to do a little late spring cleaning until "it" comes to me as to what to do next.  Or maybe, I need to take a hammer to that "wall" and bust through that sucker.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Modern Times...modern ideas

bittersweet    48x48   mixed media on canvas

So what is an artist to do during a recession?  It doesn't make sense to stop painting or sit back and wait until things turn around.   I wanted my show, but it is terribly expensive to promote art exhibitions in the traditional ways.  With galleries closing left and right it seemed to me to be a good time to make some changes. So my dealer and I came up with a plan; I offered to fore go the usual expenses of a solo show, in exchange I'm getting some extra time to "hang" in the space.  We skipped the expensive printed post cards and mailing and instead are promoting it entirely with free press, electronic media and social networking.  Below is the press release.  (wish us luck!)

 June 7, 2010 

City Art
1224 Lincoln St
Columbia, SC 29201

COLUMBIA, S.C.--- City Art Gallery presents Santee artist Kathy Casey in a solo exhibit entitled Hot . . . a passion for painting opening Thursday June 17 and continuing through August 14, 2010.   The public is invited to a reception to meet the artist Thursday June 17 between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m.

Kathy Casey developed her unique painting style through a process of exploration and study.  The active lines and engrossing colors that fill Casey’s canvases show a strong influence of abstract expressionism.  In the newest paintings there is a recurring theme of warmth.  Reds, oranges, pinks and yellows mingle to create a sense of a heated urban or earthy landscape.  Casey’s work tends to be completely non-objective rather than tell a story.  This forces the viewer to be a participant and decide what something means. Casey likes to leave enough mystery so the viewer can decide his or her own connection to the works.

“The paintings that I love have a life of their own,” said Casey, “I have a quote by Jackson Pollock hanging on my studio wall: ‘Every good painter paints what he is.”

Her nonobjective paintings evoke the spirit of a natural evolution that results from the passage of time.  Each is about flux – the ever-changing nature of life.   There is no literary narrative in the work.  Instead, each piece serves as a metaphor for life:  birth and death, creation and decay, growth as a transformation.  Partially hidden words, either written in the artist’s hand or in the found collaged papers, often appear in the paintings and add personal meaning to the works.

The paintings in this exhibition of Casey’s work are done in mixed media including:  acrylics, charcoal, crayon and /or collage on hand-textured canvas or paper.  “I love to try new things,” she said, “It is just not in my nature to be still.  My palette goes from calming neutrals to crazy loud colors, and everything in between. It always depends on the day. My painting style is a mirror of my life.  Some days are peaceful and some days are all out wild. I don’t really have a favorite style.   I always like what I painted today better than what I painted yesterday and I hope it’s always like that.”

Exhibition dedicated to Harry Greenberg. 

City Art Gallery is located at 1224 Lincoln St. in the historic Congaree Vista area in Columbia, South Carolina.  Gallery hours are Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  For more information contact Wendyth Wells, City Art Gallery, at 803-252-3613.  Visit online at